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Under New York law, establishing liability in a medical malpractice case requires a plaintiff to establish that the defendant departed from the applicable standard of care and that such a departure caused the plaintiff harm. If the plaintiff is unable to offer evidence sufficient to meet their burden, their claims may be dismissed, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling. If you sustained injuries because of the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you may be able to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant medical center after he suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident. The defendant doctor assessed and treated him upon arrival at the center. The plaintiff subsequently sustained unspecified losses, which he attributed to the care he received from the defendants. As such, he instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against them, in which he asserted that the defendant doctor’s negligence caused his harm and the defendant medical center was vicariously liable for the defendant doctor’s negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment, but the court denied their motions. They then appealed.

Proving a Doctor Proximately Caused a Patient’s Harm

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. The court explained that defendants in medical malpractice cases bear the burden of showing that the evidence, on its face, establishes that they did not deviate from the accepted practice of medicine, or if they did, that their departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s losses. Continue reading

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Many medications have side effects, and while generally, the benefits provided by such drugs outweigh any potentially detrimental consequences, doctors must assess each patient’s risk factors to determine whether a medication is appropriate. Doctors that recklessly prescribe medications may be held accountable for any harm caused by their carelessness, but merely because a patient is harmed by a side effect of a drug does not mean a doctor committed malpractice, as shown in a recent New York ruling. If you suffered harm because of a negligently prescribed medication, you might be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to talk to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a university student, visited a doctor at the school’s counseling services for mental health care. The doctor assessed the plaintiff as having general anxiety and directed her to see the defendant. The defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and prescribed her a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Allegedly, three months later, the plaintiff fell off of a subway station in New York City and was struck by a train. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging she negligently prescribed her the SSRI in an improper dosage without informing her of the side effects or conducting a thorough exam. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue reading

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People injured in car accidents will often pursue claims against the person that caused the collision. Pursuant to New York law, though, people involved in car crashes can only recover damages if they suffer serious harm. Recently, a New York court discussed the serious injury threshold in a matter in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. If you were harmed in a collision, you could be owed compensation, and you should consult a Rochester personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a car crash. Specifically, the defendant, who was driving a tractor-trailer, rear-ended the plaintiff, who was driving an SUV. The plaintiff reportedly sustained injuries in the accident and, therefore, filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant driver and his employer. Following discovery, the defendants moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint via summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that he suffered a serious injury as required to recover damages. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

New York’s Serious Injury Threshold in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that under New York’s no-fault insurance system, people hurt in car accidents can only recover compensation if they sustain serious injuries. Serious injuries, the court noted, include personal injuries that result in permanent consequential limitation of use of a body part or organ, substantial limitation of a system or bodily function, or a medically determined impairment or injury that is non-permanent but prevents a person from performing all of their normal activities for at least 90 of the 180 days after the accident. Continue reading

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New York imposes strict time limitations as to when a person can pursue medical malpractice claims. Thus, if a person injured by a negligent doctor fails to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within the statute of limitations, their claim will most likely be dismissed. As explained in a recent New York opinion issued in a medical malpractice case, though, there are certain situations when delays are acceptable, such as when the continuing treatment doctrine applies. If you sustained losses because of inadequate medical care, you should talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.

History of the Case

It is alleged that from January through April 2017, the plaintiff was hospitalized at the defendant medical center. During his stay, he developed severe pressure sores. He treated his sores with other providers following his discharge. In September 2018, he returned to the defendant medical center for an unrelated procedure. He continued to treat his sores in 2019 and, in July 2019, was evaluated at the defendant medical center for a worsening sore on his left hip joint that required surgery.

Reportedly, in September 2019, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims as time-barred. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and it appealed. Continue reading

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Doctors have a duty to provide their patients with thorough and adequate care. This means that they must not only avoid causing their patients physical harm but also that, in some instances, they must prevent patients from harming themselves. The duty a doctor owes to a patient with ideation of self-harm was the topic of a recent New York opinion delivered in a medical malpractice case in which the court denied the defendant’s request for dismissal. If your loved one died due to the negligence of a doctor, it is in your best interest to confer with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what compensation you may be owed.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant treated the decedent for chronic pain. Throughout the course of his care, the defendant prescribed the decedent opioids. Two years after the defendant began treating the decedent, the decedent saw a neurologist, who described the decedent as being depressed and having suicidal ideation. Shortly after that, the decedent died in his home. The medical examiner assessed his death as accidental and caused by acute combined intoxication with gabapentin and hydromorphone.

It is reported that the plaintiff subsequently commenced a lawsuit against the defendant asserting medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. The defendant moved for summary judgment, but the court denied the motion. The defendant then appealed. Continue reading

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The strength of a plaintiff’s medical malpractice case often hinges on the strength of their expert’s opinion. In other words, the more compelling the expert’s argument that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm is, the more likely it is that the jury will find in the plaintiff’s favor. Expert opinions must be more than merely persuasive, though, they must also be based on reliable facts and methods; if they are not, they may be deemed inadmissible. Recently a New York court discussed the admissibility of expert testimony in a medical malpractice case in which it precluded the plaintiff’s expert from testifying. If you suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, you could be owed damages, and you should talk to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.

The Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s son suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth. After the injury was deemed permanent, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, the doctor that delivered the infant. Among other things, she asserted that the defendant’s aggressive use of force on the infant’s head and shoulders caused the child’s harm. Prior to the trial, the defendant moved to bar the plaintiff’s expert from testifying that maternal labor forces could not have caused the infant’s injuries or that they would not have happened if the defendant had not moved the infant’s head.

When Expert Testimony is Admissible

The court granted the defendant’s motion. In doing so, it discussed when expert testimony is admissible. It stated that pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a person deemed an expert by their skill, education, training, knowledge, or expertise may offer their opinion as long as their testimony is based on adequate data or facts and is the product of reliable methods and principles that they have reliably applied. The opinion must also help the trier of fact determine a fact in issue or understand the evidence. Continue reading

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Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people injured by negligent medical care to pass away while their claims against the practitioners that caused their harm are pending. Under New York law, however, their estates can proceed with their claims, provided they comply with the rules of procedure. If they do not, their right to recover damages may be waived, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case.  If you lost a loved one because of the incompetence of a doctor, you should speak to a  Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent went into cardiac arrest during an intubation procedure performed by the defendant in 2010. The plaintiffs, the decedent’s co-guardians, commenced a medical malpractice action against the defendant in 2012. In 2013, due to the decedent’s death, the court imposed a stay. The decedent’s mother, one of the plaintiffs, sought and obtained voluntary administration of the decedent’s estate and letters testamentary.

Allegedly, in 2017, the plaintiffs filed a motion asking the court to lift the stay and to substitute the decedent’s mother, as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, as the plaintiff and for leave to file an amended complaint in which they would assert a wrongful death claim. In response, the defendant moved to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to move for substitution in a timely manner. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion and granted the defendant’s, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading

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Parties in medical malpractice cases typically ask juries to weigh the evidence presented at trial and issue a verdict based on that evidence. Parties do not always agree with the jury’s reasoning, though, and if they believe that the jury ruled improvidently, they can ask the court to set aside the verdict. As explained in a recent opinion delivered in a New York medical malpractice case, however, the court will only vacate a jury’s verdict if it is clear that it does not comply with the evidence presented. If you suffered losses due to negligent care rendered by a medical professional, it is smart to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options for seeking damages.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was admitted to the defendant hospital in 2009. A CT scan of the chest showed a large mass, and a biopsy confirmed that it was lymphoma. She subsequently began chemotherapy treatment through a mediport in her chest. During the administration of the chemotherapy, she complained of burning, and the treatment was discontinued.

Reportedly, it was later found that the needle had become displaced, causing the medication to infuse into the tissue surrounding the mediport and injuring the plaintiff. The plaintiff later filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. A trial was held, which resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff and an award of damages for suffering and pain. The defendant filed a motion asking the court to set aside the verdict. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

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While some collisions arise out of circumstances beyond anyone’s control, most are brought about by negligent driving. Even if it seems obvious that a person’s reckless driving caused an accident, however, issues of liability are rarely resolved by the courts before trial. For example, in a recent opinion issued in a case arising out of a rear-end collision, the court found that there were factual disputes in the matter that precluded summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you were injured in a car accident, you have the right to pursue claims against the responsible party, and it is smart to meet with a Rochester personal injury lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that in March 2015, the plaintiff suffered injuries in a rear-end collision involving the defendant. Specifically, the plaintiff asserted that he was stopped at a red light at an intersection when his vehicle was struck in the rear by a truck driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that their negligence caused him harm. After discovery ended, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.

Summary Judgment on the Issue of Liability in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed but on different grounds than those relied upon by the lower court. The court explained that pursuant to New York law, a rear-end collision involving a stopped vehicle establishes negligence, prima facie, on the part of the driver of the second vehicle. As such, the second driver must rebut the inference of negligence by offering a nonnegligent reason for the crash. Continue reading

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The majority of medical malpractice cases are pursued at the state court level. Some defendants, though, prefer to litigate claims before federal courts and will move a case filed in state court to a federal district court. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction, though, and if the removal of a medical malpractice case is improper, it will be remanded back to the state level. Recently, a New York court discussed when it is appropriate to remand a medical malpractice case back to state court in a matter in which it granted the plaintiff’s motion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to have a discussion with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer concerning your options for seeking justice.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent lived in the defendant’s nursing home as a resident. In May 2021, she passed away after contracting COVID-19. The plaintiff then filed a case against the defendant asserting medical and nursing malpractice, wrongful death, and numerous other claims. The basis for the plaintiff’s claims was the defendant’s alleged failure to take necessary precautions during the pandemic, which ultimately led to her mother’s death.

Allegedly, the defendant removed the case to federal court, arguing that such removal was appropriate because the defendant acted at the direction of multiple federal agencies when responding to the pandemic and because federal question jurisdiction existed under the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act. The defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand the matter to state court. Continue reading

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