Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice News

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New York medical malpractice lawsuits can involve many different types of injury to the body – even wrongful death. One recent case involved a claim brought by a woman who believed that she had suffered loss to her hearing and other injuries due to her doctor’s allegedly negligent treatment of an ear infection.

Unfortunately, both the trial court and the appellate court sided with the woman’s doctor, finding that no actionable medical negligence had occurred.

Facts of the Case

A case recently considered by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, involved a medical malpractice claim brought by the plaintiff patient against the defendant doctor seeking compensation for hearing loss that the plaintiff allegedly suffered due to the defendant’s negligent prescription of a certain medication to treat an ear infection. The plaintiff further averred that the defendant had failed to instruct her properly as to the administration of the drug at issue.

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It is not unusual for a New York medical malpractice lawsuit to evolve into multi-faceted litigation involving several defendants and multiple theories of liability. For instance, a medical negligence lawsuit against a doctor or hospital could, under certain circumstances, grow to include a possible product liability lawsuit against the maker of an allegedly defective medical device.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently ruled upon by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, the plaintiffs were a former medical patient and the patient’s husband. According to their complaint, filed in the Supreme Court of Niagara County, the patient was admitted to the defendant medical center for surgery in 2008. After her surgery, the patient was given a patient-controlled analgesia infusion pump that allowed her to self-administer pain medication with the push of a button. The pump was supposed to have a “maximum dosage” feature, but, after using the pump without incident for several hours, the patient suffered an adverse medical event that necessitated her receiving an emergency opioid-reversing medication and being transferred to intensive care for additional treatment.

The plaintiffs filed suit in 2011, seeking compensation for the alleged negligence and medical malpractice of the defendant medical center and others. In an amended complaint, the plaintiffs sought monetary damages from the manufacturer of the pump, but that litigation stagnated because the medical center could not identify which of the 12 pumps it possessed was the pump that allegedly harmed the plaintiff. Eventually, the trial court dismissed the complaint as to the manufacturers, but the appellate court reversed that decision. On remand, the plaintiffs moved for sanctions against the medical center for spoliation of the pump. The trial court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for an adverse inference charge at trial as a sanction for its spoliation of evidence. The medical center appealed.

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Deciding when a patient should or should not be on medication is a critical part of a doctor’s job. However, the decision is not always clear-cut and, many times, the doctor must use his or her discretion after weighing both the benefits and potential risks associated with administering the medication. If you have been injured by a medication error, you might be able to recover compensation in your case. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our diligent Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys will parse your claim and devise a legal plan that maximizes your chances of recovery.

In a recent case, a 72-year-old man was brought into the ER of a hospital complaining about shortness of breath for the past few hours. He was about 30-40 pounds overweight and was sweating profusely. He suffered from hypertension for which he was on medication for a number of years. The patient was also a former smoker and indicated that he led mostly a sedentary lifestyle.

After relevant tests were conducted, the doctor diagnosed the patient with congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation and prescribed him a blood thinner. The patient’s condition improved over the next few months and the doctor decided to take him off the blood thinners. The man later had a stroke that left him permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair. He sued the doctor for malpractice.

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Accurate and complete medical records are critical to providing safe and proper medical care to patients. If you suspect that your medical injury was the result of an error or omission in your medical record, you need to contact a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we will critically evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine if malpractice occurred as well as your eligibility for compensation.

Errors in Medical Records

When an elderly couple moved to the other side of the country, they brought their medical files with them in a few cardboard folders. Within two days after the move, the man fell and went to a hospital for an assessment. While waiting to see a doctor, the man looked through the folder and realized that there were extensive notes on another patient with the same name. That patient to whom the file rightfully belonged had much more serious and complex health problems than the man who had possession of the file.

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Language barriers can impose serious hurdles when it comes to diagnosing and treating medical conditions. If you have incurred medical expenses or suffered harm due to a communication error, you may be entitled to compensation. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers can conduct an in-depth investigation to uncover the cause of the injury and help you determine your rights. You can rest assured that we can help you build a case that will not only provide accountability and justice for you but also protect others from suffering a similar experience.

Communication issues caused by language barriers seem to be a bigger problem than you may imagine in the United States. According to census data, as many as 1 in 10 working adults in the country have limited English-language proficiency. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and subsequent laws require hospitals and other medical facilities that offer medical services and receive federal funds to give “meaningful access” to patients so that they can make informed decisions regarding their health. In addition, studies reveal that patients with limited English-speaking proficiency are more likely to experience adverse events than English-speaking patients.

Inadequate communication may lead to delays in diagnosis, incorrect diagnoses, treatment errors, and the inability of the patient to correctly comply with treatment recommendations, and they may cause other issues as well. Despite these potential problems, many people who need interpreters do not have access to them. In some cases, people’s children or relatives serve as interpreters, but this is not always appropriate because non-medical interpreters often do not know the medical language to explain things fully and properly.

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Botched abortions can have devastating consequences for a patient. If you or someone you love has been a victim of abortion malpractice, you need to reach out to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer who can provide you with skilled legal representation in your case. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that abortion malpractice can cause a patient both physical and emotional distress, which is why we are committed to vigorously advocating for your rights at every step of the way.

In a recent case, a 30-year-old New York woman died from complications after getting an abortion at 25 weeks pregnant. The woman seeking the abortion bled to death after the doctor allowed her to leave the clinic despite signs of grave danger (such as the patient collapsing in the bathroom of the doctor’s clinic). He gave her no further instructions or advice about seeking medical attention.

While driving home, she fell unconscious, and her sister called 911. By the time the medics arrived, the patient was already dead. The doctor’s clinic shut down shortly after her death. The doctor’s conduct in the case went beyond civil liability. He recently pled guilty to the charge of criminally negligent homicide, which carries a sentence of 1.3 to four years of jail time.

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Opioid addiction can have deadly consequences for a patient. If you or a loved one has been hurt or someone you love has passed away due to an opioid overdose, you may have legal rights. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers can examine your case and help you understand your rights.

There has been a lot of speculation around singer Prince’s death. Based on a criminal investigation, it is believed that Prince died as a result of overdosing on what he believed were prescription opioids such as Vicodin, but were actually the black market version of these drugs, containing the much more powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Investigators could not figure out where Prince may have gotten these counterfeit drugs and, as a result, did not charge anyone in the death.

Prince’s family, however, recently filed a malpractice lawsuit against a hospital in Illinois that treated Prince’s first opioid overdose a week before his death. The lawsuit states that Prince’s death was a “direct and proximate cause” of the hospital failing to appropriately diagnose and treat the overdose. The lawsuit also claims that the hospital failed to investigate the cause of the overdose and provide proper counseling. In addition, the family is suing Walgreens, alleging that the pharmacy dispensed narcotic prescription medications to the pop star.

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