Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
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Many state-owned and operated facilities house individuals on a short-term or long-term basis. It is not uncommon for people confined in such facilities to require medical care, and if their requests are denied or the care is incompetently rendered, it can cause serious harm. As such, people injured by negligent treatment offered in state facilities may have grounds to pursue medical malpractice claims. They must follow the proper procedure for pursuing such claims, though, as the failure to do so may result in a dismissal, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York court. If you sustained losses because of the incompetence of a health care provider, it is wise to confer with a trusted Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your avenues for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that in June 2019, the plaintiff was being transported to a facility owned and operated by the state when he was attacked by another individual. Immediately after arriving at the facility, the plaintiff requested medical care for the injuries obtained in the assault. His request was declined, however. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the state, asserting numerous claims arising out of his attack and subsequent denial of medical treatment, including medical malpractice claims.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was not represented by an attorney. The state moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds they were barred by the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution. After reviewing the pleadings, the court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading

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Many people who require medical tests or procedures use insurance to pay for the services they receive. While insurance companies often conduct reviews to determine if care is necessary, they do not provide medical care. Thus, as discussed in a recent opinion issued in a New York case, they generally cannot be held liable for medical malpractice. If you suffered harm due to negligently rendered medical care, it is in your best interest to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited her doctor in November 2018 with complaints of pain in her right hip. She underwent physical therapy for several weeks, but her symptoms did not improve. Her doctor then referred her to an orthopedic surgeon, who ordered an MRI. The surgeon sought pre-authorization for the MRI from the defendant, the plaintiff’s insurance provider. The defendant denied the request for pre-authorization after a doctor reviewing the plaintiff’s request, and health history determined that she failed to show that the MRI was medically necessary.

Reportedly, the defendant elaborated that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that she failed to improve following a six-week regimen of rest, physical therapy, and medication, despite that she had completed the course of physical therapy and pain medication recommended by her doctor. The doctor appealed, and after several weeks the MRI was approved. The plaintiff underwent an MRI, which revealed cancer in her right hip. Her leg was amputated, and her treating doctor advised if she presented a month earlier, her leg could have been saved. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting numerous claims, including medical malpractice. The defendant moved for dismissal. Continue reading

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When catastrophic accidents cause multiple fatalities, it is not uncommon for surviving family members to seek to recover damages from the parties that caused or contributed to the accident. Simply showing that a tragedy occurred is not sufficient to establish fault, though. Instead, plaintiffs pursuing claims following deadly collisions must show that defendant owed the deceased parties a duty of care, and the breach of the duty is what lead to their deaths, as discussed in a recent New York opinion arising out of a fatal limousine crash. If you lost a loved one in a car accident, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, in October 2018, a tragic collision caused the death of twenty people. The accident occurred when the brake system of a stretch limousine failed, and the limousine crashed into the parking lot of a restaurant. The driver, seventeen passengers, and two people standing in the parking lot lost their lives. The plaintiffs, representatives of the estates of the deceased individuals, filed a lawsuit against multiple parties, including the chauffeur company that owned the limousine and the auto body shop that regularly performed repairs on it. The auto body shop moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of negligence and grossly negligent conduct, arguing the plaintiffs could not establish it owed a duty to the decedents. Upon review, the court denied the auto body shop’s motion.

Establishing Liability for Negligence and Grossly Negligent Conduct

Pursuant to New York law, a court evaluating a defendant’s motion to dismiss must accept plaintiffs’ assertions as true and grant them every possible inference. The court’s duty is not to determine whether plaintiffs can ultimately prove their claims but instead whether they have stated a cause of action. Continue reading

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In many cases arising out of car accidents, the defendant will argue that the plaintiff was at fault for the collision and, therefore, should not be awarded damages. While comparative negligence is a valid defense and can diminish or preclude a plaintiff’s recovery of compensation, mere allegations that a plaintiff’s carelessness causes a crash is insufficient to establish fault. This was shown in a recent New York opinion issued in a case arising out of a rear-end collision. If you were hurt in an automobile accident, it is wise to consult a Syracuse personal injury attorney to evaluate what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s car was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by the defendant driver, who was working for the defendant company at the time of the crash. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused her to suffer harm. In the defendants’ answer to the complaint, they asserted an affirmative defense of comparative negligence.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a motion asking for summary judgment on the issue of liability and for the dismissal of the comparative negligence defense. The court dismissed the motion as premature, and the plaintiff appealed.   Continue reading

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In medical malpractice matters, the evidentiary burden shifts between the parties. Specifically, the plaintiff must allege with particularity the manner in which the defendant departed from the standard of care, after which the burden is on the defendant to set forth an expert affidavit refuting each of the plaintiff’s allegations. The burden then shifts back to the plaintiff, who must provide an expert affirmation addressing each of the defendant’s contentions. If the plaintiff’s expert does not opine on each of the defendant’s expert’s contentions, though, it is likely the plaintiff’s claim will be dismissed, as shown in a recent New York ruling issued in an orthopedic malpractice case. If you were injured by a negligent orthopedist, you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent knee surgery in 1999 that was performed by a doctor other than the defendant. The procedure required screws and other hardware to be placed in the plaintiff’s knee.  Following the surgery, he had progressively worsening knee pain, which he reported to the defendant. The plaintiff required multiple subsequent procedures to remove the hardware in his knee, which were performed by the defendant.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then underwent a total knee replacement, during which the defendant noted that a screw from an earlier surgery was lodged in a bone and was inaccessible, and therefore, could not be removed. The screw ultimately became infected, and the plaintiff had to undergo numerous additional surgeries to address the infection. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the failure to remove the screw constituted negligence. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue reading

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While most medical malpractice cases arise out of the failure to provide patients with treatment that complies with the applicable standard, some allege that the defendant violated the duties owed to the plaintiff by failing to adequately explain the risks associated with a treatment prior to prescribing it to the plaintiff. As with other cases arising out of medical negligence, a plaintiff alleging harm due to lack of informed consent must set forth evidence in the form of an expert report that demonstrates that the defendant should be held accountable for the harm the plaintiff suffered. Plaintiffs that fail to meet this burden may have their claims dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent dermatology malpractice case in which a New York court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to insufficient evidence of the defendant’s liability. If you suffered harm due to a careless dermatologist, you should confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff sought treatment from the defendant for male pattern baldness. He was prescribed and used a topical ointment, after which he subsequently developed post-finasteride syndrome, which consists of numerous irreversible sexual, physical, neurological, and mental health issues. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the defendant failed to obtain the plaintiff’s informed consent prior to prescribing the ointment. After discovery was completed, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Expert Reports in Lack of Informed Consent Claims

In a case arising out of the alleged lack of informed consent, a defendant moving for summary judgment must establish, prima facie, that it did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine in prescribing a treatment. In the subject case, the appellate court noted that the defendant’s expert explained that the information the defendant provided to the plaintiff prior to prescribing the ointment regarding the potential side effects, including post-finasteride syndrome, went above and beyond the applicable standard of care. Continue reading

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Under New York law, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical negligence must prove that the treating provider deviated from the standard of care that is accepted in the relevant community. Even if a plaintiff meets this burden, he or she may be denied the right to recover damages, however, unless it is also established that the breach of the duty owed caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable harm. The consequence of the failure to demonstrate causation was the topic of a recent opinion issued by a New York court, in a matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s malpractice claims against a hospital. If you were harmed by a careless physician, you might be owed compensation, and it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and shortness of breath. During his admission, he fell while standing to answer a telephone and fractured his cervical spine. He underwent surgery to repair the fracture but suffered complications and had to be placed on a ventilator. He was taken off of life support and died a short time later.

The plaintiffs, representatives of the decedent’s estate, filed medical malpractice claims against the defendant, alleging it failed to determine that the decedent was at an increased risk for falls and to take appropriate measures to prevent him from falling. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the court granted its motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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Under New York law, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises so that they are safe for all legal entrants. When property owners fail to uphold this obligation, it often leads to dangerous conditions, and people hurt in accidents caused by such hazards may be able to recover damages via premises liability lawsuits. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion discussing what a plaintiff must prove to establish that a property owner should be held liable for harm suffered in a slip and fall accident caused by a known hazard. If you were hurt in a fall on someone else’s property, you should speak to a trusted Syracuse slip and fall accident attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was an adult camper at a camp owned by the defendants. The camp, which was for developmentally disabled adults, had a path that ran behind the dining hall. When the plaintiff was walking on the path one evening, he slipped and fell down an embankment and sustained injuries. The path was bordered by a strip of grass, which was wet from evening dew at the time of the fall, and did not have a railing.

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s mother filed a lawsuit against the defendant on behalf of the plaintiff, alleging negligence claims. The plaintiff could not offer testimony as to the circumstances that led to the fall due to his disabilities. Thus, the defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff could not establish how the fall occurred. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Car accidents are a common occurrence in Syracuse, and while they happen with regularity, that does not mean they are not preventable. Rather, most collisions are brought about by the careless driving of one or more people involved in the crash. While typically, issues of negligence must be decided by a jury, in cases in which liability is clear, plaintiffs may be granted judgment as a matter of law. In a recent opinion, a New York court discussed the standard for granting summary judgment in a car accident case in which it ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff. If you were injured in an accident, you should confer with a Syracuse car accident attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Subject Collision

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered substantial injuries in an accident that occurred when the car she was driving was struck by a car driven by the defendant. The crash happened at an intersection that was governed by a traffic light. The plaintiff proceeded through the intersection as the light was in her favor when she was hit by the defendant, who ran the red light. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for her damages. After discovery closed, she moved for summary judgment, but the court denied her motion. She then appealed.

Proving Negligence as a Matter of Law in a Car Crash Case

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. The court explained that if a plaintiff in a case alleging negligence moves for summary judgment, he or she must then prove, prima facie, that the defendant violated a duty owed to the plaintiff and that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries. Further, the court noted that a plaintiff does not have to demonstrate that he or she was not comparatively negligent in order for the court to grant summary judgment. Continue reading

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Usually, when someone is hurt at work, they are limited to the benefits available to them under the applicable workers’ compensation laws. Occasionally, however, the facts are such that a separate case, such as a Syracuse automobile accident lawsuit, might be possible, as well.

For example, if someone is hurt in a car accident while on the job, the injured individual might be able to seek compensation from a negligent motorist who caused the crash. It should be noted that the injured person might have to repay some of the money that he or she received in workers’ compensation benefits.

Facts of the Case

In a case appealed from the Supreme Court of Kings County, the plaintiff was a police officer who was involved in a traffic accident which he alleged was caused by the defendant motorist. At the time of the crash, the plaintiff was responding to another officer’s request for assistance in what the plaintiff believed was an emergency situation. The plaintiff’s lights, sirens, and rumbler were activated at the time of the collision, which occurred when the defendant failed to pull over as the plaintiff’s cruiser approached as required under the law and, instead, turned left and drove directly into the police vehicle.

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