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Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented changes in the way we live our lives. Among other things, it altered the healthcare system and the level of care people could expect with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus. While some of the laws providing immunity to healthcare providers for actions taken in response to COVID-19 have been repealed, they nonetheless may still apply to older claims, as demonstrated by a recent opinion issued by a New York court in a nursing home negligence case. If you or someone you love sustained losses due to the negligence of healthcare providers in a nursing home setting, you have the right to pursue claims for your losses, and it is advisable to contact a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Case Setting

It is reported that the plaintiff, acting as the administratrix of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendant’s negligence led to the decedent’s death from COVID-19. The complaint asserted that the defendant failed to implement proper infection control measures despite prior warnings, resulting in the decedent’s death. The plaintiff’s claims included violations of Public Health Law, negligence, gross negligence, and wrongful death. The defendant moved to dismiss these claims under various immunity defenses provided by state and federal laws, including the New York State Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act (EDTPA), the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), and New York State Executive Order No. 202.10.

COVID-19 Related Medical Malpractice Claims

The court reviewed the defendant’s motion to dismiss, considering whether the plaintiff’s claims fit within any cognizable legal theory. Regarding the causes of action for negligence, violations of Public Health Law, and wrongful death, the court found that the EDTPA provided immunity to healthcare facilities like the defendant for actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the EDTPA was repealed, the repeal did not apply retroactively as established in previous appellate division rulings. As such, the court found that the defendant was entitled to immunity under the EDTPA, leading to the dismissal of these claims. Continue Reading ›

Many people residing in skilled nursing facilities are considered fall risks and require extra care to ensure their safety. If such fall prevention measures are not properly employed, it can result in serious harm. In most cases, plaintiffs pursuing claims against nursing facilities following falls must rely on circumstantial evidence to demonstrate fault, but in some instances, direct evidence, like surveillance footage, exists. If the defendant fails to preserve such evidence, though, it may damage the plaintiff’s claims and may be grounds for instituting sanctions. In a recent New York opinion issued in a medical malpractice case, the court discussed when sanctions are appropriate for spoliation, ultimately determining that they were not warranted. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of a doctor, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that in October 2013, the decedent entered the defendants’ nursing center. The decedent, wheelchair-bound and suffering from various medical conditions, including dementia, had a history of falls. Despite being considered a high risk for falls, she fell numerous times during her stay, suffering serious harm. The surveillance video capturing her first fall was automatically overwritten two weeks later. The decedent passed away in April 2015 due to aspiration pneumonia and sepsis.

Allegedly, in November 2016, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting medical malpractice and other claims. The plaintiffs then sought spoliation sanctions against the defendants for not preserving the surveillance video. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading ›

The majority of medical malpractice cases are pursued at the state court level. Some defendants, though, prefer to litigate claims before federal courts and will move a case filed in state court to a federal district court. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction, though, and if the removal of a medical malpractice case is improper, it will be remanded back to the state level. Recently, a New York court discussed when it is appropriate to remand a medical malpractice case back to state court in a matter in which it granted the plaintiff’s motion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to have a discussion with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer concerning your options for seeking justice.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent lived in the defendant’s nursing home as a resident. In May 2021, she passed away after contracting COVID-19. The plaintiff then filed a case against the defendant asserting medical and nursing malpractice, wrongful death, and numerous other claims. The basis for the plaintiff’s claims was the defendant’s alleged failure to take necessary precautions during the pandemic, which ultimately led to her mother’s death.

Allegedly, the defendant removed the case to federal court, arguing that such removal was appropriate because the defendant acted at the direction of multiple federal agencies when responding to the pandemic and because federal question jurisdiction existed under the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act. The defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand the matter to state court. Continue Reading ›

Most New York medical malpractice cases are filed in state court. In some instances, though, a defendant will move a case to federal court. Federal courts can only hear certain cases, however, and if a court founds that it lacks jurisdiction over a matter, it will remand the case back to the state level. This was illustrated recently in a New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice case in which the court remanded the matter due to its lack of subject matter jurisdiction. If you were hurt by the carelessness of a healthcare provider, it is in your best interest to talk to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney about your options for pursuing damages.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent was a resident of the defendant’s nursing home for two months in 2020. Toward the end of her residency, her condition declined, and she was diagnosed with COVID-19; she died later that same day. The plaintiff, the administrator of the defendant’s estate, subsequently filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant in state court, alleging, among other things, that the decedent died due to the defendant’s failure to take safety precautions during the pandemic. The defendant moved the case to federal court under the assertion that the complaint arose under federal law pursuant to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. The plaintiff then moved to remand the case back to state court.

Federal Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases

Upon review, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion. The court clarified that a defendant bears the burden of proving that removal is proper; as the defendant failed to meet its burden in this case, the court was required to remand the matter back to state court. Continue Reading ›

Accidents that occur in nursing homes unfortunately often cause fatal injuries. People who suffer the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a medical facilities’ staff members have the right to pursue compensation, but if they fail to prove the elements of their claims, they may be dismissed. In a recent New York case, the court issued an opinion discussing what evidence a plaintiff must offer to demonstrate that the defendant violated the standard of care or caused fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because of the carelessness of a healthcare facility, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for protecting your interests.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the decedent, who was a double amputee with end-stage kidney failure, was a resident at the defendant’s nursing home. He was confined to a wheelchair. One afternoon the decedent, who was unsupervised, fell out of his chair. He sustained a fracture of this left shoulder in the fall and two days later passed away.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical malpractice by failing to provide supervision and revise and follow the decedent’s care plan. Following discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment. Continue Reading ›

While plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases will typically allege that the defendant health care providers were negligent, there is a difference between what a plaintiff must prove to establish ordinary negligence as opposed to medical negligence. As such, if a plaintiff does not offer adequate proof in support of his or her distinct claims, it could result in a dismissal of the case. The distinction between negligence and medical negligence was the topic of a recent New York opinion issued in a nursing malpractice case. If you were hurt due to the careless actions of a nurse, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a trusted Rochester nursing malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Decedent’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to a skilled nursing facility that was operated by the defendant federal government. During his admission, he fell and suffered injuries, which led to a worsening of his underlying conditions. He later returned to the nursing facility for a second stay. No changes were made to the facility’s fall protocols, and he fell a second time. He ultimately died from the injuries sustained in the fall. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, asserting both negligence and medical malpractice claims. The matter proceeded to a bench trial, after which the court issued findings of fact in which, in part, it described the differences between negligence and medical malpractice.

Ordinary Negligence Versus Medical Malpractice

The court noted that a threshold issue in the subject case was whether the plaintiff’s allegations against the defendant arising out of the decedent’s care at the skilled nursing facility asserted negligence or malpractice claims. The plaintiff argued she merely had to prove negligence to recover damages, while the defendant averred that she must prove medical malpractice, and as she failed to do so, she should be denied recovery. Continue Reading ›

Typically, medical malpractice cases are filed in New York state courts. Even if a plaintiff files a matter in state court, however, the defendant may be able to remove it to federal court in certain instances. Usually, it is more beneficial for a defendant in a malpractice case to have the case disputes ruled on by federal courts, and therefore plaintiffs may seek grounds to remand their cases back to the courts where they were originally filed. As explained in a recent New York opinion, a federal court may only exercise jurisdiction over a medical malpractice case that does not involve federal law if there is complete diversity between the parties and the amount in controversy is met; otherwise, the case will be remanded to state court. If you were harmed by incompetent medical care, it is prudent to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

Procedural History

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was a resident of a facility owned by the defendant. In May 2019, the decedent fell and suffered grave injuries that ultimately led to his death. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant asserting numerous claims, including violation of New York Public Health Law, medical negligence, and wrongful death. The defendant removed the matter from state court to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims arguing, in part that it was not a residential health care facility. The plaintiff then filed a motion to remand the matter back to state court.

Diversity Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Claims

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1367(c), the plaintiff asked the court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the matter and to remand it back to state court. The court explained that the plaintiff’s reasoning was flawed, however. The court stated that while federal courts are permitted to remand cases if they have dismissed the claims over which they have original jurisdiction, federal courts have original jurisdiction over all state law matters if diversity jurisdiction exists. Thus, the court declined to remand the matter under section 1367(c). Continue Reading ›

Malpractice and other types of negligence in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are serious problems. If you have been injured or a loved one has died while in the case of an assisted living facility, you may be entitled to compensation. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Rochester medical malpractice attorneys have the passion and persistence to take on New York’s toughest malpractice claims.

A recent report highlights how assisted living facilities are struggling to meet staff care standards, resulting in a diminished quality of care for seniors. For instance, the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies documented a 97 percent staff turnover rate for certified nurse aides and an average of 90 percent turnover rate for registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses.

Falls are the second leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths worldwide for the elderly population. In fact, in one 2016 case, a Maryland patient fell three times in a single day and died as a result of coverage gaps in monitoring. In another incident, a Tennessee patient who walked out of the front door of a facility fell in the parking lot and then headed into a wooded area before anyone realized he was missing. Unfortunately, these types of incidents are widespread. With the United States’ population rising, it is imperative to create effective methods for care facilities and caregivers to maintain.

Continue Reading ›

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