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New York Court Upholds Dismissal of Malpractice Claim As Untimely

When it comes to personal injury and wrongful death litigation, time is of the essence. If a New York medical malpractice lawsuit is not filed on within the statute of limitations, it has very little chance of ever being considered upon its merits.

There may be other deadlines that require strict compliance, as well. Taking too long to seek legal redress can result in a summary dismissal of a case that might otherwise have been very winnable – and worth a substantial sum of money to a malpractice victim and his or her family – had it been timely filed.

For this reason, it is extremely important that anyone who believes he or she has been suffered harm due to medical negligence seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against the defendant pharmaceuticals company and others in the Supreme Court of New York County. After filing the original complaint, the plaintiff sought leave to file and serve a late notice of claim on two additional defendants (a city and a health and hospital corporation), seeking compensation for ocular injuries she allegedly suffered due to the defendants’ negligence.

Thereafter, one of original defendants (a medical doctor) filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint against her due to the plaintiff’s alleged failure to file and serve a notice of claim before filing suit and/or for failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitations.

The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and granted the defendant’s motion.

The Court’s Decision on Appeal

The Appellate Division, First Department of New York affirmed the lower court’s order denying the plaintiff’s motion to file claims against the additional, would-be defendants. The court also affirmed the lower tribunal’s granting of the defendant doctor’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint as untimely.

According to the appellate court, the plaintiff had not established that the statute of limitations should be tolled with regard to her medical malpractice claim against the defendant doctor, even though the plaintiff argued that the continuous treatment doctrine excepted her case from the usual time for filing suit for medical negligence.

According to the court, the plaintiff’s untimely claim on the city and hospital corporation was correctly denied because it was not made within the one year and 90-day period after the accrual of her cause of action. The court also noted that the defendant doctor was an employee of the hospital corporation at all relevant times, such that the complaint against her was correctly dismissed.

Talk to a Lawyer About a Syracuse Malpractice Case

If you have questions about a possible medical malpractice in Syracuse or elsewhere in upstate New York, the personal injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP, can help you understand both your legal rights and your procedural responsibilities as you go about seeking financial compensation for your pain and suffering, lost income, and medical costs caused by a doctor or other healthcare provider’s failure to abide by the applicable standard of care. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us at 315-479-9000.

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