Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Mistakes made by medical professionals tending to a mother during labor and delivery can have devastating consequences and may constitute grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. Defendants accused of medical negligence rarely admit liability, however, and in fact, in most cases, will assert that the court should find in their favor. In a recent opinion issued in a case in which the plaintiff asserted that she and her infant suffered harm due to medical malpractice, the court examined what each party must prove with respect to motions for summary judgment. If you or your child sustained injuries due to errors during or after the birthing process, you might be able to recover damages, and you should confer with a trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to the defendant’s hospital to deliver her infant son. Complications arose during delivery, and the child ultimately suffered injuries. The mother brought a lawsuit against the defendants alleging their medical negligence caused her and her son to suffer harm. The defendants moved for summary judgment in their favor. The trial court denied the defendants’ motions, and they appealed.

Dismissal of a Plaintiff’s Claims in a Medical Malpractice Case

After reviewing the evidence presented, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that a defendant pursuing summary judgment in a medical malpractice case must demonstrate, prima facie, either that they did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine or that any alleged deviation from the standard of care did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s injuries. Continue reading

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Defendants in New York medical malpractice cases will often not only deny liability but will also assert that the evidence so clearly demonstrates their lack of fault that they should be granted judgment in their favor as a matter of law. A defendant seeking summary judgment in a medical malpractice case faces a high burden of proof, however, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a New York court. If you sustained injuries due to the recklessness of a physician, you should contact a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss what you must prove to recover damages.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting lack of informed consent, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims arising out of the treatment and care of her deceased father. Specifically, she alleged that their failure to diagnose his lung cancer in a timely manner caused his premature demise. The defendants each moved for summary judgment; the plaintiff opposed their motions and submitted redacted expert affirmations in support of her opposition.

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In most medical malpractice cases filed in New York, the plaintiff has the right to choose the venue where the matter will be heard. There are exceptions to the general rule, though, such as in cases in which the parties entered into an agreement containing provisions relating to forum selection. While forum selection clauses are clearly enforceable if they are signed by both parties in a case, it is less evident if they should be upheld when another person signed on one party’s behalf. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion in a medical malpractice case in which it discussed apparent authority in the context of agreements containing forum selection clauses. If you suffered losses due to negligent medical care, it is advisable to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney concerning your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent was a resident at the defendant’s nursing home prior to his death. After he passed away, the plaintiff, the decedent’s daughter, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. The plaintiff filed the case in Bronx County, but the defendant moved to transfer the matter to Westchester County based on an agreement signed by the plaintiff at the time of the decedent’s admission.

It is reported that the trial court denied the motion due to the fact that the defendant neglected to offer proof that the plaintiff had apparent authority to enter into the agreement on the decedent’s behalf. The defendant subsequently renewed its motion, relying on the plaintiff’s deposition testimony to establish apparent authority. Continue reading

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Federal law deems certain communications privileged and protects them from disclosure. For example, confidential communications between spouses are generally not discoverable. Recently, a New York court discussed the spousal privilege in the context of medical malpractice cases, in a matter in which it ultimately rejected the defendant’s objection to the invocation of the privilege. If you incurred damages due to the negligence of a health care provider and you are interested in pursuing claims for compensation, it is advisable to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court, asserting medical malpractice claims, among other things, arising out of the death of her father while he was in the defendant’s care. The case progressed through discovery, and the defendant sought information from the plaintiff and her husband regarding conversations they had about the decedent’s admission to the defendant’s facility and his ongoing care. The plaintiff argued that such communications were protected under the spousal privilege. The defendant objected to the invocation of the privilege.

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People seeking damages for medical malpractice in civil lawsuits have the right to a fair trial in front of an impartial jury. If that right is violated by the judge or an attorney, it may be grounds for reversing the outcome of the case. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York medical malpractice matter in which the appellate court ordered a new trial due to prejudicial comments from the trial court judge. If you were harmed by negligent medical care, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that in 2012, the plaintiff commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to diagnose his skin cancer in a timely manner, which ultimately led to the amputation of a toe on his left foot. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, but the court denied his motion. A trial was held, after which the jury ruled in favor of the defendant, finding that he did not deviate from the accepted practice of medicine. The trial court then issued a corrected judgment in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

The Right to an Impartial Trial in Medical Malpractice Cases

The appellate court stated that, although the issue was not preserved for appellate review, the verdict in favor of the defendant must be set aside and the matter remitted for a new trial in the interest of justice. Specifically, the appellate court stated that comments made by the trial court judge and the defendant’s attorney during the course of the trial deprived the plaintiff of his right to a fair trial and potentially could have unjustly influenced the jury. Continue reading

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People tend to think of strokes as something that impacts older individuals, but people of all ages, including infants, can suffer strokes. Babies do not regularly experience strokes, so if they present to an emergency room with symptoms of a cerebrovascular episode, they may be misdiagnosed. A prompt diagnosis and intervention are critical to a good outcome for stroke patients, and in many instances, a missed or delayed diagnosis is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Merely because a doctor missed a diagnosis does not mean the plaintiff’s claims will be successful, though, as shown by a recent New York ruling. If you or your child sustained damages due to a doctor’s negligent failure to provide you with an accurate diagnosis, you may be owed damages, and you should contact a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff brought her infant daughter to the emergency room of the defendant’s hospital with right-sided facial weakness, drooping of the left eye, and slurred speech. She was examined and offered a differential diagnosis of stroke, seizure, or transient ischemic attack. She was admitted and treated for two weeks, after which she was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and discharged.

Allegedly, approximately three months later, the plaintiff brought the infant back to the emergency room because she was twitching and unresponsive. She was transferred to another hospital, where she was diagnosed a suffering a massive, debilitating stroke. The plaintiff brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant based on its employees’ failure to diagnose the infant with a stroke when she first presented to the hospital. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted the motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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In New York medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff initially bears the burden of proof. Specifically, the plaintiff must show that the defendant departed from the accepted and good practice of medicine, thereby causing the plaintiff to suffer harm. As such, if a defendant wishes to obtain dismissal via summary judgment, they must show that the evidence reveals, on its face, that the defendant did not deviate from the standard of care or cause the plaintiff’s injuries. Recently, in an order issued in a medical malpractice case, a New York court reiterated the burdens of proof imposed on parties with respect to medical negligence and lack of informed consent claims. If you suffered losses due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, it is prudent to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a series of heart surgeries over the course of several months. He subsequently contracted an infection and had a stroke after the procedures. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, the doctor who performed the surgery, arguing his negligence and failure to obtain the plaintiff’s informed consent constituted malpractice. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show the defendant’s acts proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

The Burden of Proof Imposed on Parties in Medical Malpractice Cases

The appellate court ultimately affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that to obtain dismissal of a medical malpractice claim, a defendant must show, prima facie, it did not deviate from the accepted and good practice of medicine and that any alleged deviation did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant meets this burden, the burden then moves to the plaintiff, who must prove that a material issue of fact exists as to either element. Continue reading

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Expert testimony is a key component of New York medical malpractice cases. There are numerous differences between the testimony offered by lay and expert witnesses, including the fact that expert opinions must be grounded on reliable methodologies and deductions. If a party disputes the reliability of an expert’s methods, they can issue a Frye challenge. Recently, a New York court discussed the grounds for precluding an expert from testifying pursuant to the Frye standard in a medical malpractice case in which the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s expert relied on novel science. If you were harmed by negligent medical care, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer regarding your possible claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sought treatment from the defendant for joint pain. The defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed her methotrexate. She subsequently experienced pain, numbness, and swelling in her right leg and was later diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Other physicians disputed whether she had rheumatoid arthritis. The plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that he negligently misdiagnosed her and prescribed her methotrexate. The defendant sought a Frye order precluding the plaintiff’s expert from testifying prior to trial.

Frye Hearings in Medical Malpractice Cases

Under New York law, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must establish that the defendant’s departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. In the subject case, the defendant challenged the plaintiff’s assertions regarding causation on the basis that the plaintiff’s allegation that methotrexate caused her to develop peripheral neuropathy was not based on a theory that was generally accepted in the medical community. Continue reading

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The COVID-19 pandemic touched most aspects of people’s lives, including in some cases, what courts have jurisdiction over claims against healthcare providers. Specifically, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) grants federal courts jurisdiction over certain matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As explained by a New York court in a recent medical malpractice case, though, the jurisdiction does not necessarily extend to medical malpractice cases. If you recently suffered harm due to negligent care offered while you had COVID-19, you may be owed damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to assess your claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent presented to the emergency department of the defendant’s hospital in April 2020. He was admitted with acute respiratory failure and sepsis and was later diagnosed with COVID-19. He died at the hospital five weeks after his admission. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting wrongful death, medical malpractice, and gross negligence claims. The defendant moved the case to federal court, arguing that the PREP Act pre-empted the plaintiff’s state law claims. The plaintiff then filed a motion to remand the matter back to state court, arguing that the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case.

Federal Preemption Under the PREP Act

The federal complete pre-emption doctrine applies when a statute’s pre-emptive force is so compelling that it transforms an ordinary case arising out of state common law claims into a federal action for the purposes of the well-pleaded complaint rule. As such, a plaintiff cannot avoid federal subject matter jurisdiction by pleading claims as if they arise under state law in cases where their claims essentially arise out of federal law. Continue reading

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In New York, medical malpractice actions are subject to statutes of limitations. In other words, if an injured party fails to pursue claims against the healthcare provider that caused their harm within the time dictated under the applicable statute, their claims may be time-barred. While the courts generally uphold the statute of limitations, there are circumstances in which it can be tolled. For example, it does not begin to run until the plaintiff learns of the cause of their harm, as discussed in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice matter. If you sustained losses due to medical oversights, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff underwent a CT scan of her pelvis and abdomen in May 2014. The defendant radiologist reviewed the test results and observed nodular densities in the lower lobe of the plaintiff’s right lung. The defendant issued a report recommending a follow-up scan, but no scan was conducted. Further, the defendant did not inform the plaintiff of the need for a follow-up or that she most likely had lung cancer and did not advise the plaintiff that the nodules were present.

It is alleged that the plaintiff did not learn of the nodules until October 2019, when she underwent a CT scan at another hospital. In March 2020, she commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant then asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims as time-barred. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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