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New York Court Discusses Pursuing Damages for Medical Malpractice Committed by Federal Employees

Delays in obtaining an accurate diagnosis can have grave consequences. As such, doctors who carelessness neglect to provide their patients with a timely diagnosis should be held accountable. A plaintiff harmed by a doctor’s inattentive care can often recover damages for medical malpractice, but if the doctor was a federal employee, the plaintiff must provide adequate notice of the claim prior to filing a lawsuit. The obligations imposed on plaintiffs pursuing claims against medical professionals that are government employees were the topic of a recent opinion issued in a New York primary care malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of your primary care physician, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff complained of painful urination, foul-smelling urine, and other urological symptoms to the defendant primary care physician on numerous occasions. At the time he was experiencing symptoms, the plaintiff was living in a federal facility, and the defendant physician was a federal employee. Despite his complaints, the defendant did not perform a urine culture or refer the plaintiff to a specialist. When he ultimately went to a specialist a year and a half later, he was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer.

It is alleged that the cancer then spread to his spine, causing him to be paraplegic. He subsequently filed medical malpractice claims against the defendant physician and negligent hiring claims against the defendant facility, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). The defendants then moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

Pursuing Damages for Medical Malpractice Committed by Federal Employees

In support of their motion, the defendants argued that the plaintiff’s claims must be dismissed due to his failure to exhaust his administrative remedies as demanded by the Act. The court explained that the Act provides a limited waiver of the United States’ sovereign immunity. In other words, it allows a person to sue for injuries caused by the negligence of a government employee working within the scope of their employment.

The Act requires, though, that prior to filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff present their claim to the correct federal agency. Further, the agency must deny the claim, either in writing by failing to make a decision within six months of when the claim is filed. In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff exhausted his administrative claims with regard to the medical malpractice claims, but not as to the remaining claims. Thus, it granted the defendants’ motion in part.

Speak to a Proficient Syracuse Lawyer

Painful urination is often a sign of a serious condition, and if it is not diagnosed promptly, it can lead to lasting injuries. If you were hurt by an incompetent primary care physician, you may be able to assert claims for primary care malpractice,and you should speak to an attorney. The Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your options for pursuing compensation and assist you in pursuing a just outcome. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.





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