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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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In a country where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are well-educated and trained, we don’t expect them to make mistakes. Unfortunately, pharmacists are just as likely to make errors at their job as anyone else.  Research shows that up to 10% of prescriptions are filled erroneously. Whether the error is filling the wrong prescription, inaccurately filling a prescription, or failing to provide patients with the necessary information, these errors can be detrimental to patients.  Of the hundreds of prescriptions pharmacists fill every day, it’s no surprise that mistakes happen.  Pharmacy malpractice happens frequently in the United States. Between 1 and 1.5 million Americans are injured from medication errors each year. Close to 50% of Americans take prescription medication at least once a month. This means that around 1 in 100 prescriptions will cause an injury. Elderly persons and those with limited access to healthcare may be affected by pharmacy malpractice injuries at higher rates. The most common cause of pharmacy malpractice is distraction, accounting for an estimated 75% of cases. Medication malpractice leads to an additional $3.5 billion in additional medical costs each year. 100% of those injured by pharmacist errors can reach out to a pharmacy malpractice lawyer for help. The seasoned Syracuse and Rochester area attorneys at  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can review your case to see if you may have a valid claim against the pharmacy/pharmacist for dispensing the incorrect medication.

Individuals place great trust in pharmacists to properly mix and dispense medications. A pharmacist is also responsible for double-checking medications which are prepared by technicians, who can be inexperienced and low-paid employees. Pharmacists are specialists and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a reasonable person with similar education and training. They must exercise judgment concerning a patient’s use of medications, drug interactions, and refills.

Shockingly, every day people receive incorrect prescriptions from their local pharmacy. The errors usually occur when the wrong medicine is prescribed, the pharmacy fills the prescription with the incorrect medication, or the wrong dosage of the correct prescription is dispensed. Many times, the effects of the wrong medication are minor, unfortunately, many incorrect prescriptions result in injuries that are not so benign. Some situations end in the patient dying from the medication error.

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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

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People aggrieved by incompetent medical care have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against their providers. Broadly speaking, they have the right to choose where to file such claims. There are limitations to the general rule, however, and if a court determines it lacks jurisdiction over a medical malpractice lawsuit, it may dismiss the case. Recently, a district court sitting in New York explained when federal courts have jurisdiction over medical malpractice claims, in a matter in which it ultimately determined the case must be dismissed. If you suffered harm because of a negligent doctor, you could be owed damages, and you should speak with a Rochester medical malpractice attorney about your rights.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant, a county sheriff’s department, placed the plaintiff in a jail cell. While she was in the jail cell, the defendant’s doctor examined the plaintiff. He neglected to order that the plaintiff be taken to the hospital or to conduct any tests, which plaintiff asserted resulted in a sickle cell crisis. As such, she filed a pro se lawsuit against the defendant in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Reportedly, the plaintiff asserted one claim of negligence in her complaint, and filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis. The court granted her motion but ultimately dismissed her complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Continue reading

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Mental healthcare professionals that treat patients for depression and suicidal ideation will often correspond with other healthcare providers that treat their patients. The failure to engage in such communications does not necessarily constitute malpractice if a patient subsequently dies by suicide, however. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which the court ruled that the plaintiff failed to show that a lack of communication proximately caused a patient’s death. If you lost a loved one due to inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent treated with a psychiatrist for several years. In 2016, he began treating with the defendant, who administered the decedent Ketamine treatments in an attempt to cure his depression. During the first session, the decedent expressly forbid the defendant from contacting his psychiatrist. In January 2017, the decedent requested an emergency appointment with the defendant; during the session, he reported suicidal ideation.

Allegedly, by the end of the appointment, the defendant did not believe the decedent was at imminent risk of self-harm. The decedent died by suicide two days later. His husband subsequently brought medical malpractice claims against the defendant, arguing that his failure to communicate with the decedent’s psychiatrist proximately caused the decedent’s death. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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People that live with mental illness sadly often harbor ideations of self-harm. If a mental health provider treating a patient with depression or anxiety fails to prevent their death by suicide, the patient’s family members can pursue medical malpractice claims against the provider. In order to institute a medical malpractice lawsuit, a plaintiff merely needs to set forth a complaint with allegations sufficient to support their assertions. In other words, they do not need to offer evidence in support of their claims, as explained by a New York court in a recent case. If you sustained losses because of a negligent healthcare provider, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

The Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the decedent had a history of mental illnesses, including depression and schizoaffective disorder. During confinement in a state facility, she was placed on suicide watch before being moved to the general population. The defendant provided mental health services to the decedent and made the decision to move her to the general population.

Reportedly, the decedent began to exhibit signs of increased depression and anxiety after she was moved to the general population. She hanged herself, and due to the facility’s failure to conduct a complete inspection of the decedent’s floor, she was not discovered for over 20 minutes. She ultimately died from her injuries. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting, inter alia, a medical malpractice claim. The defendant moved to dismiss the medical malpractice claim on the grounds that the plaintiff did not allege the standard of care the defendant allegedly violated. Continue reading

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Medical records are a critical component of establishing liability in medical malpractice cases. As such, if a hospital named as a defendant in a medical malpractice case fails to retain records regarding a plaintiff’s treatment, it may be sanctioned by the court. Generally, though, the court will not impose the drastic remedy of striking the defendant’s pleading, as demonstrated in an opinion recently delivered by a New York court. If you sustained losses because of a doctor’s negligence, you should speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you may need to prove liability.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was born at the defendant’s medical center, suffered injuries during her birth. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and negligent hiring and supervision. The defendant moved for summary judgment dismissal of the plaintiff’s lack of informed consent and negligent hiring and supervision claims.

Allegedly, the plaintiff cross-moved for summary for spoliation sanctions on the grounds that the defendant failed to preserve the plaintiff’s fetal monitoring strips. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion and denied the plaintiff’s motion while granting her leave to renew the motion to the extent it sought an adverse inference instruction at trial. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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New York law dictates that people who want to pursue medical malpractice claims against their healthcare providers must do so within a specified timeframe. In addition to complying with the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, parties seeking compensation from a public entity must abide by the notice requirements as well. As indicated in a recent opinion issued by a New York court, the failure to adhere to such requirements may be fatal to a claim. If you were harmed by the negligence of your physician, you may be owed damages, and you should meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a petition for leave to file late notice of claim against the defendant. The claim sounded in medical malpractice and arose out of the treatment the plaintiff received at a facility operated by the defendant, a public corporation. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s petition for leave, and the plaintiff appealed.

New York Law Regarding Notice in Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the court found that the trial court wisely exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s petition for leave to file late notice of claim and affirmed the trial court ruling. Pursuant to New York’s General Municipal Law 50-e, a party that wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim against a public corporation must provide the corporation with notice of the claim within ninety days of when the claim accrued or within a reasonable time after. If they neglect to offer such notice, their claim may be dismissed. Continue reading

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In New York medical malpractice cases, which party prevails depends in large part on who offers more compelling expert testimony. Thus, it is not uncommon for one party to try to prevent the other from presenting an expert at trial. It is within the trial court’s discretion as to whether to preclude expert testimony, however, and in most instances, such determinations cannot be challenged prior to trial, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you suffered harm because of negligent care provided by a physician, you might be owed compensation, and you should contact a Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendants provided the plaintiff mother with obstetric care throughout the course of her pregnancy and delivered her child. The child was born prematurely and suffered serious complications, including periventricular leukomalacia and polymicrogyria. The plaintiff mother subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting medical malpractice claims against the defendants individually and on behalf of her son.

Reportedly, the defendants subsequently moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from offering certain medical opinions at trial. The court granted the motion, but only in part. Specifically, the orders granted the portion of the defendants’ motion in which they requested that the court preclude the plaintiff’s expert from opining that polymicrogyria can be caused by post-delivery events but declined to preclude the expert from offering an opinion that polymicrogyria could be caused by prematurity, extreme prematurity, intraventricular hemorrhage, or periventricular leukomalacia. As such, the defendants appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in issuing its ruling. Continue reading

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Under New York law, establishing liability in a medical malpractice case requires a plaintiff to establish that the defendant departed from the applicable standard of care and that such a departure caused the plaintiff harm. If the plaintiff is unable to offer evidence sufficient to meet their burden, their claims may be dismissed, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling. If you sustained injuries because of the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you may be able to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant medical center after he suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident. The defendant doctor assessed and treated him upon arrival at the center. The plaintiff subsequently sustained unspecified losses, which he attributed to the care he received from the defendants. As such, he instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against them, in which he asserted that the defendant doctor’s negligence caused his harm and the defendant medical center was vicariously liable for the defendant doctor’s negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motions. They then appealed.

Proving a Doctor Proximately Caused a Patient’s Harm

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. The court explained that defendants in medical malpractice cases bear the burden of showing that the evidence, on its face, establishes that they did not deviate from the accepted practice of medicine, or if they did, that their departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s losses. Continue reading

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Many medications have side effects, and while generally, the benefits provided by such drugs outweigh any potentially detrimental consequences, doctors must assess each patient’s risk factors to determine whether a medication is appropriate. Doctors that recklessly prescribe medications may be held accountable for any harm caused by their carelessness, but merely because a patient is harmed by a side effect of a drug does not mean a doctor committed malpractice, as shown in a recent New York ruling. If you suffered harm because of a negligently prescribed medication, you might be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to talk to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a university student, visited a doctor at the school’s counseling services for mental health care. The doctor assessed the plaintiff as having general anxiety and directed her to see the defendant. The defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and prescribed her a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Allegedly, three months later, the plaintiff fell off of a subway station in New York City and was struck by a train. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging she negligently prescribed her the SSRI in an improper dosage without informing her of the side effects or conducting a thorough exam. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue reading

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