People harmed by incompetent medical care often pursue damages via malpractice claims, but not all harm suffered by patients necessarily constitutes grounds for a lawsuit. To avoid frivolous cases, plaintiffs must meet certain pleading requirements to establish the validity of their claims, and if they do not, their cases may be adversely impacted. The potential consequences of failing to abide by procedural rules were demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in a hospital malpractice case in which the court ultimately permitted the plaintiff to proceed despite pleading errors. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent care in a hospital, it is in your best interest to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney about your options.
The Procedural History
It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent, who had a history of mental illness, climbed to the edge of the roof of his building with the intent of ending his life via suicide. Police officers encouraged him to come down and transported him to the defendant hospital. He was discharged the following day, and one day after that, he died due to suicide. The plaintiff, the decedent’s mother, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing their negligent failure to treat the decedent led to his death.
Allegedly, instead of attaching a certificate of merit to the complaint as required under the New York rules of procedure, the plaintiff’s attorney filed a certificate of counsel stating he was unable to consult a doctor prior to filing a complaint. The plaintiff then failed to file a certificate of merit within 90 days but moved to seek to leave to file a late notice of a claim two years later, at which point the defendant filed a motion to dismiss. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading