Articles Posted in Hospital Malpractice

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Typically, people who hit their heads in car collisions will go to a hospital, which in many instances will result in a diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury. If the doctors in a hospital failed to conduct the appropriate tests, though, it can result in a missed diagnosis, which tragically can lead to permanent harm. People who suffer lifelong injuries due to hospital malpractice are often owed substantial damages, but liability may be disputed by the hospital, regardless of what the jury finds. Recently, a New York court discussed the grounds for setting aside a verdict in a case in which the plaintiff suffered irreparable brain damage due to the hospital’s negligence. If you were hurt by incompetent care in a hospital, you could be owed significant damages, and it is advisable to meet with a dedicated Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to assess your claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff visited the defendant’s hospital following a car accident. He underwent a CT scan of the brain that showed a hematoma but no acute bleeding. A few weeks later, an MRI was conducted to rule out a diffuse axonal injury, but the scan was incomplete because the plaintiff moved. No further testing was conducted at that time. Three weeks later, the defendant was unable to move to the edge of the bed at a physical therapy session, and the following morning he had slurred speech, lethargy, and could not follow commands.

Allegedly, a CT scan revealed an acute hematoma that required emergency surgery. Following the surgery, he had permanent cognitive injuries and was unable to care for himself. A medical negligence lawsuit was instituted on his behalf against the hospital. A jury trial was held, resulting in a verdict of approximately $22 million. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict due to the alleged misconduct of the plaintiff’s attorney during closing statements. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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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

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Typically, when a patient seeks treatment in a hospital, the doctors and nurses that provide the patient with care will be employed by the hospital. Thus, if they perform their duties improperly, the hospital may be deemed vicariously liable for their acts. In some instances, however, medical staff members working in a hospital are independent contractors, not employees, and the question of whether a hospital can be held accountable for their incompetence becomes more complicated. The imposition of vicarious liability on a hospital for the acts of an independent contractor was the subject of a recent opinion issued by a New York court. If you were injured by an incompetent medical provider while you were in a hospital, it is advisable to consult a Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to assess your possible claims.

The Patient’s Care and Subsequent Claims

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent sought admission to the defendant hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment, as he was experiencing suicidal ideation. The defendant physician treated the plaintiff’s decedent throughout the course of his admission. Tragically, however, he died by suicide while he was still receiving inpatient care.

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was the wife of the decedent, filed medical malpractice claims against the defendants, alleging their failure to provide proper care led to the decedent’s untimely death. The defendant hospital filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing in part that it could not be deemed vicariously liable for the acts of the defendant doctor because he was an independent contractor. The court denied the defendant hospital’s motion, and it appealed.

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Medical malpractice claims in New York must be filed within the statute of limitations; otherwise, the plaintiff’s claim may be dismissed. In cases in which the plaintiff has an ongoing treatment relationship with the defendant, though, the statute of limitations may be tolled pursuant to the continuous treatment doctrine. The parameters of the doctrine were discussed in a recent hospital malpractice case in New York in which the defendant argued the plaintiff’s claims were barred as untimely. If you suffered harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to provide you with adequate care in a hospital setting, it is in your best interest to speak with a practiced Rochester hospital malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue damages.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the defendant hospital in October 2007 for a bilateral screening mammogram. She was advised that the test did not reveal any abnormalities. She then returned to the defendant hospital in January 2008 with reports of a painful lump in her left breast. One month later, the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a biopsy of the mass at the defendant hospital, and it was revealed that she had breast cancer. She continued to undergo treatment at the defendant hospital until her death due to cancer in November 2008.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death case against the defendant, alleging the failure to properly read the decedent’s initial mammogram caused a delay in her cancer diagnosis. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff failed to serve the defendant, which was a municipal corporation, with timely notice pursuant to New York law. The court agreed, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims, after which the plaintiff appealed.

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Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated in general and can become especially complex when they involve claims against facilities that receive funding from the federal government, as they involve additional requirements. The consequences of skirting such obligations were shown in a recent hospital malpractice case in New York in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to his failure to comply with procedural requirements. If you were hurt by negligent care in a hospital, it is critical to retain a dedicated Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to help you protect your right to pursue damages.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility, which receives federal funding, with complaints of an inability to urinate. While he was at the defendant facility, he was on a metal bed when the frame fell apart, causing him to fall and sustain a hip fracture. As a result, he had to undergo surgery and suffered from reduced mobility and an altered mental status. He filed an administrative claim relating to his injury with the appropriate federal agency. The agency did not respond to his claim, however. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical malpractice and negligent hiring. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies in compliance with the FTCA (Federal Tort Claims Act) and that due to this failure, the court could not exercise jurisdiction over the matter.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

Under the FTCA, a plaintiff must present a claim to a federal agency, and the claim must be denied before the plaintiff can proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit. The court explained that, as the goal of this requirement is to avoid unnecessary litigation, the plaintiff must also provide the agency with sufficient information with which to investigate the claim and evaluate its worth. In other words, the claim must be detailed enough to fulfill the purpose of the FTCA, which is to allow the federal government to facilitate the fair resolution of tort claims. The court further explained that the requirement that a plaintiff adequately present his or her claim is a jurisdictional requirement that cannot be waived.

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In medical malpractice claims in New York, the burden shifts between the parties with regards to proving or disproving that a party’s harm was caused by incompetent care. In other words, if a defendant produces evidence sufficient to refute a plaintiff’s claims, the lawsuit may be dismissed unless the plaintiff then establishes that a factual dispute exists that requires a trial. A plaintiff must refute each of the defendant’s assertions, though; otherwise, some claims may be dismissed even if others survive, as shown in a recent hospital malpractice case. If you were hurt because of incompetent care that you received while you were admitted to a hospital, it is in your best interest to discuss your harm with a zealous Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to determine what you must show to recover damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent heart surgery in 2014. He suffered significant complications following the surgery and was placed on a ventilator that circulated his blood outside of his body via an artificial lung. Shortly after the surgery, his condition worsened, and he was transported to the operating room. The defendant was the attending physician during the transport, during which the artificial lung was unintendedly disconnected. As a result, the plaintiff suffered devastating brain injuries and substantial blood loss.

The plaintiff and his wife then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Typically, when a patient presents to a hospital with symptoms or complaints, he or she will consent to receive treatment from the attending physicians while retaining the right to leave if he or she chooses. In some instances, however, the hospital will take steps to admit a person without his or her consent, in an attempt to protect the person or others. In a recent hospital malpractice case, a New York court assessed when the involuntary commitment of an individual might constitute grounds for asserting a malpractice claim. If you suffered damages due to a hospital unjustly refusing to allow you to leave, you should meet with a skilled Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to analyze what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with complaints of high blood pressure. According to the facts set forth in the plaintiff’s complaint, after she arrived, she was restrained by security guards and administered medication. She was ultimately admitted against her will and detained for five days, during which she received medication for Parkinson’s disease and other ailments she did not have.

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered substantial side effects due to the medications she received, which required her to obtain follow-up care. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that it violated her rights and committed medical malpractice by falsely imprisoning her. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted, resulting in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff then appealed, but on appeal, the dismissal of her claims was affirmed.

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In medical malpractice cases in New York, the plaintiff generally decides where the action will be heard, as the plaintiff is the party filing the lawsuit. A defendant has the right to seek a change of venue, however, if the County the plaintiff chose to file his or her lawsuit is not an appropriate place for the matter to be heard. The grounds for granting a motion for change of venue were recently discussed by a New York appellate court in a hospital malpractice case that was originally filed in Bronx County. If you were injured by negligent care in a hospital, it is prudent to speak to an assertive Rochester hospital malpractice attorney regarding what damages you may be able to recover in a civil lawsuit.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to a hospital in Newburgh and then transferred to a hospital in the Bronx, where she died. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Bronx County against the defendants, alleging that the venue was based on the defendant’s business address. The complaint further alleged that the defendants operated a healthcare facility that served customers in the Bronx. The defendants filed a motion for change of venue, claiming that none of the parties resided in the Bronx. The plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that venue was proper because a large portion of the events that lead to the decedent’s death occurred in the Bronx. The court found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendants appealed. On appeal, the appellate court reversed and moved the action to Orange County.

Grounds for Changing Venue in a New York Case

Under New York law, a party seeking a change of venue must not only demonstrate that the plaintiff’s choice of venue is improper, but also that the defendant’s choice of venue is appropriate. If a defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must demonstrate that his or her chosen venue was proper. Further, the procedural rules provide that except when otherwise stated by law, an action must be tried in the County where one of the parties resided when the action commenced or where a substantial portion of the events that gave rise to the action occurred.

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When a plaintiff harmed by medical negligence pursues claims for damages via a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff’s compliance with the laws of procedure is arguably almost as important as the merits of the plaintiff’s case. In other words, if a plaintiff fails to abide by the rules imposed by the law or the courts, it can result in a dismissal of otherwise valid claims. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed what a plaintiff seeking to vacate an order dismissing a hospital malpractice case due to the failure comply with procedural rules must demonstrate in order to obtain a favorable result. If you or a loved one sustained damages due to incompetent care in a hospital, it is advisable to consult a capable Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to discuss whether you may be able to assert a claim for damages.

Facts and Procedure of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent died from sepsis after she was released from the defendant hospital. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the defendant treating physician who cared for the decedent while she was admitted to the defendant hospital. After discovery was complete, the defendants each moved to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed via summary judgment. The court then issued an order setting forth when the plaintiff was required to serve her opposition to the motions upon the defendants, when the defendants were required to file any replies, and when oral argument would be held.

Reportedly, however, the parties stipulated that the plaintiff’s opposition could be filed at a later date. As such, the plaintiff did not file her opposition by the court-imposed deadline. The plaintiff did not seek an adjournment in person until the day the defendants’ replies were due, but the court denied her request and granted the defendants’ motions as unopposed. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the order granting the defendants’ motions. The court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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In many instances in which a person harmed by negligent medical care pursues damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the defendant healthcare provider will attempt to refute liability by arguing that the person’s harm was not proximately caused by the defendant’s acts. In such cases, if the plaintiff does not produce sufficient evidence to refute the defendant’s position, the plaintiff’s case may be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent hospital malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case via summary judgment. If you or a family member suffered harm due as a result of negligent care rendered in a  hospital, it is in your best interest to speak with a proficient Rochester hospital malpractice attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

Factual Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital for treatment. The decedent developed a sacral ulcer, which did not heal. Following the decedent’s death, the plaintiff instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that the defendant departed from the applicable standard of care in treating the decedent’s sacral ulcer, thereby causing the decedent to suffer harm. The defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed via summary judgment, but the trial court denied the defendant’s motion. The defendant subsequently appealed, and on appeal, the appellate court overturned the trial court ruling, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims.

Avoiding Dismissal Via Summary Judgment in a Hospital Malpractice Case

On appeal, the appellate court noted that the defendant set forth a prima facie case that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, as required to obtain a dismissal via summary judgment. Specifically, the defendant produced an affirmation from a medical expert that stated that the defendant’s treatment of the plaintiff’s decedent’s sacral ulcer comported with accepted and good practice. Further, the affirmation stated that the failure of the plaintiff’s decedent’s ulcer to heal was caused by the decedent’s pre-existing conditions, rather than any acts or omissions on behalf of the defendant.

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