Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

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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

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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

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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.

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