Articles Posted in Surgical Malpractice

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Generally, plaintiffs have the right to choose the forum in which they wish to pursue their medical malpractice claims. There are limitations to the plaintiff’s right to designate where a case should be heard, however, and if a court lacks jurisdiction over a matter, the plaintiff cannot demand that it preside over a case. This general rule was illustrated in a recent New York opinion in which the court affirmed the dismissal of a plaintiff’s surgical malpractice case due to lack of jurisdiction. If you suffered harm because of a negligently performed surgery, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

The Procedural History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant health center and other parties, alleging he suffered harm due to complications arising out of a surgical repair of an inguinal hernia. He voluntarily dismissed his claims via the other parties via stipulation. The defendant health center filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, and the matter was referred to a magistrate judge who issued a report and recommendation that the court grants the defendant’s motion. The court adopted the report and recommendation and granted the motion. The plaintiff then filed a motion for reconsideration.

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Many hospitals and medical facilities in New York are owned or operated by public corporations. While parties injured by medical negligence can pursue malpractice claims against such establishments, they must comply with certain pleading requirements. For example, they must provide notice of their potential claims to the public corporation or municipality within a relatively short time after their harm arises. In a recent ruling issued in a surgical malpractice case, a New York court discussed what constitutes adequate notice of a possible claim. If you suffered harm due to a negligently performed surgery, you might be able to recover compensation, and it is wise to speak to a Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

It is reported that the plaintiff was admitted to a hospital owned by the defendant public benefit corporation from May through September 2016. During her admission, she underwent numerous surgical procedures that ultimately resulted in the amputation of her right leg. She then initiated a  medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for her losses. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that she failed to provide them with the notice required under General Municipal Law 50-e. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Notice Required in New York Medical Malpractice Claims Against Public Corporations

Pursuant to General Municipal Law 50-e, it is a condition precedent that a party that wishes to pursue tort claims against a public benefit corporation or municipality must provide adequate and timely notice of the claims. Specifically, the injured party must advise the municipality or public corporation of the time, place, and manner in which the claim arose and must set forth the nature of the claim. Continue reading

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A patient that suffers harm due to a medical procedure may seek to recover damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some instances, an injured patient may not only be able to allege the surgeon who performed the surgery is liable for medical negligence but may also be able to pursue a lack of informed consent claim as well. Negligence and informed consent claims have different elements, and merely because plaintiffs can proceed with one claim does not mean they will be able to proceed with another, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a surgeon, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the defendant performed a total left hip replacement surgery on the plaintiff in August of 2014. The plaintiff subsequently sustained damage to his left femoral nerve, which he asserted was due to the defendant’s negligence during the procedure. Thus, he filed a medical malpractice complaint against the defendant in late 2015, in which he set forth medical negligence and lack of informed consent claims. The defendant moved for summary judgment on both claims, asking the trial court to dismiss the case. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed.

Establishing Triable Issues of Fact in Medical Negligence and Lack of Informed Consent Claims

The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order as to the lack of informed consent claim but denied it with regard to the medical negligence claim. The appellate court explained that the evidence of the case, including the plaintiff’s deposition, the written consent form signed by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s medical records, demonstrated that the defendant advised him of the benefits, risks, and alternatives to the surgery. Thus, the appellate court found that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate there was a triable question of fact on the lack of informed consent claim and reversed the trial court ruling. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice matters, the plaintiff will typically rely, in part, on treatment records to show that the defendant failed to provide competent care. Thus, if a defendant fails to retain medical records, imaging, or other documents relating to the plaintiff’s care, it could adversely impact the plaintiff’s ability to establish fault. Further, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a surgical malpractice case, in certain circumstances, the spoliation of evidence may be a basis for imposing sanctions.  If you were injured by a negligently performed procedure, you could be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility, where he was treated for swelling and pain in his left leg by the defendant doctors. The defendant doctors performed a venogram and diagnosed the plaintiff with deep vein thrombosis. He was admitted to the defendant hospital, where he was treated with numerous medications, including blood thinners and anticoagulants. During his admission, he suffered a brain hemorrhage which rendered him permanently paralyzed on the left side of his body.

It is reported that the plaintiff instituted a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. During discovery, he sought records from the defendants, including imaging from the venogram. The defendants responded they did not have the images and subsequently moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion in which he sought sanctions against the defendants for spoliation of evidence. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion and denied the plaintiff’s request for sanctions, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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A medical malpractice lawsuit, like most civil claims, must be pursued in a timely manner; otherwise, the injured party may waive the right to recover damages. In some instances, though, plaintiffs that fail to file cases within the applicable statute of limitations may nonetheless be able to proceed with their claims if they can show that the statute was tolled. In a recent opinion issued in a medical malpractice case, a New York court discussed tolling of the statute of limitations for harm caused by foreign objects left in a person after surgery. If you suffered harm due to errors committed during surgery, it is advisable to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the emergency department of the defendant hospital when she was ten years old with complaints of abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent an emergency appendectomy which was performed by the defendant. Fourteen years later, she instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that foreign objects were left inside of her body following the surgery, causing her to suffer reproductive and gastrointestinal issues, and pain. The defendants moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed, arguing that she failed to pursue them within the time provided by the applicable statute of limitations.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Under New York law, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is typically two years and six months from the date the cause of action accrued. There is an exception, though, for cases that arise out of the discovery that a foreign object was left in the body of the patient. In such instances, the action may be commenced within one year of the date of the discovery of the foreign object or the revelation of facts that would lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier. Continue reading

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In all but the clearest of cases, what constitutes medical malpractice is generally not readily understood by the average juror. As such, medical malpractice cases typically hinge on expert testimony. Plaintiffs that fail to produce expert testimony, then, will likely have their cases dismissed, as they will be unable to demonstrate a breach of the standard of care. This was demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, in which the court dismissed a pro se plaintiff’s surgical malpractice claims via summary judgment, due to her failure to produce an expert affidavit. If you were harmed by a negligent surgeon, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to meet with a trusted Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your situation.

The Plaintiff’s Alleged Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure that was performed by the defendant, in which fat was transferred from her back, arms, and abdomen into other parts of her body. Following the procedure, she suffered pain in her right hip and bleeding. Additionally, she believed that pictures were taken of her when she was unconscious during the procedure. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical malpractice claims. After discovery was completed, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims by way of summary judgment. Upon reviewing the evidence presented, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Proving Medical Negligence Under New York Law

The court explained that, in order to prove a medical malpractice claim in New York, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the standard of care accepted in the community and that the breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, if a defendant demonstrates that it did not depart from the standard of care or that any departure from the standard of care did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries, the defendant will be prima facie entitled to summary judgment. Continue reading

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Surgery on the wrong part of the body is one of the most egregious medical errors that can occur. Thus, if a doctor operates on the incorrect body part, the person injured may be able to pursue multiple claims against the doctor, including medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and battery. In a recent New York opinion, a court explained what a patient must prove to establish liability under each of these claims in a case in which the defendant performed surgery on the wrong site on the plaintiff. If you underwent a surgical procedure that was not properly performed, it is in your best interest to speak to a Rochester surgical malpractice attorney to assess your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Surgery

It is reported that the plaintiff was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove an abscess on her left leg. The defendant performed the procedure but removed a cyst from the Plaintiff’s Bartholin gland, rather than an abscess from her leg. The plaintiff, who suffered psychological and physical harm because of the improperly performed surgery, filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging claims of medical malpractice, battery, and lack of informed consent. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted his motion. The plaintiff then appealed, and on appeal, the trial court ruling was reversed.

Claims Arising out of a Procedure Performed on the Wrong Part

On appeal, the court noted that the defendant’s motion included the deposition transcript of the plaintiff wherein she described that the defendant advised her he was going to remove an abscess from her leg but instead operated on her Bartholin gland. Therefore, per the defendant’s own submission, she failed to demonstrate that there were no factual disputes on material issues in the matter as to whether she operated on the wrong area and whether the error caused the plaintiff’s harm, as required to obtain a summary judgment under New York law. Continue reading

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In medical malpractice cases, the injured party must show that the health care provider deviated from what is considered the accepted practice of medicine. Thus, the person seeking damages must produce evidence demonstrating the standard of care. In a recent opinion, a New York court discussed what evidence is admissible in a medical malpractice case and how compelling the plaintiff’s evidence must be to show that the defendant caused the harm alleged in a matter arising out of surgical malpractice. If you suffered harm due to an error during a procedure, it is advisable to consult a skillful Rochester surgical malpractice attorney to discuss your claims.

The Injury and Subsequent Pleadings

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a surgical hernia repair in December 2013. The defendant performed the surgery. In March 2014, after experiencing difficulty eating and abdominal pain, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a disorder that caused stomach paralysis and made it difficult to digest food. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing his negligent performance of the December 2013 procedure caused the plaintiff’s harm. A trial was conducted, and the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $500,000. The defendant appealed, arguing that certain evidence was inappropriately admitted at trial and that the court improperly instructed the jury.

Evidence Demonstrating Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case

On appeal, the court noted that while the defendant raised a general objection to the admission of a manual into evidence at trial, he failed to raise the specific objection necessary for the court to consider the matter on appeal. Regardless, the court declined to adopt the defendant’s reasoning that the manual was used to demonstrate the standard of care.

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In many medical malpractice cases, the defendant will seek to have the claims against it dismissed prior to trial. Even if a defendant demonstrates that it did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine, though, a plaintiff can avoid dismissal by producing evidence sufficient to refute the defendant’s assertions. The standard of review for determining whether to dismiss medical negligence claims in New York was recently discussed in a surgical malpractice case in which the court found sufficient factual disputes existed to proceed to trial. If you were hurt by the acts of a negligent surgeon, it is wise to talk to a dedicated Rochester surgical malpractice attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.

Procedural History

Allegedly, the defendant performed a surgical procedure on the plaintiff’s right shoulder. The plaintiff suffered complications after the surgery and ultimately needed to undergo a second procedure. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that the defendant’s negligence caused him to suffer physical and financial harm. The defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed by summary judgment. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed.

Avoiding Dismissal in Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York, a defendant doctor seeking summary judgment in a medical malpractice case has to make a prima facie showing that it did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that the plaintiff was not harmed by any alleged departure. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must then set forth evidentiary materials or facts in opposition to the defendant’s position to demonstrate the existence of an issue of fact that must be resolved via trial.

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While some people are reluctant to retain legal counsel prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit due to fears regarding costs, the decision to proceed pro se can have drastic consequences, as the plaintiff’s lack of understanding of the law may result in a permanent waiver of the right to recover damages. This was demonstrated in a recent surgical malpractice case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to her failure to make timely objections or to meet her burden of proof. If you were hurt due to the negligent acts of a surgeon, it is in your best interest to retain a capable Rochester surgical malpractice attorney to assist you in your pursuit of damages.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and History of the Case

It is alleged that in August 2013, the plaintiff underwent two surgical repairs of aneurysms in her right leg, which were performed by the defendant. She continued to treat with the defendant after the surgeries, during which she reported pain in her leg. She then began treating with another physician and, in February 2014, underwent an angioplasty but nonetheless still experienced leg pain. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. Following the close of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The court entered an order granting the judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

Demonstrating Liability for Surgical Malpractice

The appellate court explained the well-established law of New York, which is that a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the defendant departed from the accepted community standards of the practice of medicine and that the departure caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. As such, a defendant moving for summary judgment must show that either there was no departure from the standard of care or that any departure did not harm the plaintiff, in order to show the plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed. If a defendant makes such a showing, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to demonstrate the presence of a factual dispute that requires the matter to proceed to trial.

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