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Often, when people go to the hospital for an acute issue, they are asked to fill out certain documents and forms prior to being admitted or treated. Many people sign such materials in haste, without thoroughly reading their terms. Such decisions can be costly, however, as hospital admission documents often contain provisions impacting patient rights in the event of a dispute or harm arising out of incompetent care. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued by a New York court in a hospital malpractice case, in which the court affirmed an order compelling the plaintiff to arbitrate a dispute with a hospital. If you were injured due to negligent care you received in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital for an unspecified concern and was admitted for treatment. Prior to her admission, she completed and signed numerous documents, including a document referred to as an admission agreement in capital letters and a document referred to as an arbitration agreement. She subsequently experienced complications due to her treatment and filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting numerous claims, including medical malpractice. The defendant moved to compel arbitration.

Compulsory Arbitration in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court granted the motion. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiff’s conflicting arguments that she did not sign the arbitration agreement or that she believed it to be the admission agreement. The court explained that the two agreements were signed at different times, and their headings were clear, removing any chance of confusion. Additionally, a forensic expert examined the arbitration agreement and determined that it did, in fact, contain her signature. Continue reading

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Generally, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case has the right to decide where to file the complaint. Defendants have the right to move for a change of venue, though, for various reasons. For example, they may be able to argue that the case should be tried in the venue in which their primary office is located. Recently, a New York court discussed venue in podiatrist malpractice cases, in a matter in which the parties disputed where the case should be heard. If you suffered harm due to incompetent treatment from a podiatrist, you might be owed damages, and you should consult a Rochester podiatry malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff sought podiatric treatment from the defendant’s ambulatory treatment center. She underwent a procedure performed by the defendant doctor. She subsequently suffered unspecified harm, which she attributed to the fact that the treatment was not rendered properly. As such, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The plaintiff resides in Westchester County, and she is treated in Westchester County.

It is alleged, however, that the plaintiff designated Bronx County as the venue of the case on the grounds that the defendant doctor, who also resides in Westchester County, had a principal office in Bronx County. The defendant moved for a change of venue, arguing his principal office was in Westchester County. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. The trial court ruling was reversed on appeal, and the defendant filed a subsequent appeal. Continue reading

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Most medical malpractice cases resolve before they reach the trial stage. If they do proceed to trial, however, the parties will typically ask a jury to assess liability and damages. In theory, juries should assess the evidence presented at trial and make a determination based on that evidence, but they do not always rule properly. Fortunately, parties who believe a jury issued a verdict that goes against the weight of the evidence have options for seeking justice. Recently, a New York court explained when setting aside a verdict is appropriate in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff argued the jury ruled improperly. If you sustained damages because of negligent medical care, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what proof you must offer to recover damages.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent visited the defendant’s doctor with complaints of a cough and chest pain. The defendant prescribed a chest x-ray, which was normal, and advised the decedent he did not appear to be suffering from a chronic or acute condition. A different doctor subsequently diagnosed the decedent with lung cancer. The decedent ultimately succumbed to the illness. The plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he violated the standard of care by failing to order a CT scan. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then appealed.

Grounds for Setting Aside a Jury Verdict

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the verdict should be set aside because it was contrary to the weight of the evidence. The court disagreed and denied her motion. The appellate court explained that a jury verdict in favor of a defendant should not be set aside as contrary to the weight of the evidence unless the evidence weighs so heavily in favor of the plaintiff that the jury could not have arrived at the verdict based on any fair interpretation of the evidence. Continue reading

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Long-term care facilities often require people to sign contracts prior to admission. Such contracts generally set forth the expectations of both parties, but they may also impact a resident’s right to pursue damages for medical malpractice. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which a court upheld an arbitration clause in a short-term admission agreement, dismissing the plaintiff’s medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to the incompetence of a medical provider, you may be owed damages, and you should speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for protecting your interests.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent was admitted to a rehabilitation and healthcare center in Pennsylvania that was owned and operated by the defendant. At the time of her admission, she signed a short-term admission agreement that, in relevant part, contained numerous provisions stating that disputes between residents and the facility and medical malpractice claims against the facility must be resolved by mediation or arbitration.

Allegedly, the decedent later passed away, after which the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants in a federal court sitting in New York, alleging medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. The defendant moved to dismiss the case, citing the mandatory arbitration provisions. The court ultimately granted the motion in part, staying the matter pending arbitration. Continue reading

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Accidents that occur in nursing homes unfortunately often cause fatal injuries. People who suffer the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a medical facilities’ staff members have the right to pursue compensation, but if they fail to prove the elements of their claims, they may be dismissed. In a recent New York case, the court issued an opinion discussing what evidence a plaintiff must offer to demonstrate that the defendant violated the standard of care or caused fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because of the carelessness of a healthcare facility, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for protecting your interests.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the decedent, who was a double amputee with end-stage kidney failure, was a resident at the defendant’s nursing home. He was confined to a wheelchair. One afternoon the decedent, who was unsupervised, fell out of his chair. He sustained a fracture of this left shoulder in the fall and two days later passed away.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical malpractice by failing to provide supervision and revise and follow the decedent’s care plan. Following discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment. Continue reading

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Many hospitals throughout New York engage staffing companies to provide physicians to offer medical services to their patients. In other words, many of the doctors who work at such hospitals are considered independent contractors rather than employees. While hospitals may be deemed vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees, they generally will not be held responsible for the incompetence of independent contractors that work for them. There are exceptions to the general rule, however, as discussed in a recent New York opinion set forth in a hospital malpractice case. If you sustained injuries due to a careless physician working in a hospital, it is in your best interest to confer with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with complaints of pain in his lower hip and back. He was seen by a nurse practitioner, who ordered a urine culture, a urine dipstick, and an abdominal x-ray. He was discharged with a diagnosis of acute cystitis and prescribed an antibiotic. Four days later, when the results of his urine culture were negative, he was advised to discontinue the medication. The defendant doctor, who was an independent contractor retained by the defendant staffing company, signed off on the documentation regarding the plaintiff’s care.

It is reported that three days later, the plaintiff began experiencing changes in his mental status. He was subsequently diagnosed with bacterial meningitis at another hospital and remained hospitalized until mid-April. He subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging, in part, that the defendant hospital was vicariously liable for the harm caused by the defendant doctor and the defendant staffing company. The plaintiff then moved for summary judgment. Continue reading

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In New York, certain medical facilities are owned and operated by the federal government. As such, medical malpractice claims against such entities must typically be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). If a plaintiff fails to abide by the notice requirements imposed by the Act, it may result in a dismissal of their claims. This was demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case filed by a pro se plaintiff. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care received in a federal facility, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer regarding what measures you must take to recover damages.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was detained at a federal facility. While there, he suffered harm due to negligent medical care. He subsequently filed numerous claims against the defendant government and other parties, including medical negligence. The court subsequently dismissed all of the claims except for medical negligence. The defendant then moved to dismiss the medical negligence claims on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to comply with the notice requirements imposed by the Act. The court granted the motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

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Expectant mothers look forward to many things prior to the births of their children, but they rarely anticipate that their babies will suffer harm at birth due to the negligence of health care providers. Children that suffer birth injuries may be owed substantial compensation, including the cost of any ongoing care or treatment they may need throughout their lives. Generally, the issue of what damages are appropriate in a birth injury case is within the purview of the jury, but if either party finds a jury’s verdict to be contrary to the weight of the evidence, they can file a motion to have it set aside. Recently, a New York court discussed the grounds for vacating a jury’s verdict on the issue of damages in a birth injury case. If your child sustained harm at birth, you might be owed damages, and you should confer with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant physician delivered the plaintiff’s baby at the defendant hospital. The infant suffered severe injuries during labor and delivery, which the plaintiff alleged was due to the defendant’s actions. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found that the defendant hospital deviated from the standard of care, but the departure did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. The jury found the defendant doctor liable, however, and awarded $10,000,000 for pain and suffering and stated the plaintiff would incur certain economic damages for 90 years. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence. The trial court reduced the verdict for pain and suffering to $3,000,000 and the time during which the plaintiff would incur certain economic damages to 45 years but otherwise denied the motion.  The defendant then appealed.

Grounds for Setting Aside a Jury’s Verdict

The appellate court explained that a verdict issued by a jury should not be set aside as against the weight of the evidence unless no fair interpretation of the evidence would support the verdict. Further, the court noted that the jury’s evaluation of the credibility of conflicting expert witnesses should be granted great weight, as the jury has the opportunity to hear and observe the experts. Continue reading

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People harmed by medical malpractice are sometimes hesitant to hire an attorney for various reasons. Medical malpractice cases are complex, however, and plaintiffs that pursue them without the assistance of an attorney often suffer adverse consequences. This was demonstrated recently in a gynecological malpractice case filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, in which the plaintiff’s complaint was dismissed due to jurisdictional defects. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care provided by a gynecologist, it is smart to consult a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options for seeking damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a pro se medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant women’s healthcare center in federal court. She subsequently filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. The court first assessed whether she qualified to proceed in forma pauperis for purposes of filing and found that she did. Next, the court reviewed the plaintiff’s complaint to determine whether it could exercise jurisdiction over the matter. The court ultimately found that it could not and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Actions

The court explained that the plaintiff failed to establish the court’s jurisdiction, and therefore, her complaint must be dismissed. Contrary to the plaintiff’s assertion that her complaint set forth a federal question, the court found that there were no questions of federal law in her allegations. The court noted that federal courts are of limited jurisdiction and do not have the authority to preside over cases absent subject matter jurisdiction. Continue reading

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A plaintiff in a New York medical malpractice case typically must produce evidence showing each element of the underlying claims in order to recover damages. As such, if a plaintiff fails to produce competent evidence, their claims may be dismissed before the case proceeds to trial via summary judgment. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion in a medical malpractice case discussing what evidence is needed to withstand summary judgment. If you sustained injuries due to the negligence of a health care provider, it is advisable to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.

The History of the Case

The opinion provided few facts regarding the plaintiff’s care and the purported harm. It is alleged, however, that the plaintiff underwent treatment at the defendant hospital. He subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant doctors, alleging that the doctors’ failure to examine him constituted malpractice. The defendants moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the trial court granted the motion. The plaintiff then appealed.

Evidence Demonstrating a Triable Issue of Fact

On appeal, the court explained that summary judgment is only appropriate in cases in which there is no true dispute with regard to a material fact, and therefore, the moving party should be granted judgment as a matter of law. While one of the core rules of civil procedure is that a trial court typically should not dismiss a matter via summary judgment based on its evaluation of the credibility of the evidence offered, there are exceptions. Continue reading

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