Articles Posted in Orthopedic Malpractice

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Medical malpractice cases are fact-intensive and require both parties to offer proof as to whether the facts are sufficient to establish a breach of the applicable standard of care. If the court finds that under the facts of the case the defendant cannot be held liable as a matter of law, it may dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. In a recent orthopedic malpractice case ruled on by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, the court explained what constitutes sufficient evidence to obtain a dismissal. If you were harmed due to orthopedic malpractice it is critical to engage an assertive Rochester orthopedic malpractice attorney to assist you in your pursuit of damages.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff first treated with the defendant orthopedic surgeon on January 18, 2012, for an ankle injury. The plaintiff returned to the defendant’s office on January 20th, at which time it was noted he had blisters on his ankle. At the second appointment, the defendant advised the plaintiff he was going on vacation but left the plaintiff his cell phone number so that the plaintiff could contact him if the symptoms worsened.

Allegedly, the plaintiff called the defendant within the next four days, advising he was in pain, had a fever, and had discolored blisters on his ankle. The plaintiff also sent the defendant a text message with a picture of his ankle, that showed the skin was blackening and had pus. On January 24ththe plaintiff presented to the emergency department of a nearby hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. He was diagnosed with compartment syndrome and cellulitis and underwent emergency surgery. The plaintiff subsequently filed an orthopedic malpractice case against the defendant. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. The defendant appealed.

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Plaintiffs seeking damages in New York medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to a high burden of proof, and in many cases, the defendant health care providers are able to successfully argue that the plaintiff has not met his or her burden of proof and obtain a dismissal via summary judgment prior to trial. Regardless of the sufficiency of either party’s case, however, they must comply with the New York rules of civil procedure and the failure to abide by those rules can affect the outcome of the case. This was demonstrated in a recent orthopedic malpractice case in which the court denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment as untimely. If you suffered an injury or illness because of orthopedic malpractice it is imperative to meet with a skilled Rochester orthopedic malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Facts of the Case and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee, which was performed by the defendant orthopedic surgeon. She developed an infection and eight days after her surgery and presented to the emergency room of the defendant hospital. She underwent irrigation and debridement and was referred to an infectious disease specialist, who managed the infection with antibiotics and observation. The plaintiff subsequently developed acute renal failure due to the antibiotic she was prescribed.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant orthopedist and defendant hospital, arguing that their negligent care ultimately caused her to sustain renal failure. Per the rules of the judge assigned to the case, the deadline for either party to file a motion for summary judgment was February 14, 2017. The defendants did not file a motion for summary judgment until March 29, 2017, however, at which time they also filed a motion to extend the deadline for filing the motion. The court dismissed both motions as untimely and the defendants appealed.

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There are several elements a person harmed by medical malpractice must prove to recover damages from the care provider that caused his or her harm. First, and perhaps most importantly, the injured party must show that he or she was a patient of the doctor that rendered the inadequate care. While in most cases it is easy to establish a doctor-patient relationship, in some cases, it is not immediately clear whether a doctor-patient relationship exists. The Supreme Court of New York recently analyzed whether a plaintiff sufficiently established a doctor-patient relationship in a case where the defendant doctor owned the orthopedic practice where the plaintiff was treated but did not provide direct care to the plaintiff. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to inadequate orthopedic care you should meet with a trusted Rochester orthopedic malpractice attorney regarding what damages, you may be able to recover from the parties that caused your harm.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the minor plaintiff fell off of his bicycle and broke his left arm in June 2015. The plaintiff’s mother took him to the emergency room of a nearby hospital following his fall. The hospital staff did not place a cast on the plaintiff’s arm but provided him with a sling and directed his mother to take him to an orthopedic specialist as soon as possible. On July 1, 2015, the plaintiff’s mother took the plaintiff to the defendant orthopedic practice which was owned by the defendant doctor.

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