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New York Court Rules Sexualization of a Patient-Doctor Relationship is Medical Malpractice

When people think of a medical malpractice claim, they often imagine a botched surgery or misdiagnosis. Medical malpractice can encompass a wide range of a medical care provider’s behavior, however, including the sexualization of a patient-doctor relationship. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the procedural laws regarding any claim against a medical provider for any inappropriate treatment, to avoid waiving the right to pursue damages.

This was demonstrated in a case decided by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in which the court held that a plaintiff’s claim that a psychiatrist fraudulently induced her into a sexual relationship was a medical malpractice claim governed by the two-and-a-half year statute of limitations. If you suffered harm due to a medical provider’s inappropriate care, you should meet with a trusted Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and develop a plan for seeking compensation.

Allegations Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff began treating with the defendant psychiatrist in 1992. Eleven years after her treatment began, the defendant allegedly told the plaintiff that if she had sex with him it would improve her marriage and her mental health. He further advised the plaintiff that if she did not have sex with him, it would be detrimental to her health and marriage. The plaintiff submitted to the defendant’s request based on reliance on his statements and engaged in a sexual relationship with the defendant until 2012 when she ceased treatment. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the defendant fraudulently induced her into a sexual relationship, which caused her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, financial harm, and caused the end of her marriage. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim as time-barred, which the court granted. The plaintiff appealed.

Sexualization of a Physician-Patient Relationship is a Medical Malpractice Claim

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court held that the sexualization of a relationship between a patient and a physician is typically a medical malpractice claim because the injuries suffered are not distinct or separate from the injuries caused by medical malpractice. In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff alleged both fraud and improper medical treatment, based upon the same behavior. Thus, the court found that the plaintiff’s claim sounded in medical malpractice. As the plaintiff filed her lawsuit more than two-and-a-half years after the alleged malpractice occurred, her claim was barred by the statute of limitations.

Meet with a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney to Discuss Your Case

If you were harmed because of inappropriate medical care you, should consult an experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as you can to discuss your case and your options for seeking compensation. The skilled Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers will work diligently to establish effective arguments that you will provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a successful result under the circumstances. We can be reached at 315-479-9000 or through the online form to schedule a confidential and free meeting.

More Blog Posts:

New York Appeals Court Rules that Psychiatric Malpractice Claim Cannot be Dismissed Because of Procedural Technicality, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, November 7, 2017

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