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New York Court Discusses Notice Requirements in Medical Malpractice Claims Against Public Corporations

New York law dictates that people who want to pursue medical malpractice claims against their healthcare providers must do so within a specified timeframe. In addition to complying with the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, parties seeking compensation from a public entity must abide by the notice requirements as well. As indicated in a recent opinion issued by a New York court, the failure to adhere to such requirements may be fatal to a claim. If you were harmed by the negligence of your physician, you may be owed damages, and you should meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a petition for leave to file late notice of claim against the defendant. The claim sounded in medical malpractice and arose out of the treatment the plaintiff received at a facility operated by the defendant, a public corporation. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s petition for leave, and the plaintiff appealed.

New York Law Regarding Notice in Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the court found that the trial court wisely exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s petition for leave to file late notice of claim and affirmed the trial court ruling. Pursuant to New York’s General Municipal Law 50-e, a party that wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim against a public corporation must provide the corporation with notice of the claim within ninety days of when the claim accrued or within a reasonable time after. If they neglect to offer such notice, their claim may be dismissed.

While the courts strictly construe the notice requirement, delays may be excused in some circumstances. For example, if a plaintiff offers a reasonable excuse for the delay, demonstrates that no prejudice will occur if they are permitted to proceed with their claim, or shows that the public corporation had actual notice of the claim, they may be able to avoid dismissal.

In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff failed to show that any grounds existed for permitting him to file a late notice of claim. Namely, he failed to provide a reasonable excuse for his five months delay in filing the notice or attach medical records to his petition to demonstrate that the defendant had notice of the claim and therefore was not prejudiced by his delay. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Dedicated Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

All healthcare providers have an obligation to provide their patients with competent care, regardless of whether they work for a private or public organization, and the failure to do so often constitutes medical malpractice. If you sustained losses due to a doctor’s carelessness, you could be owed compensation, and it is wise to confer with an attorney. The dedicated Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking the best legal outcome possible. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 585-653-7343 to set up a conference.

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