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Articles Posted in Birth Injury

In New York medical malpractice cases, each party bears a significant burden of proof. If either party fails to offer evidence sufficient to meet their burden, the court may rule in their opponent’s favor. In a recent opinion, a New York court explained each party’s evidentiary burden in medical malpractice cases. If your child suffered injuries due to the carelessness of a doctor, you could be owed damages, and you should talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer.

Case Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against her obstetrician asserting medical malpractice and wrongful death claims following the delivery of her infant, who was stillborn, in May 2016. The defendant moved for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint against him. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and he appealed.

The Evidentiary Burdens in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that in order to succeed in a motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case, the defendant must establish a prima facie case by demonstrating either that there was no deviation from the accepted medical practice or that any deviation did not proximately cause the patient’s injuries. Once the defendant meets this prima facie burden, the plaintiff is then required to show the existence of triable issues of fact on the matters in question. Continue Reading ›

Expert testimony is a key component of New York medical malpractice lawsuits, and the strength of an expert’s opinion can make or break a plaintiff’s case. A plaintiff must provide the defendant with information regarding their expert and the expert’s proposed testimony prior to trial, however, to allow the defendant to formulate rebuttal testimony. If the plaintiff refuses to do so, they could face significant sanctions, as illustrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a birth injury case. If your child suffered harm at birth due to the negligence of a physician, it is in your best interest to meet with a Rochester birth injury attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that in April 2018, the plaintiff initiated a birth injury lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that medical malpractice committed by the defendant’s staff during her daughter’s birth in 2017 caused her to suffer permanent harm. The defendant answered the plaintiff’s complaint and, in May 2018, requested a bill of particulars. The parties then proceeded to go through several exchanges during which the defendant sought further particulars and expert disclosures and was ultimately dissatisfied by the alleged lack of detail and substance in the plaintiff’s responses.

Allegedly, the defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert testimony and evidence, and the court granted its motion, finding the plaintiff’s counsel’s conduct to be willful and contumacious. The court subsequently granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the complaint. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

Many medical facilities in New York are public corporations. They bear the same obligations to their patients as private facilities, however, and if they breach their obligations, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. There are additional procedural requirements imposed on plaintiffs pursuing claims against public corporations, though, and if they fail to abide by them, it may result in the dismissal of their claims. In some instances, though, the court will excuse such oversights, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you were injured by the recklessness of a physician, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your possible claims.

Case History

It is reported that the plaintiff gave birth to her child at the defendant’s hospital. Shortly after his birth, the child was diagnosed with Erbs palsy. Further, the plaintiff was directed to follow up with a neurologist due to the fact that the child had a brachial plexus injury caused by birth trauma, demonstrated by asymmetric Moro reflex and decreased movement of the right arm, and suspected right brachial plexus palsy.

Allegedly, the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint due to late notice. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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.

Continue Reading ›

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.

Continue Reading ›

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