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People who suffer injuries generally have the right to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their harm, with or without the assistance of attorneys. Some claims, like those arising out of medical malpractice, are complex, however, and parties that attempt to seek compensation for medical negligence without legal counsel may not be able to set forth pleadings sufficient to demonstrate they are entitled to damages. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a New York Court in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s anesthesia malpractice claims due to lack of jurisdiction. If you suffered harm due to negligently administered anesthesia, it is smart to retain a skilled Syracuse anesthesia malpractice lawyer to assist you in pursuing claims against the parties that caused your injuries.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered an injury to his right hand that required a surgical repair. He was admitted to the defendant hospital, which is located in New York, to undergo the procedure, but alleged that he was not provided anesthesia. As such, he suffered intense pain. He further asserted he developed depression and a sleep disorder after the surgery. He filed a complaint against the defendant in federal court, asserting a medical negligence claim. He was not represented by a lawyer when he filed the complaint. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The court agreed and dismissed the complaint.

Diversity Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases Filed in Federal Court

The court explained that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim against the defendant failed because the court lacked jurisdiction over the claim as it arose under state law. In New York, a claim sounds in medical malpractice when the conduct in question constitutes medical treatment or bears a significant relationship to the rendering of medical care by a licensed professional. In the subject case, the plaintiff’s claims related to treatment he was provided at the defendant hospital, and therefore, were considered claims for medical malpractice.

The court stated that medical malpractice claims arise under state law, and federal courts generally will not exercise original jurisdiction over such matters unless there is complete diversity between the parties. No plaintiff and no defendant can be citizens of the same state for complete diversity to be present. In the subject case, the court pointed out that the plaintiff and the defendant hospital were both citizens of New York. Thus, complete diversity did not exist, and the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading

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Plane crashes are rare, but when they occur, they often cause catastrophic injuries. While many plane collisions are caused by defective design or maintenance of the planes themselves, they can also be caused by other factors, like the negligent operation of the plane or the performance of air traffic control services. Proving liability in plane crash cases is often a complicated endeavor, as demonstrated recently in a ruling issued in a New York case. If you lost a loved one in a catastrophic accident, it is in your best interest to confer with a Syracuse personal injury lawyer skilled at handling cases arising out of devastating losses.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant provided air traffic control services to an airport in Afghanistan. Other parties were primarily responsible for operations during the day, while the defendant performed services during the night. The defendant was not responsible for training anyone. The air traffic control tower in the airport lacked the equipment that was needed to alert the controller of a plane’s proximity to terrain.

Allegedly, in October 2010, a chartered civilian cargo plane left the airport. Shortly after it took off, it contracted air traffic control, which at that time was operated by the defendant, to obtain coordinates. Tragically, they subsequently crashed into mountain terrain, and the eight people aboard died. The estates of the people who passed away filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence caused the crash. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted its motion, after which the plaintiffs appealed. Continue reading

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The death of Lavern’s Law saved hospitals and insurers a lot of money. Should that money go to a senator who helped kill it?

This post is not a political endorsement. It is meant to call attention to the forces that affect victims of medical malpractice.

Earlier this year, New York legislators considered a bill that could have made it easier for countless victims of medical negligence to pursue compensation under the law. Despite widespread support, it was blocked – in large part by GOP senator and Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon.

Why would the chair of the Senate Health Committee oppose a bill that’s good for patients? According to the New York Daily News, It might have something to do with the powerful Greater New York Hospital Association, which loudly lobbied against the bill. The Association has formed a Super PAC that has spent nearly $200,000 on Senator Hannon’s behalf.

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An investigation following the tragic death of a Brooklyn, New York, tortilla factory worker in 2011 has led to charges and conviction of the factory’s owner for labor law violations. These include failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. The owner pleaded guilty, and has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The accident occurred in January 2011 when a 22-year-old employee fell into a mixing machine, and was crushed to death by the churning mechanism. New York state officials investigating the factory after the man’s death shut it down when they discovered that the company had not carried workers’ compensation insurance for nearly a year. Although the factory eventually reopened, it was cited by federal officials for safety violations.

The safety violations actually had nothing to do with the criminal charges against the 57-year-old business owner, who was arrested in 2012 by the state attorney general’s office. In June of that year, he pleaded guilty to several counts of failing to pay adequate wages, which is a misdemeanor, and failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, which is a felony.

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Over the past several years the worlds of professional, collegiate and youth football have all come under scrutiny because of concern over the high incidence of severe brain injuries in football players. Some states have responded by passing laws to require more oversight of youth practices and safety, while the NFL has faced a number of workers’ compensation lawsuits by injured players.

Now the National Collegiate Athletic Association is stepping up their role in the fight against traumatic brain injury. The NCAA has made several changes to its rules that representatives hope will decrease the number of brain injuries sustained by collegiate players and lead the way for safety in all football organizations.

For example, under new rules players are ejected from play if they make contact with a defenseless opposing player above the shoulders. Most traumatic brain injuries come as a result of a blow or jolt to the head so the organization hopes that this rule will cause players to be more careful.

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