New York anesthesia error cases are disconcertingly common. They arise from a variety of fact patterns, including the administration of too much or too little of an anesthetic, a delay in delivering anesthesia, or a failure to provide proper instructions to a patient before administering anesthesia. The effect on a patient of an anesthesia error could be discomfort, injury, or death.
When a woman died after experiencing heart problems following treatment in a hospital, her husband filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. Prior to commencing the lawsuit, the husband requested medical records related to his wife’s procedure. The doctors and hospital allegedly complied with some of the requests, but other doctors, including the anesthesiologist, required that the husband submit an affidavit to obtain the records.
Her husband wanted to begin depositions in order to make findings as to his wife’s heart rate and oxygen saturation levels before bradycardia occurred. The husband served a notice to the anesthesiologist for a deposition, but the anesthesiologist and his counsel requested that it be postponed. Instead of rescheduling, the husband filed a motion to compel the deposition. The husband argued that the anesthesiologist’s tactics obstructed the deposition. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit against the anesthesiologist because the husband had failed to provide an expert’s statement justifying his claims, known as an affidavit of merit in that jurisdiction, finding that he didn’t make a required written request for the medical records he needed from the anesthesiologist.