Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice News

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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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In a New York medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove four separate and distinct elements: that the defendant healthcare provider owed a certain standard of care to the plaintiff patient, that this duty was breached, that the plaintiff suffered damages, and that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages.

The plaintiff must provide expert testimony as to each of these elements. In the absence of such proof, the plaintiff’s case will fail, and judgment will be entered for the defendant.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant medical providers, claiming that she had suffered personal injuries due to the defendants’ negligence in performing pelvic surgery. In response, the defendants submitted evidence that they alleged showed that the plaintiff’s injury was due to a known risk that could occur even with competent surgical care. The Supreme Court of New York County granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, thereby dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint.

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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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Medical malpractice is rampant in New York and elsewhere in the country. However, unless an injured person (or the estate of a deceased patient) files a timely complaint for medical negligence and is able to offer proof from a competent medical expert witness regarding the standard of care and the defendant doctor or hospital’s deviation therefrom, the injured person or his or her family will not be able to recover monetary compensation.

Thus, it is very important to talk to a knowledgeable New York medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence by a medical professional.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was the administrator of a woman who developed a severe sacral decubitus ulcer (i.e., a pressure ulcer or “bedsore”) while under the care of the defendant hospital. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the development of the ulcer was due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant, however, claimed that the decedent’s ulcer was unavoidable under the circumstances and filed a motion seeking summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim against it.

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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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