Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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A Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit can take a long time to resolve. For starters, an investigation must be conducted, an expert must be retained, and suit must be filed – and that’s just to get the case started.

As matters progress, the parties usually exchange discovery requests in order to learn more about the evidence that will likely be presented at trial. This process takes at least a few months, and often much longer. In some cases, there can be additional complications that create unexpected delays, such as the filing of a bankruptcy petition by a party or its insurance company.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case arising in the Supreme Court, Erie County, the plaintiff was a man who filed suit in 2011, seeking compensation for injuries that he allegedly suffered due to the negligence of the defendant health care center’s agents and employees. The parties exchanged discovery requests the following year, but then the action was dormant for several years as the plaintiff pursued relief from the defendant’s insurer in out-of-state bankruptcy proceedings. In late 2016, the plaintiff revived the action by resubmitting the discovery demands that he had originally made in 2012.

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Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences in life. When the loved one’s death was preventable, the situation is even more difficult. If you have recently lost a family member and have reason to believe that a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s negligence was to blame, you should talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about the possibility of filing a claim in court.

Medical negligence cases are usually met with great resistance from the medical professional(s) who is accused of neglect, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that the case can be properly investigated, and evidence can be gathered to support the plaintiff’s case.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman seeking compensation for the death of a man (presumably a family member) whom she alleged died due to the medical negligence of the defendants, a hospital, a doctor, and others. According to the plaintiff, the decedent presented to the defendant hospital for emergency care, went into cardiac arrest, and died three days later. Unbeknownst to the decedent, he was apparently suffering from a bacterial staph infection known as Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and had been for several days. (A laboratory facility had failed to inform the defendant of his infection.) In response to the plaintiff’s allegations that the decedent’s death was caused by their failure to properly treat and diagnose him during the emergency visit, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, granted the defendants’  motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Most people understand that the first step in pursuing monetary compensation in a Syracuse medical malpractice case is to file a claim in court. However, what is less commonly known is that there can sometimes be an argument about the proper court in which to file the claim.

When a defendant disagrees with a plaintiff’s choice of venue, he or she may opt to file a motion to change venue. However, a change of venue is not automatic, and the burden of proving that the plaintiff’s venue choice was improper rests with the moving party.

There are several factors to consider in determining whether venue is proper in a particular court, including, among other things, the defendant’s residence address and/or principal place of business.

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When it comes to medical malpractice cases, there are some commonalities regardless of where the suit is filed – the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that there was a deviation from the accepted standard of care, for example.

However, with regard to procedural matters, such as when a Syracuse medical malpractice claim must be filed and by whom, the law of the State of New York can differ from than that of sister states.

Thus, it is very important to talk to a Syracuse personal injury or wrongful death attorney about your case if you or a loved one has been hurt by a nurse, doctor, or hospital. Time is of the essence in such matters, so please do not delay in seeking advice about your case.

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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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Syracuse malpractice cases are never easy. The defendants in these types of case rarely admit that any wrongdoing or negligence occurred; in the unlikely event that a doctor or hospital admits that a mistake was made, the defendant will likely insist that there was no harm caused by the error.

Not surprisingly, a defendant in a medical negligence case will take advantage of every “technicality” that may fall in his or her favor, including the possibility of getting a case dismissed due to an opponent’s failure to appear at a court conference. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get such dismissal reversed, and the plaintiff may very well lose the right to proceed to trial if such a ruling occurs.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case arising in the Supreme Court for Dutchess County, the plaintiff was a woman who sought compensation for the alleged medical malpractice of the defendant healthcare provider. A compliance conference was ordered by the trial court, but the plaintiff failed to appear. Thereafter, the trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint due to her default pursuant to the provisions of the 22 NYCRR § 202.27. The plaintiff then filed a motion to vacate the trial court’s order and judgment under CPLR § 5015(a)(1), seeking to have her civil action against the defendant restored to active status. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion, and she appealed.
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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, the plaintiff is usually the person who was the victim of a doctor or hospital’s negligence. However, sometimes an act of medical negligence is so severe that it results in a patient’s death.

In such a situation, there is still the possibility of a lawsuit against the responsible medical provider. However, the procedure is more complex than if the patient himself or herself was available to pursue monetary compensation.

Typically, it is the personal representative of the estate of the deceased medical negligence victim who brings suit in such a situation. This may or may not be a family member of the deceased individual (although any proceeds will likely go to the victim’s family members).

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Pursuing fair compensation for an act of medical negligence involves many steps. In addition to the filing of a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit, there is the discovery phase of litigation, which is typically followed by the filing of motions for dismissal by the allegedly negligent doctors or hospital.

If the case survives this step, the next phase is trial, followed (in many cases) by an appeal.

Because medical malpractice lawsuits can be very lengthy and time-consuming, it is important to that a person who has been hurt by a careless doctor or other medical provider contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

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