Articles Posted in Hospital Malpractice

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It is not uncommon for a plaintiff who is pursuing damages due to medical malpractice to die following the institution of the lawsuit. Thus, in many cases, the need arises to substitute the administrator of the deceased plaintiff’s estate as a party in the lawsuit. Any substitution must be made in a timely manner, however, or the court may dismiss the claim in its entirety. In a recent hospital malpractice case, the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York discussed the factors weighed in determining if an untimely motion to substitute should be granted. If you or someone you love suffered harm due to hospital malpractice, it is wise to consult a dedicated  Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiffs, a mother and infant son, filed a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital due to harm sustained by the plaintiff son. The plaintiff son subsequently died from his injuries, and the plaintiffs filed a motion to substitute the plaintiff son’s father, who was the administrator of the estate, as a plaintiff in place of the son, and to amend the caption. Further, the plaintiffs sought to amend the complaint to assert a wrongful death claim.

Reportedly, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff’s motion to substitute was untimely. The court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety. The plaintiffs appealed.

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Hospitals, like doctors, are required to comply with a standard of care in treating patients. In many cases in which a hospital breaches the standard of care, a plaintiff will be able to assert both negligence and medical malpractice claims against the hospital. It is crucial for anyone who wishes to pursue a claim against a hospital to adequately plead any claim asserted, as an insufficient pleading can preclude the plaintiff from recovering damages. This was illustrated in a recent New York appellate court case, in which the court discussed what must be pleaded to establish general negligence versus medical negligence claims. If you or a loved one were injured due to inadequate care that was provided in a hospital, it is prudent to meet with a diligent Rochester hospital malpractice attorney regarding your right to seek damages.

Facts Regarding the Decedent’s Treatment

Reportedly, in August 2005, the plaintiff’s decedent was a patient at the defendant hospital, when he left his bed and began wandering the hallway in a confused state. He allegedly proceeded to hit members of the hospital staff, refused help, and subsequently suffered injuries. In August 2008, the plaintiff brought an action against the defendant hospital seeking damages due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing the claims were precluded by the two and a half year statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice claims, as the claims alleged medical, rather than general, negligence. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

General Negligence Versus Medical Malpractice Claims

In assessing whether a claim sounds in general negligence or medical malpractice, the court must assess the nature of the duty owed to the plaintiff that the defendant allegedly breached. If the duty arises out of the patient-physician relationship or is substantially related to the plaintiff’s treatment, a breach establishes a cause of action for medical malpractice, not general negligence. In other words, whether a defendant’s breach constitutes medical malpractice or general negligence depends on whether the defendant’s alleged conduct involves medical science or skills not possessed by laypeople, or whether the defendant’s acts or omissions can be evaluated by an ordinary person.

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In medical malpractice cases, like all civil cases, hearsay testimony is inadmissible unless it falls under one of the enumerated exceptions. For example, under the business records exception to the hearsay rule, hospital records may be admissible in certain instances, despite the fact that they contain hearsay. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed when the business records exception to the rule against hearsay applies in hospital malpractice cases, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged her husband died as a result of malpractice. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to hospital malpractice, it is vital to retain a proficient Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to aid you in asserting your right to seek damages.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Husband’s Treatment

It is reported that the plaintiff’s husband went to the emergency room of the defendant hospital on June 1, 2008, where he was evaluated and diagnosed with pneumonia. The record states that the emergency room physician offered the husband hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics and fluids. The husband was discharged with oral antibiotics that day, however, and directed to follow up with his primary care physician. The physician testified at trial that he informed the husband his condition was serious and stated the husband left against medical advice, but the husband was not asked to sign an AMA form.

Allegedly, on June 4, 2009, the husband visited his primary care physician. Following an evaluation, the physician sent the husband to the hospital. In the second hospital, the emergency room records noted that the husband’s primary care physician stated that the husband signed an AMA form at the first hospital. Additionally, it stated that the husband advised the attending physician that he refused treatment at the first hospital and was subsequently discharged.

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Although most medical malpractice cases allege that the defendant medical care provider’s breach of the standard of care was due to negligence, rather than an intentional act, there are key differences between an ordinary negligence claim and a medical malpractice claim. The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, recently distinguished between negligence and medical malpractice claims in a case in which the plaintiff alleged a hospital’s negligence caused her to sustain harm following a surgery. If your health was harmed by hospital malpractice it is essential to retain an experienced Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to assist you in pursuing claims against anyone responsible for your harm.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure at the defendant hospital. Following the surgery, the plaintiff experienced substantial memory loss and threatened to leave the hospital several times. Due to her symptoms and a recommendation from her psychiatrist, the plaintiff spent a portion of her stay in the hospital in a cluster room or under one-on-one supervision. The plaintiff left the hospital and was found five days later with numerous injuries.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital, alleging that the hospital negligently failed to provide her with appropriate supervision and care. The defendant moved to compel the plaintiff to produce a certificate of merit, arguing that her claims sounded in malpractice. The plaintiff opposed the motion and moved for leave to amend her complaint. The court granted the defendant’s motion and granted the plaintiff leave to amend, to the extent she intended to add a claim for malpractice. The plaintiff appealed.

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In any medical malpractice lawsuit, it is important to hire an attorney who is mindful of statutory filing obligations, as the failure to comply with deadlines can drastically impair a plaintiff’s right to recover damages. Recently, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate division, discussed when it is appropriate to grant an extension in a hospital malpractice case, and when the case must be dismissed. If you sustained any injury or illness due to hospital malpractice it is vital to engage the services of a skilled Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to help you develop persuasive arguments in favor of your recovery.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was not represented by an attorney, filed an amended summons of notice on December 23, 2016. Approximately three and a half months later, on April 18, 2017, the defendants, three hospitals that provided treatment to plaintiff and one physician, filed a demand for a complaint. Subsequently, on May 25, 2016, the defendants moved to dismiss the action pursuant to CPLR 3012(b), due to the plaintiff’s failure to file the complaint in a timely manner.

Allegedly, the plaintiff opposed the motion, and filed her complaint on June 26, 2017, alleging claims of medical malpractice against the defendants. The court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, and on its own accord granted the plaintiff an extension of time to serve the complaint. The court also ordered the defendants to accept the complaint. The defendants appealed.

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In any case alleging hospital malpractice, the burden of proof as to whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care and thereby caused the plaintiff harm shifts from the plaintiff to the defendant and then back to the plaintiff. Recently, a New York appellate court discussed the evidence each party must produce at each step of a hospital malpractice lawsuit, in a case in which the court ultimately held that the plaintiff’s complaint was wrongfully dismissed.   If you or a loved one were injured by hospital malpractice it is critical to retain a skilled Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to assist you in proving that the hospital that caused your harm should be held accountable for your damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a surgical procedure in 2009, in which an arteriovenous fistula was created in the decedent’s left arm to be used as an access site for dialysis treatments. Approximately one year later, a nurse noticed that the fistula appeared infected during a dialysis treatment, and the attending nephrologist directed that the decedent be transferred to the defendant hospital’s emergency room for evaluation. The decedent was evaluated by a doctor at the defendant hospital and released and cleared for dialysis. Subsequently, the decedent underwent two additional dialysis treatments without incident.

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It is not uncommon for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to allege that both the doctor that provided his or her treatment and the hospital where the treatment was rendered are liable for any harm caused by the treatment. There are numerous factual disputes that can arise in any medical malpractice case, and cases with more than one defendant are typically more complicated than cases with a single defendant. Recently,  a New York appellate court discussed the standards for precluded summary judgment in a medical malpractice case involving multiple defendants. If you sustained injuries due to the medical malpractice of a doctor and hospital you should speak with a skilled Rochester hospital malpractice attorney to discuss your case and what evidence you may need to hold both the doctor who treated you and the hospital in which you were treated liable for your harm.

Facts Regarding the Decedent’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was injured in a car accident, after which he was transported to a hospital. He was then discharged to the defendant medical center for rehabilitation. The decedent ultimately died from deep venous thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. Following his death, the plaintiff sued the defendant medical center, alleging its negligence caused the decedent’s death.

It is alleged that the defendant medical center subsequently filed a third-party complaint against the defendant hospital who contracted with the medical center to provide doctors to administer care and the defendant doctor who treated the decedent while he was at the defendant medical center. The defendant doctor and defendant hospital filed motions for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff and defendant medical center subsequently appealed.
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The statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New York is two years and six months from the date of harm. In cases where the medical care provider is a public corporation, however, different notice requirements apply.

The appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York recently discussed the circumstances in which a plaintiff will be permitted to file late notice of a claim against a public corporation. If you suffered injuries or an illness because of inadequate medical care, you should speak with a proficient  Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your harm and your options for pursuing compensation.

Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a petition for leave to file a late notice of a claim averring medical malpractice against the defendant, a public corporation. The trial court denied the petition and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

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New York medical malpractice lawsuits, like all civil claims, are governed by statutes of limitations. As such, if a plaintiff does not pursue his or her claim within the time limitations set forth under the law, he or she waives the right to recover. In some cases, however, the statute of limitations may be tolled by the continuous treatment doctrine, which allows the injured party additional time to pursue his or her claim.

The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, recently explained the continuous treatment doctrine, in a case in which it ruled that the plaintiff’s claim was not barred by the statute of limitations due to the application of the doctrine.  If you were injured by substandard medical care, you should contact an experienced  Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for seeking damages.

Factual and Procedural Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff underwent hip replacement surgery at the defendant hospital on July 9, 2008. She filed a Complaint alleging medical malpractice against the defendant hospital and defendant surgeon on December 16, 2013. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the Complaint was filed more than two years and six months after the plaintiff ceased treatment with the defendants and that therefore, the action was barred by the statute of limitations. The plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that she continued treating until November 26, 2011, which was less than two and a half years before she filed her lawsuit. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, after which the plaintiff appealed.

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In a medical malpractice lawsuit, both the plaintiff and defendant have burdens of proof that they must meet to win the case. If a defendant meets the burden of proof of producing evidence, that on its face shows no substandard treatment, the case may be dismissed unless the plaintiff rebuts the defendant’s evidence by showing there is a triable issue of fact.

This was illustrated in a recent New York appellate court case in which the court overturned a trial court ruling granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, where the appellate court found there was a triable issue. If you suffered harm due to insufficient care or monitoring in a hospital you, should meet with an experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you may be able to seek damages from the hospital and any doctor that treated you.

Factual Allegations

Reportedly, the plaintiff was admitted to the defendant hospital with stroke symptoms. At some point after he was admitted, he fell out of his hospital bed. The plaintiff and his wife subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the defendant physician that treated him at the hospital. Following discovery, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiffs then appealed.

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