Articles Posted in Hospital Malpractice

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Under New York law, there are different statutes of limitations for pursuing negligence and medical malpractice actions. While such claims are similar, there are key differences between them, and if a party seeking damages for harm caused by a medical professional fails to properly characterize their claims, they may unintentionally waive their right to recover compensation. This was demonstrated in a recent New York opinion in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims, finding that they were barred by the two-and-a-half-year statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice actions. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a doctor, it is important to confer with a Rochester medical malpractice attorney promptly to protect your rights.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent received medical care at the defendant hospital in September 2015 for unspecified health concerns. He died two weeks into his hospital admission. Approximately three years later, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting wrongful death and medical malpractice claims. The defendant then moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim on the grounds it was barred by the two-and-a-half-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that her claims sounded in negligence and not medical malpractice. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Differences Between Negligence and Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim. In doing so, the court discussed the nuances between negligence and medical malpractice claims. The court noted that the distinction is subtle, and no sharp line divides the two. Rather, whether a claim sounds in medical malpractice or ordinary negligence turns on whether the behavior complained of involves an art or matter of medical science requiring special skills not typically possessed by lay people or whether the acts or omissions complained of could be evaluated on the basis of the common experience of the judge or jury. Continue reading

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When a person dies after receiving medical care, their loved ones may assert that their death was the result of medical malpractice. While sudden death following a health issue is undoubtedly tragic, it is not always the result of the negligence of the healthcare provider that provided the treatment. Thus, if a court finds that a plaintiff has not met their burden of proof, it may deny their efforts to have their claims against the defendant resolved in their favor as a matter of law. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case. If you lost a loved one due to incompetent care in a medical facility, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent visited the defendant hospital to treat an unspecified issue. The decedent subsequently developed complications and ultimately passed away. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it negligently caused the decedent harm and was responsible for her death. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, but the court denied his motion.

Reportedly, the case proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then moved to set aside the jury verdict as against the weight of the evidence, but the court denied that motion as well. The plaintiff subsequently filed an appeal. Continue reading

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Often, when people go to the hospital for an acute issue, they are asked to fill out certain documents and forms prior to being admitted or treated. Many people sign such materials in haste, without thoroughly reading their terms. Such decisions can be costly, however, as hospital admission documents often contain provisions impacting patient rights in the event of a dispute or harm arising out of incompetent care. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued by a New York court in a hospital malpractice case, in which the court affirmed an order compelling the plaintiff to arbitrate a dispute with a hospital. If you were injured due to negligent care you received in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital for an unspecified concern and was admitted for treatment. Prior to her admission, she completed and signed numerous documents, including a document referred to as an admission agreement in capital letters and a document referred to as an arbitration agreement. She subsequently experienced complications due to her treatment and filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting numerous claims, including medical malpractice. The defendant moved to compel arbitration.

Compulsory Arbitration in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court granted the motion. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiff’s conflicting arguments that she did not sign the arbitration agreement or that she believed it to be the admission agreement. The court explained that the two agreements were signed at different times, and their headings were clear, removing any chance of confusion. Additionally, a forensic expert examined the arbitration agreement and determined that it did, in fact, contain her signature. Continue reading

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Many hospitals throughout New York engage staffing companies to provide physicians to offer medical services to their patients. In other words, many of the doctors who work at such hospitals are considered independent contractors rather than employees. While hospitals may be deemed vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees, they generally will not be held responsible for the incompetence of independent contractors that work for them. There are exceptions to the general rule, however, as discussed in a recent New York opinion set forth in a hospital malpractice case. If you sustained injuries due to a careless physician working in a hospital, it is in your best interest to confer with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital with complaints of pain in his lower hip and back. He was seen by a nurse practitioner, who ordered a urine culture, a urine dipstick, and an abdominal x-ray. He was discharged with a diagnosis of acute cystitis and prescribed an antibiotic. Four days later, when the results of his urine culture were negative, he was advised to discontinue the medication. The defendant doctor, who was an independent contractor retained by the defendant staffing company, signed off on the documentation regarding the plaintiff’s care.

It is reported that three days later, the plaintiff began experiencing changes in his mental status. He was subsequently diagnosed with bacterial meningitis at another hospital and remained hospitalized until mid-April. He subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging, in part, that the defendant hospital was vicariously liable for the harm caused by the defendant doctor and the defendant staffing company. The plaintiff then moved for summary judgment. Continue reading

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread harm, and many people who contract the virus suffer incomprehensible losses. While there are numerous federal laws that protect health care providers from liability for COVID-19 related treatment of patients, they do not altogether preclude injured parties from pursuing medical malpractice claims. Nor do they require that such claims must be pursued in federal courts, as discussed in a recent New York opinion. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent care in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is smart to consult a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer to assess your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s wife was a patient at the defendant hospital in the Spring of 2020. During her admission, she was not tested for COVID-19, even though one of her doctors requested that she be tested. She subsequently suffered a pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, and clotting, which ultimately caused her to suffer permanent brain damage and paralysis. The plaintiff, acting as his wife’s guardian, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that it was grossly negligent for recklessly failing to test her for COVID-19 or diagnose and treat her pulmonary embolism in a timely manner. The defendant moved the case to federal court on the basis of federal preemption under the PREP Act. The plaintiff then filed a motion asking the court to remand the case back to state court.

Preemption of State Law Claims by the PREP Act

The court ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff and remanded the matter back to state court. The court noted that the PREP Act, which was enacted in 2005, grants frontline healthcare workers immunity from liability during public health crises. Specifically, the Act provides that covered people are immune from liability with respect to claims or losses arising out of the administration of a covered countermeasure if the Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued a declaration with regard to such countermeasure. The PREP Act expressly preempts state laws that conflict with its provisions. Continue reading

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Federal law does not require parties pursuing medical malpractice claims to include evidence in their initial pleadings. It does, however, require them to set forth factual assertions that are sufficient to inform defendants of the claims against them so that they may properly prepare defenses. Plaintiffs that fail to meet this burden may face the dismissal of their claims. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in which the court terminated the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims due to the vagueness of her allegations. If you were injured while being treated in a hospital, it is smart to meet with a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant doctor due to a neck injury. The complaint sounded in medical malpractice, alleging the defendants failed to provide the plaintiff with x-rays and caused her pain and suffering. The complaint alluded to paralysis and included other indiscernible allegations. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it failed to comply with the pleading standards established by the federal rules of civil procedure. The court agreed and granted the motion.

Pleading Standards in Medical Malpractice Claims

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 establishes the requirements for stating claims. In other words, a pleading setting forth a claim for relief must contain a statement of the basis for the court’s jurisdiction, a plain and short statement of the claim demonstrating that the pleader should be granted relief, and a demand for the relief sought. Continue reading

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Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove not only that the defendant was negligent but also that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, simply demonstrating that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care is not sufficient to present a successful malpractice case. This was illustrated by a recent New York ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case in which the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed due to her inability to prove causation. If you suffered losses due to inadequate care in a hospital setting, it is prudent to confer with a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, the decedent visited a hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was admitted and discharged after three days, with the direction to visit an emergency department if his chest pain returned or worsened. Thirteen days later, he visited a second hospital with complaints of chest pain. He was evaluated by the defendant physician but the defendant did not order a cardiology consultation. The defendant decided to send the decedent home rather than admit him to the hospital. Approximately three weeks later, he suffered a cardiac arrest and died shortly thereafter.

It is reported that the plaintiff, the decedent’s wife, filed a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that she was negligent in failing to order a cardiology consultation, and her negligence caused the decedent’s death. A jury ultimately found that while the defendant departed from the standard of care, her negligence was not the cause of the decedent’s death. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Medical malpractice lawsuits often are reduced to a battle between the experts. In other words, whether a defendant is deemed liable for medical negligence typically depends on which expert’s testimony the judge or jury finds more compelling. In some instances, however, the parties are denied the chance to present their expert opinions to the jury, as their cases are dismissed via summary judgment.

As a persuasive expert report is necessary to obtain a favorable outcome, it is also required to survive a defendant’s motion for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, and where a plaintiff’s expert report demonstrates there are factual issues that must be resolved via a trial a court will deny a motion for summary judgment. This was explained in a recent New York opinion in a case arising out of hospital malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to negligent care rendered in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what damages you may be able to recover.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent underwent surgery at the defendant hospital. During the procedure, a doctor that worked for the defendant catheterized the decedent. At some point during his admission, a nurse employed an improper method to change the catheter, causing the decedent to suffer harm to his prostate and urethra, which led to hemorrhaging and other damages. Continue reading

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Most forms of treatment, including surgical procedures, carry some degree of risk. As such, a doctor must advise a patient of the potential adverse consequences of a treatment prior to administering it so that the plaintiff can make an intelligent and informed decision as to whether to proceed. If a doctor fails to do so, and a patient suffers harm because of the care provided, the physician may be liable for the failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent. In a recent New York opinion, the court explained the burden of proof of each party in an informed consent claim in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that his urologist committed malpractice. If you were harmed by a negligent urologist, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was referred to the defendant urologist due to an elevated level of prostate-specific antigen. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo a biopsy of his prostate, to which the plaintiff agreed. After the procedure, the plaintiff began bleeding from his rectum. He notified the defendant, who advised the bleeding was normal.

Allegedly, the bleeding would not subside, and the plaintiff was transported to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to repair a laceration caused by the biopsy and was given a blood transfusion. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claims. After the completion of discovery, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading

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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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