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New York Court Discusses Factors Permitting Late Notice of a Medical Malpractice Claim Against a Public Corporation

The statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New York is two years and six months from the date of harm. In cases where the medical care provider is a public corporation, however, different notice requirements apply.

The appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York recently discussed the circumstances in which a plaintiff will be permitted to file late notice of a claim against a public corporation. If you suffered injuries or an illness because of inadequate medical care, you should speak with a proficient  Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your harm and your options for pursuing compensation.

Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a petition for leave to file a late notice of a claim averring medical malpractice against the defendant, a public corporation. The trial court denied the petition and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Notice Required in Claims Against Municipal Corporations

Under General Municipal Law 50-e(5), a plaintiff who wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim against a public corporation must provide the corporation with notice of the facts from which the claim arises, within ninety days of the alleged harm. In determining whether to permit a plaintiff leave to serve a late notice of a claim, the court looks at whether the public corporation actually knew the essential facts from which the claim arose within ninety days of when it accrued, or within a reasonable time after. The court will also assess whether the plaintiff has a reasonable excuse for not serving the notice in a timely manner. Lastly, the court analyzes whether the delay significantly harms the public corporation’s ability to defend the claim as to the merits.

Here, the court found that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s petition for leave to file late notice. Specifically, the court found that the plaintiff’s argument that he was unaware of the ninety day notice requirement was not a sufficient excuse for the delay. Moreover, the court found that the plaintiff failed to present any medical evidence that showed that he was incapacitated at the time and therefore was unable to comply with the notice requirement. The court also found that the evidence that the plaintiff submitted in support of his petition did not show that the defendant public corporation had actual notice of the claim. Specifically, the court stated that medical records alone are insufficient to show that the corporation knew that its employees caused plaintiff harm via malpractice.  Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with an Experienced Rochester Medical Malpractice Attorney to Discuss Your Case

If you were injured by negligent medical care that was provided by a public corporation, you should meet with an experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. The seasoned Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers will walk you through each step of your case and identify any obstacles to your recovery. You can reach us at 315-479-9000 or through the online form to set up a consultation that is free and confidential.

More Blog Posts:

Anesthesia Error Claim Dismissed on Appeal After Plaintiff Fails to Produce Expert Affidavit, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, October 27, 2017

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