Articles Posted in Primary Care Malpractice

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Generally, when plaintiffs file medical malpractice actions, they will include in their complaints any allegations of negligent acts committed by the defendants that ultimately led to their harm. While plaintiffs have the right to amend their pleadings during the course of litigation, the right is not limitless, and plaintiffs that do not act promptly may waive their right to pursue certain claims. The extent of the right to amend pleadings in a medical malpractice case was the topic of a recent New York opinion in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against a gastroenterologist. If you were hurt by a negligent physician, it is prudent to consult a capable Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent suffered from hepatitis B, but his illness was dormant. He was diagnosed with cancer and was then referred to the defendant for management of his hepatitis B during his cancer treatment. The defendant prescribed an antiviral medication to suppress the disease, but the decedent’s hepatitis B was reactivated following his chemotherapy.

Allegedly, the defendant continued to treat the decedent, who eventually was diagnosed with kidney and liver failure. He died due to the failure of multiple organs. The plaintiff, who was the decedent’s wife, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Approximately a year after the lawsuit was filed, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff then filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint and the bill of particulars. The court granted the defendant’s motion and denied the plaintiff’s, and the plaintiff appealed. 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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In New York, medical malpractice cases are typically a battle of the experts. Thus, if a defendant establishes the right to judgment in its favor via expert testimony but the plaintiff is unable to demonstrate there is a need for a trial on disputed issues via the affidavit of an expert, the plaintiff’s claims may be dismissed. The qualifications of an expert were examined in a recent New York opinion, in which the plaintiff’s expert lacked the knowledge necessary to opine on disputed issues of fact, which ultimately resulted in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s malpractice claims against a primary care physician. If you were injured by the negligence of a doctor in a family practice, you should speak to a seasoned Rochester primary care malpractice attorney regarding your rights.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent was treated by the defendant primary care practice prior to his death. He suffered from numerous health concerns, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, and diabetes-related infections, myocardial infarction, renal disease, and cardiovascular disease. At some point during his treatment, he was required to undergo emergency dialysis, after which he suffered complications. He also fell numerous times and sustained leg wounds that would not heal.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing its negligence caused the decedent’s harm and untimely death. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss and produced an expert affidavit in support. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Under New York law, even if a person harmed by negligent medical care has a legitimate claim for damages, procedural errors may prevent the person from recovering compensation. For example, it is imperative that any medical malpractice claim is filed within two and a half years of the alleged date of harm; otherwise, it may be deemed untimely and dismissed. There are some exceptions to the general rule, though, such as when claims are permitted under the relation-back doctrine. Recently, a New York opinion discussed what a plaintiff must prove to show that the relation-back doctrine applies in a case arising out of primary care malpractice. If you were hurt due to negligent treatment in a primary care setting, you should confer with a diligent Rochester primary care malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent treated with the defendant primary care physicians over a span of four days leading up to her death. After the plaintiff’s decedent’s untimely demise, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit, alleging the defendants’ medical malpractice led to the decedent’s death. The facility that employed the defendants at the time of the alleged harm accepted service on behalf of one of the defendants but not the other, as he was no longer employed there.

It is alleged that during the course of discovery, the plaintiff’s attorney realized he named the incorrect individual defendants. He then moved to discontinue the claims against the defendants and name the facility where they worked as defendants. As the statute of limitations had passed, he argued that the relation-back doctrine applied. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.

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In New York, a party alleging that a doctor committed medical malpractice typically must produce an expert report to establish the manner in which the doctor failed to comply with the standard of care and to link the doctor’s acts to the purported harm. Simply producing a report is not sufficient, however, if the report fails to demonstrate that there are disputed issues of fact as to whether the defendant doctor should be held liable for the plaintiff’s losses. The danger of failing to produce an adequate expert report was highlighted in a recent New York case in which the appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against a primary care physician. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of your treating doctor, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Rochester primary care malpractice attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to prove liability.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s wife visited the defendant primary care physician in May 2013, complaining of a recent sudden weight loss, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The defendant ordered numerous diagnostic tests and prescribed the plaintiff antibiotics. The plaintiff’s wife visited the defendant two days later. During the second treatment session, the defendant ordered a pulmonary consultation and directed the plaintiff’s wife to follow up with him in two weeks. The plaintiff’s wife suffered a cardiac arrest the following day, however, and died three weeks later.

It is reported that the CT scan that was conducted prior to the plaintiff’s wife’s death but not reviewed until after she died indicated that she had numerous tumors on her spine, liver, and lungs that were believed to be cancerous. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant for failing to recommend the plaintiff’s wife seek emergency care. The defendant ultimately filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

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Medical malpractice cases are typically complex, and the issue of whether a health care practitioner departed from the accepted standard of care typically fall outside of the understanding of the average person. Thus, in most medical malpractice lawsuits, the plaintiff will have to rely on expert testimony to establish liability. The importance of an expert affidavit was highlighted in a recent primary care malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to the fact the plaintiff failed to produce an expert report. If you or a loved one sustained damages because of incompetent medical treatment, it is advisable to confer with a seasoned Rochester primary care malpractice attorney to discuss what compensation you may be able to recover in a civil lawsuit.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff, who suffers from diabetes, visited a federally funded health center where he was seen by the defendant physician and a lab technician for medication refills and a general examination. During the plaintiff’s visit, he was alert and oriented and did not note any concerns, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or compromised vision. As such, no one obtained a reading of the plaintiff’s glucose level during the visit, but the defendant physician ordered blood work that would test the plaintiff’s glucose levels over a three-month period. The plaintiff underwent the test the following day, after which he was discharged from the health center.

It is reported that after the plaintiff was discharged, he was involved in a motor vehicle collision. It was subsequently revealed that the plaintiff’s blood sugar level was below normal, and the plaintiff asserted that he blacked out during the accident due to low blood sugar. He subsequently filed a medical malpractice case against the defendants, seeking damages for the harm caused by the defendant physician’s alleged negligence. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

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In any New York medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must not only show that the defendant health care provider failed to provide care that met the applicable standard, but also that the failure caused the plaintiff’s harm, which generally requires expert testimony. Thus, in most cases, whether a plaintiff’s claims will proceed to trial largely depends on the strength and sufficiency of each party’s experts, as discussed in a recent New York medical malpractice case against a primary care physician in which the court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. If you were injured by an incompetent primary care physician, it is in your best interest to meet with a skillful Rochester primary care malpractice attorney regarding your right to seek compensation.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant primary care facility with complaints of leg pain. He was seen by the defendant physician who ordered tests to rule out deep venous thrombosis. The tests came back negative, after which the defendant physician prescribed the plaintiff painkillers and ordered the plaintiff to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon. Approximately two weeks later, an angiogram showed that the plaintiff had complete blockage in two arteries in his leg. He underwent surgery, after which he developed additional symptoms. He ultimately had to undergo an amputation of his leg below the knee.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that their failure to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s condition in a timely manner caused him to lose his leg. Following discovery, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court dismissed. The defendants appealed the dismissal, but on appeal, the appellate court affirmed.

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While all New York medical malpractice cases allege that a plaintiff suffered harm due to a medical provider’s incompetent care, the plaintiff’s burden of proof varies depending on whether the defendant provider is a private individual or entity or the United States Government. The standards for proving a government entity is liable for medical malpractice were recently discussed in a primary care malpractice case arising out of treatment at a federally funded clinic. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care administered by a primary care physician, it is prudent to speak with a seasoned Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss whether you have a viable claim for damages.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff sought treatment from the defendant primary care physician, who worked at the defendant federally funded clinic, and the defendant endocrinologist, who worked at the defendant private medical center, for a variety of health issues from 2010 through 2012. During his treatment, he underwent a variety of tests, which indicated various issues but no underlying cause of his ongoing health concerns. Then, in 2015, the plaintiff was diagnosed with kidney cancer. As such, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendants for failing to diagnose and treat his cancer in a timely manner. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment. The defendant federally funded clinic argued that the plaintiff’s expert report was too speculative and should be precluded pursuant to the federal rules of evidence. The court disagreed, denying the defendant federally funded clinic’s motion.

Medical Malpractice Under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

The FTCA states that the liability of the United States is the same as the liability imposed on a private person under the laws of the state where the harm allegedly occurred. Thus, a plaintiff pursuing a medical malpractice claim against a government entity in New York must show that the defendant departed from the accepted standard of care in the medical community where the defendant practiced, and the departure caused the plaintiff’s harm.

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