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Articles Posted in Birth Injury

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When people suffer harm in the course of receiving medical care, it is often due to the incompetence of their healthcare providers. Negligent healthcare providers, however, will rarely admit liability. In other words, the parties will dispute whether the medical acts in question were performed properly and, if not, whether they were the cause of the patient’s harm. Whichever party presents more compelling arguments typically prevails, but in some cases, the courts rule improvidently and dismiss a plaintiff’s medical malpractice case despite evidence that indicates they should be permitted to proceed with their claims. Recently, a New York court discussed the ground for granting summary judgment dismissal of medical malpractice claims in a case in which the plaintiff’s claims were ultimately reinstated. If you were hurt by a reckless physician, you should talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was 28 weeks pregnant, went to the defendant hospital with complaints of decreased fetal movement. The defendant’s residents examined the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital. The following morning the defendant ob-gyn examined the plaintiff’s fetal monitoring strip and recommended that the plaintiff’s care remain the same. The next day, a sonogram showed that the fetus had a weak heart rate, and the plaintiff underwent an emergency c-section.

Allegedly, the infant suffered severe brain damage due to the fact that he was deprived of oxygen before delivery. He died shortly after he was born. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants. The defendant ob-gyn moved for summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Thorough and attentive care is vital during pregnancy. Unfortunately, oversights made by careless OB-GYNs are common and often lead to adverse consequences for both expectant mothers and their unborn children. Families harmed by medical negligence can pursue claims against the parties responsible for their losses, but providers will often try to evade liability, and the matter will ultimately become a battle of the experts. Recently, a New York court explained the burden of proof imposed on each party in an OB-GYN malpractice case in which it ultimately determined the plaintiff set forth sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. If you or your child were harmed by incompetent care during your pregnancy, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should contact a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was referred to the defendant for care during her pregnancy due to the fact that she was of advanced maternal age and suffered from chronic hypertension and was therefore deemed to be high risk. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to control her blood pressure during her pregnancy despite knowing her pre-existing conditions.

Allegedly, the defendant also neglected to admit the plaintiff to the hospital when she showed signs of pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension, which ultimately resulted in a premature birth and harm to her child. As such, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims through summary judgment, but the court denied her motion. She then appealed. Continue reading

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Generally, parties in a medical malpractice case anticipate that jurors will render a fair verdict after considering the evidence presented at trial. While juries generally meet this expectation, at times, they can issue verdicts that do not comport with a fair reading of the evidence. In such instances, either party can ask the court to set aside the verdict and either issue judgment in their favor or order a new trial. Recently, a New York court evaluated when it is appropriate to grant a motion to set aside a verdict in a birth injury case in which the jury found the defendants liable for the plaintiff’s harm. If your child sustained losses at birth because of a doctor’s carelessness, it is advisable for you to contact a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate what claims you may be able to pursue.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff mother visited the hospital in the late stages of her pregnancy due to decreased fetal movement. She was examined by the defendant doctors and discharged. The next day, though, she underwent an emergency cesarean section to deliver the plaintiff son. The plaintiff son suffered numerous deficits, which the plaintiff mother asserted was because of the negligence of the defendant doctors.

Allegedly, the plaintiff mother filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant doctors, seeking damages both individually and on behalf of her son. A trial was conducted, after which the jury issued a verdict finding that the defendants were liable and granting the plaintiff damages. The defendant doctors then filed a motion asking the court to set aside a verdict and either order a new trial or issue a judgment in their favor. The court denied the motion, and the defendants appealed. Continue reading

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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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Many hospitals and care facilities throughout New York are federally funded. Typically, healthcare practitioners employed by such centers are immune from liability for medical malpractice, and a plaintiff seeking damages for the harm caused by a doctor must proceed solely against the federal government. In a recent New York opinion, a court discussed claims against doctors employed by federal facilities in a case in which the plaintiff suffered the loss of her infant at birth due to the negligence of the defendant doctor. If your child was hurt at birth, it is advisable to speak to a Rochester birth injury attorney to discuss your rights.

The Alleged Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff received care from the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital during her pregnancy. The defendant was paid directly by the hospital and also received compensation from his patients for services rendered at the hospital. The plaintiff ultimately went to the hospital to deliver her son, who tragically died at birth. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendants, arguing their negligence caused her child’s death. The defendant doctor removed the case to federal court and asked that the federal government be substituted as the defendant, arguing he was immune under federal statutes, as he was employed by a federal facility. The federal government disagreed, however, and the court sided with the government, remanding the matter to state court.

Claims Against Doctors Employed in Federal Facilities

Under the applicable law, employees of a federal medical facility are entitled to immunity. Specifically, the sole remedy for personal harm resulting from medical malpractice of a doctor acting in the scope of his employment while working for a federally funded hospital is prescribed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Pursuant to the FTCA, the law of the place governs the analysis of whether a person was working under the scope of his employment at the time of an alleged incident and is therefore entitled to immunity. As such, New York law applied in the subject case. Continue reading

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In many instances in which a patient is harmed by negligent medical care, more than one care provider will have provided the patient with inadequate treatment. Thus, it is not uncommon for multiple defendants that practice in different specialties to be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit. While the parties in a medical malpractice case generally need to retain medical experts to testify regarding the standard of care, one expert usually cannot offer an opinion as to multiple specialties. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which a mother and child both suffered injuries during the child’s birth. If you or your child sustained an injury during childbirth, it is advisable to consult an experienced Rochester birth injury attorney to discuss what evidence you must introduce to prove liability.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff mother was treated by the defendant gynecologist, who induced labor when the plaintiff was thirty-nine weeks pregnant. During the birth, the plaintiff mother and the plaintiff infant suffered unspecified injuries. Thus, the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant gynecologist, as well as the hospital, anesthesiologist, and pediatrician, and orthopedic surgeon that participated in delivering the plaintiff infant and caring for both plaintiffs after the birth. The defendants moved to have the case dismissed via summary judgment, arguing they did not breach their respective standards of care. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Sufficiency of an Expert Affidavit in a Medical Malpractice Case in New York

On appeal, the plaintiff argued in part that the defendant’s expert affidavit regarding the care provided by the anesthesiologist, pediatrician, and orthopedic surgeon lacked probative value. The appellate court agreed and reversed the trial court’s order to the extent it dismissed those defendants. Specifically, the court noted that it was true that under New York law, an expert does not have to be a specialist in a certain field in order to be able to testify competently regarding the accepted practices in that field.

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While medical malpractice lawsuits arising out of birth injuries are typically more heart wrenching than other malpractice lawsuits, the burden of proof imposed on all parties involved in a birth injury lawsuit is nonetheless the same. Specifically, the plaintiff must show harm caused by a departure from the standard of care to recover damages, and conversely, a defendant may be able to obtain a dismissal by demonstrating that he or she complied with the standard of care. In a recent birth injury case in New York, the court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence to prove a triable issue of fact, and ultimately denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. If your child suffered an injury at birth, it is critical to retain an assertive Rochester birth injury attorney to help you and your child protect your interests.

Facts Regarding the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff mother suffered from gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. She was induced at a hospital during the 39th week of her pregnancy and gave birth to the plaintiff infant, who was delivered via the use of forceps. The plaintiff infant’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck when he was born, and he was limp, floppy, and not breathing. Positive pressure ventilation was initiated, and when it did not work, the plaintiff infant was intubated. He subsequently suffered brain damage, which caused cognitive and developmental issues. The plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor that delivered the plaintiff infant and the hospital where he was delivered. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. Thus, the plaintiffs appealed.

Burdens of Proof in Birth Injury Cases

Under New York law, the elements a plaintiff must prove in a birth injury case are a deviation from the accepted standard of care in the medical community in which the defendant practices, and proof that the plaintiff’s harm was proximately caused by the deviation. In turn, a doctor that seeks to be dismissed from a birth injury case must make a prima facie showing that he or she did not deviate from the applicable standard of care or that any deviation that occurred was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. To sustain this burden of proof, the defendant must address and refute any specific allegations that are set forth in the plaintiff’s bill of particulars.

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Medical malpractice lawsuits arising out of birth injuries can be complicated and costly to try to verdict, and the outcomes of such cases can be unpredictable, even if the evidence weighs strongly in favor of the plaintiff. Thus, in many instances, it is prudent for a plaintiff to settle with the defendant prior to trial. Settlements in birth injury cases differ from settlements in other cases; however, in that a court must review and approve the proposed settlement, to protect the interests of the injured child. In a recent case, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York discussed the factors weighed in evaluating settlements in birth injury cases. If your child was injured at birth because of incompetent medical care, it is prudent to speak with a seasoned Rochester birth injury attorney to discuss what compensation you may be able to recover.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff was scheduled to deliver her child at the defendant hospital. Due to difficulties encountered during the delivery, however, she was transferred to a second hospital where she underwent an emergency C-section. Her daughter nonetheless experienced brain damage which was caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery. As such, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the doctors and nurses involved in her treatment. Discovery was conducted, and some defendants were dismissed via stipulation and ultimately, the plaintiff and the remaining defendants came to a settlement agreement. The court then held a conference to determine the fairness of the settlement to the plaintiff’s child.

Approval of Settlements in Birth Injury Cases

The court noted that Local Civil Rule 83.2 governed settlements on behalf of infants. Specifically, the rule requires a proposed settlement to include an affidavit from the infant’s representative that sets forth the facts out of which the lawsuit arose, the extent and nature of the damages suffered, the proposed terms of the settlement agreement, and the manner in which the settlement will be distributed, and any other information that is pertinent. Additionally, the attorney for the plaintiff must provide an affidavit explaining his or her reasons for recommending the settlement, and describing the services he or she rendered to the plaintiff.

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There are strict timelines for when a person may file a medical malpractice case under New York law. While there are some exceptions to the statutory time limitations, a delay in pursuing a claim may result in a waiver of the right to recover damages. This was shown by a recent birth injury case decided by a court in the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case in its entirety. If your child sustained injuries at birth due to negligent medical care, you should speak with a capable Rochester birth injury attorney regarding the claims that you may be able to set forth.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

The minor plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim against the defendant, a hospital that is a public corporation. Specifically, the plaintiff sought leave to file a medical malpractice claim arising out of injuries he alleged he suffered at birth. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss. The court granted the defendant’s motion and denied the plaintiff’s motion, after which the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Leave to Submit Late Notice of a Claim Under New York Law

Under General Municipal Law Section 50e, a plaintiff who wishes to assert a tort claim against a public corporation must provide the corporation with notice of the claim within 90 days of when the harm occurs. A plaintiff can seek leave to file late notice of a claim against a public corporation, but a court will only grant leave under certain circumstances. Specifically, the court will assess the cause of the delay and whether the delay caused substantial prejudice to the defendant.

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Generally, a party alleging obstetric malpractice is entitled to the disclosure of any facts and information that is necessary and material to pursue a lawsuit. While the policy typically favors liberal discovery, there are some privileges that provide exceptions to the general rule. For example, Education Law § 6537(3) protects certain information produced by a hospital performing a medical malpractice or quality assurance review. Recently, a New York appellate court analyzed the discrete issue of whether a defendant in an obstetric malpractice lawsuit can be compelled to testify regarding statements made by another defendant in a meeting protected by § 6537(3). If your child suffered injuries at birth because of insufficient obstetric care, it is essential to engage a seasoned Rochester obstetric malpractice attorney regarding the care that led to your child’s harm and what evidence you may be able to obtain to support your claim.

Testimony Regarding the Plaintiff’s Care

It is alleged that the plaintiff mother was admitted to the defendant hospital for induction of labor. The plaintiff infant was delivered via an emergency cesarean section later the same day. The plaintiffs allege that due to obstetric malpractice during the course of labor and delivery the plaintiff infant suffered permanent and severe injuries, including brain damage. The plaintiffs brought an obstetric malpractice lawsuit against the defendant nurse, defendant doctor, and defendant hospital.

Reportedly, during the deposition of the defendant nurse, the plaintiffs’ attorney questioned the defendant nurse regarding what the defendant doctor stated during the subsequent quality assurance meeting to review the events that transpired during the plaintiff infant’s birth. The defendants’ attorney objected to the question on the grounds that the information was protected by Education Law § 6537(3). The plaintiffs then filed a motion to compel the defendant nurse to testify regarding the meeting.
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