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New York Court Discusses Procedural Requirements in Medical Malpractice Cases

People who lose loved ones due to ineffectual medical care have the right to pursue medical malpractice and wrongful death claims against the providers responsible for their losses. In doing so, however, they must comply with any applicable procedural rules or laws; otherwise, their claims may be dismissed. This was illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York medical malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case due to her failure to exhaust her administrative remedies. If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney about your possible causes of action.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, a group of 29 medical professionals and entities, in a New York state court. She asserted that the defendants negligently caused her husband’s death and, therefore that they were liable for malpractice. The defendants subsequently filed a notice of removal, transferring the case to federal court. They then filed motions to substitute the United States as the defendant, as the named defendants were a federally funded facility and its employees, and to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.

Allegedly, the plaintiff opposed the defendants’ motions and filed her own motion to remand the case back to state court. A federal magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation that the court grant the defendants’ motions be granted. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendants filed objections to the magistrate’s report. The court ultimately agreed with the magistrate and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Exhaustion Requirements in Medical Malpractice Cases

Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal district court can reject, adopt, or modify the recommendations and findings of a magistrate judge. If either party in a case objects to a magistrate’s recommendation, the district court must review that portion of the recommendation de novo. If no one sets forth objections, the district court must nonetheless set aside any portion of the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that is contrary to the law or clearly erroneous.

The court clarified that under the clearly erroneous standard, a report and recommendation would be set aside if it fails to apply or incorrectly applies applicable case law, rules of procedure, or statutes. In the subject case, as there were no objections and the court did not find any clear errors with the magistrate’s report and recommendations, it adopted them and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Confer with a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors who harm their patients should be held accountable, but unfortunately, some medical malpractice claims are dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to abide by the procedural rules. If you sustained damages due to negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at proving incompetent healthcare providers should be held accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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