Articles Posted in Gynecologic Malpractice

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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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Medical malpractice cases are very fact-specific, and demonstrating liability requires an intricate understanding of the law and applicable medical standards. As such, even if it seems that a doctor clearly caused a patient to suffer harm, the patient must produce competent expert evidence to support their claims, otherwise, they may be dismissed. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling set forth by a New York court in a gynecological malpractice case, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that her expert opinion was insufficient. If you were harmed by a routine gynecological procedure, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the defendant performed a myomectomy on the plaintiff to remove uterine fibroids. During the surgery, the plaintiff suffered a second-degree burn due to an electrocautery device. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice complaint against the defendant, alleging the defendant’s negligence caused her harm. The defendant requested dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Sufficiency of Expert Opinions in Medical Malpractice Cases

The salient issue on appeal was whether the plaintiff’s expert report was adequate to defeat the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The appellate court ultimately determined that it was not and affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained the well-established rule that if a defendant seeks dismissal through a motion for summary judgment, they bear the burden of establishing the lack of a departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that the plaintiff did not suffer harm due to any alleged departure. 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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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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Frequently, a plaintiff harmed by negligent health care will be able to pursue more than one cause of action in a lawsuit against his or her treatment provider. For example, in many instances, a plaintiff will assert both a medical malpractice claim and a lack of informed consent claim. While plaintiffs generally have the right to pursue multiple claims, if they fail to do so in the proper manner, one or more of their claims may be dismissed. This was shown in a recent ob-gyn malpractice case in New York in which the plaintiff’s lack of informed consent claim against a government-owned hospital was barred due to the plaintiff’s failure to provide proper notice. If you or your child suffered injuries due to a doctor’s careless treatment during your pregnancy, it is wise to consult a seasoned Rochester ob-gyn malpractice attorney to discuss your right to pursue damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent treatment at the defendant hospital, which was funded by the federal government, during her pregnancy. She ultimately gave birth to her son at the defendant hospital, via cesarean section, but he tragically passed away later that day. Following an autopsy, the cause of the infant’s death was determined to be respiratory distress syndrome, which was caused by the immaturity of his lungs and hyaline membrane disease. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant and its employees.

Allegedly, the federal government substituted itself as the defendant, due to the fact that the facility was federally supported. The defendant then filed a motion to dismiss, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims due to her failure to comply with several aspects of the Federal Tort Claims Act, including the failure to properly inform the defendant she intended to pursue a lack of informed consent claim.

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Usually, when a plaintiff files a medical malpractice case in New York, he or she will ask that a jury assess liability and damages. In most cases, the jury will rule accurately. In cases in which the jury grossly misevaluates the evidence presented, however, the party that received an adverse ruling can ask the court to vacate the jury’s ruling. In a recent gynecologic malpractice case in which the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, a New York court discussed the grounds for setting aside a jury’s ruling. If you were injured during childbirth or a gynecologic procedure, it is advisable to speak to a skillful Rochester gynecologic malpractice attorney regarding your rights.

Factual History

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered a laceration while giving birth to her child. The defendant initially failed to diagnose the laceration, and once the laceration was assessed, she failed to repair it properly, which resulted in significant pain and complications. The plaintiff then sought damages from the defendant via a medical malpractice case. The case proceeded to trial and ultimately resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff for over one million dollars. The defendant then filed a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict as against the weight of the evidence. The court denied the motion, and the defendant filed an appeal.

Grounds for Vacating a Jury’s Verdict in a Medical Malpractice Case in New York

Under New York law, the question of what damages are appropriate in a medical malpractice case is within the jury’s domain, and whatever the jury decides will not be disturbed in most cases. Rather, a court will only vacate a jury’s ruling in cases in which a damages award demonstrates a substantial departure from what is considered reasonable compensation. The court may assess damages awarded in other cases involving similar injuries as a tool to provide guidance and enlightenment regarding whether a verdict constitutes reasonable compensation. The court may look at other factors as well, such as the nature and permanency of the injuries the plaintiff suffered.

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Losing a child due to medical malpractice can cause great emotional trauma. In some cases, though, despite the grave emotional harm suffered by a parent that loses a child due to incompetent medical care, a parent cannot recover damages for emotional distress, as demonstrated in a recent obstetrician-gynecologist malpractice case in New York. If you suffered the loss of a child or your child suffered an injury at birth due to negligent medical care, you should speak to a dedicated Rochester medical malpractice attorney regarding what claims you may be able to pursue.

Factual History

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to a hospital with high blood pressure when she was twenty-six weeks pregnant. She was treated by two obstetrician-gynecologists while at the hospital. Two days after she was admitted to the hospital, she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and transferred to the second hospital. The plaintiff ultimately filed a medical malpractice claim against both hospitals and the two obstetrician-gynecologists that treated her, alleging their incompetent treatment caused her to deliver a stillborn child. As part of her claim, the plaintiff sought damages for emotional distress. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment as to the emotional distress claims, arguing that the plaintiff could not recover such damages because her child had been born alive. The trial court granted the defendants’ motions, and the plaintiff appealed.

Damages for Emotional Distress in Medical Malpractice Claims in New York

On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court noted that, under New York law, a mother could not recover compensation for emotional distress for alleged malpractice that causes an injury to a fetus in utero, if the fetus is ultimately born alive. The appellate court further explained that a live birth is defined as a complete extraction or expulsion of a child from its mother, where after the separation from the mother, the child breathes, has a heartbeat, or shows any other evidence of life, regardless of the duration of the pregnancy.

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In a medical malpractice case, whether the plaintiff’s claims are ultimately successful depends on numerous factors, including whether the plaintiff complies with the rules of procedure. In other words, even if a plaintiff has a meritorious claim, if he or she does not move his or her case along in a reasonable fashion as required under New York law, the plaintiff’s claim may be dismissed, despite the fact that the defendant may have caused the plaintiff’s harm. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which a woman sought damages for harm caused by a gynecologist, but failed to take any action in the case for over a year. If you were harmed by incompetent gynecological care, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Rochester gynecologic medical malpractice attorney to analyze whether you may be able to recover damages.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant fertility clinic for an egg donation procedure. Prior to the procedure, the defendant’s employees administered an excessive amount of medication to the plaintiff, which resulted in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and multiple ovarian cysts. As such, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The plaintiff filed her lawsuit in April 2015, and in September 2015, the plaintiff joined the issue, and the defendant served the plaintiff with demands for a bill of particulars, discovery requests, and a deposition notice. The plaintiff failed to respond, however, and until July 2017, when she served the defendant with discovery responses and a bill of particulars.

Reportedly, the defendant then sent the plaintiff another deposition notice. Depositions were never conducted or scheduled, however, and no other developments occurred in the case. As such, in 2020, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for lack of prosecution.

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While the jury system is an essential part of jurisprudence in our country, it is not perfect, and juries do not always rule properly. Thus, a party that believes a jury verdict is improper can either seek a new trial or a new verdict. Recently, in a gynecologic malpractice case, a New York appellate court discussed the standards for determining if a new trial is warranted in a case in which the defendant alleged the jury’s verdict was improper.  If you sustained harm because of incompetent care rendered by a gynecologist, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Rochester gynecological malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you could possibly pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff reported to the defendant gynecologist with complaints of abdominal pain. An examination revealed that the plaintiff had a mass in her uterus, after which the defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo a dilation and curettage procedure to remove the mass. The defendant performed the procedure in his office, but during the procedure, he punctured the plaintiff’s bowel and uterus. The plaintiff then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Following a trial, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $400,000 for future pain and suffering for a period of five years. The defendant filed a motion to set aside the verdict, arguing that the damages for pain and suffering were against the weight of the evidence. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed.

Setting Aside a Verdict Under New York Law

Pursuant to New York law, a motion asking the court to set aside a verdict and seeking a new trial in the interest of justice encompasses errors in a trial court’s ruling on issues such as surprise, newly discovered evidence, and the admissibility of evidence. In evaluating a motion to set aside a verdict, a court must determine whether the verdict is substantially fair or whether it had been affected, using his or her common sense, experience, and sense of fairness rather than precedent.

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Many surgical procedures have potential side effects, some of which may be life-altering. Thus, before a patient commits to undergo a surgical procedure, the physician performing the procedure must advise the patient of the known risks of harm, so that the patient can make an informed decision as to whether he or she wants to proceed with the surgery. Thus, if a doctor fails to properly advise a plaintiff of a known risk of harm associated with a procedure, the doctor may be liable for malpractice. This was discussed by a New York appellate court case in which the plaintiff suffered urinary incontinence following a hysterectomy. If you suffered harm due to a negligent gynecologist, it is wise to consult a proficient Rochester gynecology malpractice attorney regarding your potential damages.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a vaginal hysterectomy that was performed by the defendant. Following the hysterectomy, she began to experience urinary incontinence. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the surgery was unnecessary and that the defendant failed to obtain her informed consent prior to performing the surgery. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was denied by the court. The defendant subsequently appealed, but upon review, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Medical Malpractice Arising Out of Lack of Informed Consent

In its analysis, the court noted that the defendant made a prima facie showing that he was entitled to dismissal of the claims against him as a matter of law, by producing an expert report that stated that the plaintiff’s urinary incontinence was a consequence of chronic interstitial cystitis, which the plaintiff was diagnosed with following the procedure. The court noted, however, that in opposition to the defendant’s report, the plaintiff set forth an expert report opining that urinary incontinence was a well-known consequence of vaginal hysterectomies and that the plaintiff’s symptoms began shortly after the procedure.

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