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In medical malpractice cases, expert opinions are not only needed to establish the standard of care but also to causally link the defendant’s breach of the standard to the plaintiff’s harm or demonstrate that the defendant complied with the standard and should not be held liable for any losses the plaintiff suffered. As such, such cases typically hinge on the persuasiveness of each party’s medical expert and it is not uncommon for one party to attempt to prevent the other party’s expert from testifying.  Specifically, parties often file motions asking the court to preclude experts from opining on certain issues or arguing an expert is unqualified or used unreliable methods to draw his or her conclusions. If such a motion fails, however, the aggrieved party likely has no recourse, as demonstrated in a ruling recently issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you were injured by an incompetent doctor, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your possible claims.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered harm due to complications that arose following a spinal surgery. As such, he filed a lawsuit against numerous defendants, seeking compensation for medical malpractice. At the close of discovery, the defendants filed a motion in limine asking the court to preclude the plaintiff’s experts from testifying on the issue of medical causation. Continue reading

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Ophthalmologists generally provide routine care, but they are expected to be able to diagnose and treat serious eye issues as well. As such, if they fail to diagnose an illness in a timely manner, it can lead to permanent vision issues and may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. As with any malpractice matter, though, a plaintiff must prove each element of the underlying claim, including the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. Recently, a New York court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must produce to establish the existence of a patient-physician relationship in a matter arising out of alleged ophthalmology malpractice. If you were harmed by a negligent eye doctor, it is smart to speak to a Rochester ophthalmology malpractice attorney regarding your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff visited a hospital due to eye issues and was sent to the defendant practice, where she was seen by the defendant ophthalmologist, who diagnosed her with optic neuritis, among other things. She was given eye drops and advised to follow up with the hospital. At a later visit with the defendant ophthalmologist, it was recommended that she obtain an evaluation with the defendant specialist.

Allegedly, a receptionist at the defendant practice called and scheduled an appointment with the defendant specialist, which the plaintiff later rescheduled. Prior to the appointment, however, she was diagnosed with bilateral acute retinal necrosis and hospitalized for seventeen days. The defendant specialist moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that he had no patient-doctor relationship with the plaintiff. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Federal law does not require parties pursuing medical malpractice claims to include evidence in their initial pleadings. It does, however, require them to set forth factual assertions that are sufficient to inform defendants of the claims against them so that they may properly prepare defenses. Plaintiffs that fail to meet this burden may face the dismissal of their claims. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in which the court terminated the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims due to the vagueness of her allegations. If you were injured while being treated in a hospital, it is smart to meet with a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant doctor due to a neck injury. The complaint sounded in medical malpractice, alleging the defendants failed to provide the plaintiff with x-rays and caused her pain and suffering. The complaint alluded to paralysis and included other indiscernible allegations. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it failed to comply with the pleading standards established by the federal rules of civil procedure. The court agreed and granted the motion.

Pleading Standards in Medical Malpractice Claims

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 establishes the requirements for stating claims. In other words, a pleading setting forth a claim for relief must contain a statement of the basis for the court’s jurisdiction, a plain and short statement of the claim demonstrating that the pleader should be granted relief, and a demand for the relief sought. Continue reading

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Although it is common for a plaintiff pursuing a medical malpractice case in New York to assert that the defendant acted negligently, there are significant differences between ordinary negligence and medical malpractice claims. Thus, if plaintiffs fail to produce the evidence needed to support malpractice claims, it could adversely impact their cases. A New York appellate court recently discussed the differences between ordinary negligence and malpractice in an opinion issued in a hospital malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to incompetent care you received in a hospital, it is prudent to speak to a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer to evaluate your potential causes of action.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with symptoms of a stroke. Diagnostic testing revealed she did, in fact, suffer a stroke, and she was prescribed a medication which was to be administered via infusion, with 10% dispensed over the first minute and the remaining 90% over the next hour. The nursing administered the medication improperly programmed the machine, however, to administer 10% per minute for the first eleven minutes. The mistake was discovered and rectified after about three minutes. The plaintiff began exhibiting signs of distress shortly thereafter, however, and the following day testing revealed she still had clots in her brain.

It is reported that the plaintiff ultimately suffered aphasia and diminished comprehension.  She filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it was liable for both medical malpractice and ordinary negligence. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court denied the motion. The defendant then appealed. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice matters, the plaintiff will typically rely, in part, on treatment records to show that the defendant failed to provide competent care. Thus, if a defendant fails to retain medical records, imaging, or other documents relating to the plaintiff’s care, it could adversely impact the plaintiff’s ability to establish fault. Further, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a surgical malpractice case, in certain circumstances, the spoliation of evidence may be a basis for imposing sanctions.  If you were injured by a negligently performed procedure, you could be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility, where he was treated for swelling and pain in his left leg by the defendant doctors. The defendant doctors performed a venogram and diagnosed the plaintiff with deep vein thrombosis. He was admitted to the defendant hospital, where he was treated with numerous medications, including blood thinners and anticoagulants. During his admission, he suffered a brain hemorrhage which rendered him permanently paralyzed on the left side of his body.

It is reported that the plaintiff instituted a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. During discovery, he sought records from the defendants, including imaging from the venogram. The defendants responded they did not have the images and subsequently moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion in which he sought sanctions against the defendants for spoliation of evidence. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion and denied the plaintiff’s request for sanctions, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove not only that the defendant was negligent but also that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, simply demonstrating that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care is not sufficient to present a successful malpractice case. This was illustrated by a recent New York ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case in which the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed due to her inability to prove causation. If you suffered losses due to inadequate care in a hospital setting, it is prudent to confer with a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, the decedent visited a hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was admitted and discharged after three days, with the direction to visit an emergency department if his chest pain returned or worsened. Thirteen days later, he visited a second hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was evaluated by the defendant physician but the defendant did not order a cardiology consultation. The defendant decided to send the decedent home rather than admit him to the hospital. Approximately three weeks later, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died shortly thereafter.

It is reported that the plaintiff, the decedent’s wife, filed a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that she was negligent in failing to order a cardiology consultation, and her negligence caused the decedent’s death. A jury ultimately found that while the defendant departed from the standard of care, her negligence was not the cause of the decedent’s death. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Few medical malpractice cases are actually tried to a verdict. Some settle before they reach the trial stage, while others are decided via summary judgment. In other words, parties will often try to get the court to rule in their favor as a matter of law once discovery is complete. Obtaining a summary judgment ruling can be difficult, however, as often the evidence demonstrates that there are factual disputes. Recently, a New York court set forth a ruling describing the grounds for granting summary judgment in a malpractice case, in a matter in which the plaintiff filed claims against his cardiologist. If you were hurt by a negligent heart doctor, it is prudent to meet with a Rochester cardiology malpractice lawyer to evaluate your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he committed medical malpractice by failing to diagnose his infectious endocarditis, which in turn allowed vegetation to develop on his aortic valve, leading to an embolism and stroke. After discovery was completed, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he departed from the standard of care or that any departure caused the plaintiff’s harm. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Claims

In order to demonstrate that a physician should be held liable for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must show that the physician departed from the standard of care imposed on providers in the community and that such a departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. As such, a defendant moving for dismissal via summary judgment must show that there are no material factual disputes. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice lawsuits often are reduced to a battle between the experts. In other words, whether a defendant is deemed liable for medical negligence typically depends on which expert’s testimony the judge or jury finds more compelling. In some instances, however, the parties are denied the chance to present their expert opinions to the jury, as their cases are dismissed via summary judgment.

As a persuasive expert report is necessary to obtain a favorable outcome, it is also required to survive a defendant’s motion for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, and where a plaintiff’s expert report demonstrates there are factual issues that must be resolved via a trial a court will deny a motion for summary judgment. This was explained in a recent New York opinion in a case arising out of hospital malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to negligent care rendered in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what damages you may be able to recover.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent underwent surgery at the defendant hospital. During the procedure, a doctor that worked for the defendant catheterized the decedent. At some point during his admission, a nurse employed an improper method to change the catheter, causing the decedent to suffer harm to his prostate and urethra, which led to hemorrhaging and other damages. Continue reading

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Most forms of treatment, including surgical procedures, carry some degree of risk. As such, a doctor must advise a patient of the potential adverse consequences of a treatment prior to administering it so that the plaintiff can make an intelligent and informed decision as to whether to proceed. If a doctor fails to do so, and a patient suffers harm because of the care provided, the physician may be liable for the failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent. In a recent New York opinion, the court explained the burden of proof of each party in an informed consent claim in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that his urologist committed malpractice. If you were harmed by a negligent urologist, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was referred to the defendant urologist due to an elevated level of prostate-specific antigen. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo a biopsy of his prostate, to which the plaintiff agreed. After the procedure, the plaintiff began bleeding from his rectum. He notified the defendant, who advised the bleeding was normal.

Allegedly, the bleeding would not subside, and the plaintiff was transported to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to repair a laceration caused by the biopsy and was given a blood transfusion. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claims. After the completion of discovery, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice claims, like most causes of action, are subject to a statute of limitations. In other words, if a person injured by a reckless health care provider fails to pursue damages within the time permitted by the law, it may result in the waiver of the right to compensation. Recently, a New York court discussed the statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice claims against first responders. If you suffered harm due to the incompetence of a medical provider, you should consult a knowledgeable Rochester medical malpractice lawyer promptly to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent suffered from an acute medical issue that required emergency medical care. He was tended to by the defendant first responders, who transported her to the emergency room of the defendant hospital. The efforts at treatment were unsuccessful, and he ultimately died from complications related to his care. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. Following the completion of discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases in New York

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling on the grounds that all of the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred. The court noted that her wrongful death claim was subject to a two-year statute of limitation, which expired prior to the filing of the complaint. Her medical malpractice claims, which were subject to a two-and-a-half-year statute of limitations, expired as well. Continue reading

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