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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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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread harm, and many people who contract the virus suffer incomprehensible losses. While there are numerous federal laws that protect health care providers from liability for COVID-19 related treatment of patients, they do not altogether preclude injured parties from pursuing medical malpractice claims. Nor do they require that such claims must be pursued in federal courts, as discussed in a recent New York opinion. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent care in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is smart to consult a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer to assess your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s wife was a patient at the defendant hospital in the Spring of 2020. During her admission, she was not tested for COVID-19, even though one of her doctors requested that she be tested. She subsequently suffered a pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, and clotting, which ultimately caused her to suffer permanent brain damage and paralysis. The plaintiff, acting as his wife’s guardian, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that it was grossly negligent for recklessly failing to test her for COVID-19 or diagnose and treat her pulmonary embolism in a timely manner. The defendant moved the case to federal court on the basis of federal preemption under the PREP Act. The plaintiff then filed a motion asking the court to remand the case back to state court.

Preemption of State Law Claims by the PREP Act

The court ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff and remanded the matter back to state court. The court noted that the PREP Act, which was enacted in 2005, grants frontline healthcare workers immunity from liability during public health crises. Specifically, the Act provides that covered people are immune from liability with respect to claims or losses arising out of the administration of a covered countermeasure if the Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued a declaration with regard to such countermeasure. The PREP Act expressly preempts state laws that conflict with its provisions. Continue reading

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Generally, plaintiffs have the right to choose the forum in which they wish to pursue their medical malpractice claims. There are limitations to the plaintiff’s right to designate where a case should be heard, however, and if a court lacks jurisdiction over a matter, the plaintiff cannot demand that it preside over a case. This general rule was illustrated in a recent New York opinion in which the court affirmed the dismissal of a plaintiff’s surgical malpractice case due to lack of jurisdiction. If you suffered harm because of a negligently performed surgery, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

The Procedural History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant health center and other parties, alleging he suffered harm due to complications arising out of a surgical repair of an inguinal hernia. He voluntarily dismissed his claims via the other parties via stipulation. The defendant health center filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, and the matter was referred to a magistrate judge who issued a report and recommendation that the court grants the defendant’s motion. The court adopted the report and recommendation and granted the motion. The plaintiff then filed a motion for reconsideration.

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It is not uncommon for people who are frustrated by the level of medical care they receive in federal institutions to represent themselves in medical malpractice claims against their providers. While people have the right to pursue such claims without the assistance of attorneys, they are bound by the same pleading requirements as other parties. Specifically, they must set forth allegations that, on their face, demonstrate a right to recover damages. If they fail to do so, it may result in a dismissal of their claims, as illustrated in a recent New York opinion. If you were harmed by incompetent health care, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to pursue claims against your provider.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff is housed in a federal facility. In October 2017, he visited the facility’s medical center with complaints of pain in his left testicle. The defendant doctor prescribed a CT scan that required the plaintiff to ingest liquids prior to the test. He was administered liquids intravenously during the test as well. Plaintiff never received the results of the test and or a diagnosis for the pain in his left testicle.

Allegedly, the plaintiff began to experience symptoms of radiation sickness as well, such as hair loss, pain, and deteriorating teeth. Additionally, his speech was slurred, his tongue was swollen and purple, and he began to experience mental distress. Thus, he filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant, alleging, in part, that the defendant committed medical malpractice. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Upon review, the court granted the motion. Continue reading

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Many hospitals and medical facilities in New York are owned or operated by public corporations. While parties injured by medical negligence can pursue malpractice claims against such establishments, they must comply with certain pleading requirements. For example, they must provide notice of their potential claims to the public corporation or municipality within a relatively short time after their harm arises. In a recent ruling issued in a surgical malpractice case, a New York court discussed what constitutes adequate notice of a possible claim. If you suffered harm due to a negligently performed surgery, you might be able to recover compensation, and it is wise to speak to a Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

It is reported that the plaintiff was admitted to a hospital owned by the defendant public benefit corporation from May through September 2016. During her admission, she underwent numerous surgical procedures that ultimately resulted in the amputation of her right leg. She then initiated a  medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for her losses. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that she failed to provide them with the notice required under General Municipal Law 50-e. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Notice Required in New York Medical Malpractice Claims Against Public Corporations

Pursuant to General Municipal Law 50-e, it is a condition precedent that a party that wishes to pursue tort claims against a public benefit corporation or municipality must provide adequate and timely notice of the claims. Specifically, the injured party must advise the municipality or public corporation of the time, place, and manner in which the claim arose and must set forth the nature of the claim. Continue reading

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In New York, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will typically rely on expert testimony to prove the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s harm. Only certain people are qualified to testify as experts, though. Further, even if experts possess the required qualifications, they may nonetheless be barred from testifying if their opinions are not based on facts or reliable science. In a recent opinion, a New York court discussed when an expert should be permitted to testify in a case in which the plaintiff asserted she suffered harm due to a negligently performed C-section. If you suffered harm during the birth of your child, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a Rochester OB-GYN malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff gave birth to her son via C-section. Shortly thereafter, she showed signs of perforated bowels. The defendant performed a surgical diagnosis and repair of the perforation, and the plaintiff was discharged from the hospital eight days later. She had a follow-up appointment with the defendant a few weeks later and was scheduled to meet with him again in two weeks. Twelve days after her follow-up, though, she collapsed and was taken to the hospital, where she was found to be in septic shock. She underwent additional surgeries to treat the infection.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Prior to trial, the court ruled in the defendant’s favor on certain evidentiary matters, including a ruling that prohibited the plaintiff’s expert from testifying at trial on the grounds his testimony was speculative. The jury ruled in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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