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