Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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Those who have been hurt by a doctor, nurse, or hospital have a limited time in which to file a medical malpractice claim. Usually, claims not filed within this time period are dismissed by the court as untimely.

However, there are a limited number of circumstances in which a late-filed claim may be allowed. One such exception is referred to as the “relation-back” doctrine. A recent appellate case explored the applicability of the doctrine to a case in which additional defendants were added to an ongoing lawsuit after the expiration of the usual limitations period. If you or a loved one has been injured and you wonder if it is too late to file a claim, it is important that you speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case originating in the Supreme Court of Kings County, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death claim against a medical center and others following the death of the decedent in May 2009. Prior to her death, the decedent had been treated for abdominal pain in the defendant medical center on multiple occasions over a period of about one month. The plaintiff’s suit, which was filed in 2011, named the medical center and several individual healthcare providers as defendants. In 2014, the defendant medical center filed a third-party action against another provider who had become affiliated with a different facility, along with three other third-party defendants.

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Hopefully, everyone knows by now that there is a statute of limitations that places an outer limit on the time during which a Syracuse medical malpractice claim can be filed. While there are a few, very limited exceptions to this rule, most cases that are filed outside of this time period are dismissed by the court – no matter how egregious the conduct or how severe the injuries.

It is also important to note that there are many other deadlines that may apply in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, including the time for filing an answer if you happen to be the person or business against whom a claim is made. Again, while there are a few exceptions to the general rule regarding timeliness (of filing both a complaint and an answer thereto), but these are few and far between.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was the administrator of the estate of a man who allegedly suffered personal injuries while a resident at nursing home allegedly operated by the defendants. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants, seeking to recover money damages. The defendants failed to answer the plaintiff’s complaint within the time allowed by law, so the plaintiff filed a motion for a default judgment pursuant to New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Practice Law and Rules § 3215. The defendants opposed the motion filed by the plaintiff and filed their own motion, cross-moving for an extension of time to file their answer.
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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, there may be a single defendant, or there may be multiple defendants. It all depends upon the circumstances surrounding the alleged act of medical negligence.

For example, in a case in which an individual was injured or died in (or after having been in) a hospital or medical center, there may be allegations of negligence against the hospital, one or more doctors, several nurses, etc. It is not unusual for such a case to get “narrowed down” to only one or two defendants prior to trial – or at least prior to the case being submitted for the jury’s consideration.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was executor of the estate of a woman who died a few days after having hip replacement surgery. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants, a medical center, a physician group, a nurse practitioner, and others, asserting a cause of action for medical malpractice and seeking monetary compensation for losses caused by the defendants’ alleged failure to provide proper medical treatment to the deceased in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
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Those who have suffered personal injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death have only a limited time in which to file a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit. This includes situations in which the victim of the alleged medical negligence is a minor child. If your family has been hurt by a doctor or hospital, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you get started on your case, but you must take the first step by setting up a consultation.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appeals court case, the plaintiffs were the parents of a minor child who allegedly suffered injuries during her birth at a city hospital owned and operated by the defendant. The plaintiffs sought to file suit in the Supreme Court, Bronx County, to seek for the child’s injuries via a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim. The defendant resisted the plaintiffs’ motion, urging the trial court to deny the relief sought by the plaintiffs. The trial granted the motion for leave, and the defendant appealed.

The Appeals Court’s Decision

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division for First Department affirmed the lower court’s ruling. According to the appellate court, the lower tribunal’s decision to grant the plaintiffs leave to file a late notice of claim within the discretion of the trial court. Although the defendant pointed out that the plaintiffs have failed to set forth a “reasonable excuse” for their delay in filing a timely claim, the appellate court found that this was not fatal to the plaintiffs’ case under the circumstances. According to the court, the plaintiffs had met their burden by showing that the defendant was aware – and had actual knowledge – of the “essential facts constituting the claim” within the time period set forth under New York statutory law for the filing of claims such as the one at bar. Because the defendant had knowledge of these facts within the requisite time, it would not be prejudiced in defending the case on its merits.
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About two out of five Americans take at least one prescription medication these days. While most of these medications are at least somewhat beneficial to the patient taking them, each comes with a list of possible side effects.

When a patient is admitted to a hospital, personnel should be careful to note all medications taken by the patient, including the dosage of these prescription drugs. Follow up with the patient’s family and/or pharmacy should also be made in many cases.

If this is not done and personal injury or wrongful death befalls the patient as a proximate result, the patient or his family may have a Syracuse medical malpractice or hospital malpractice claim.

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The plaintiff in a Syracuse medical malpractice case has the burden of proving each and every element of his or her case.

Oftentimes, the plaintiff must obtain much of the evidence of his or her claim from one or more of the defendants against whom he or she has filed suit.

Acknowledging that a defendant may have an incentive to hide or destroy evidence in order to avoid a finding of liability, New York law gives trial courts the authority to impose harsh sanctions for spoliation of evidence.

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In some Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuits, the allegation is that a defendant doctor or hospital failed to make a correct diagnosis within a reasonable amount of time under the circumstances.

A delay in treating a medical condition can result in significant harm and even death to a patient.

When a patient is able to prove a claim of medical negligence, he or she may request that the jury award money damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other losses caused by the defendant’s failure to abide by the applicable standard of care.

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When it comes to personal injury and wrongful death litigation, time is of the essence. If a New York medical malpractice lawsuit is not filed on within the statute of limitations, it has very little chance of ever being considered upon its merits.

There may be other deadlines that require strict compliance, as well. Taking too long to seek legal redress can result in a summary dismissal of a case that might otherwise have been very winnable – and worth a substantial sum of money to a malpractice victim and his or her family – had it been timely filed.

For this reason, it is extremely important that anyone who believes he or she has been suffered harm due to medical negligence seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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When it comes to issues in a New York medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant’s deviation from the applicable standard of care was the proximate cause of his or her damages.

In many medical negligence lawsuits, one or more of the defendants may seek judgment as a matter of law via a summary judgment motion. When this happens, the burden then shifts to the defendant to demonstrate that there are no genuine issues of material fact.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who was involved in an accident in which a log fell on his hand in 2009. He was treated by the defendant doctors (employees of the defendant medical group) at the defendant hospital and released the following day. A few days later, he was seen for a checkup, in which he was checked by a physician’s assistant. About a week later, he returned to the doctor’s office and was told that his index finger “had died.” He underwent an amputation of his finger thereafter.

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Filing a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit is a complex endeavor that requires strict compliance to a great many procedural rules. While there may be limited instances in which compliance with a particular requirement may be excused under the circumstances of a given case, this is by far the exception rather than the rule. The burden is usually on the plaintiff not only to prove his or her case but also to convince the court that an exception should be made if a deadline was missed or another procedural rule was not complied with.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was the administratrix of the estate of a woman who allegedly died due to the negligence of the defendant hospital. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, and the trial court entered an order setting forth the discovery obligations of the parties. Although a particular doctor’s deposition was supposed to have taken place by a certain date, this apparently did not happen. Thereafter, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Practice Law and Rules 3126(3). The Supreme Court for New York County entered an order granting the defendant’s motion and dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff sought review from the intermediate appellate court of New York.

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