Serving Clients Throughout Upstate New York with Multiple Convenient Locations Syracuse | Oneida | Watertown | New Hartford | Binghamton | Cortland | Rochester | Oswego | Albany | Buffalo

Patient Falls off Operating Table During Procedure

Every surgery carries some level of inherent risks but there are some things that should never happen while you are being operated on. If you have suffered an unnecessary injury due to a surgeon’s negligence, you need to reach out to a seasoned Rochester medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to getting our clients the justice and compensation they deserve in their case.

In a recent North Carolina case, a patient sued Duke Health System over a 2012 incident in which the patient, a 75 year old woman, allegedly fell off an operating table during a heart catheterization and suffered a concussion, jaw injuries and bruises.

North Carolina law mandates that plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases “certify” that they have someone who can serve as an expert witness in their case. The expert witness is typically a medical professional in the same specialty of medicine as the defendant and, as such, can testify regarding the appropriate standard of care in the case. The plaintiff’s case was lacking the necessary “certification.”

At trial, the plaintiff admitted to accidentally using the wrong language in her lawsuit but the court refused to let her amend the case. Since she had alleged malpractice, she had to comply with North Carolina’s malpractice law. While that North Carolina case is still ongoing, there is a takeaway here for New York cases about the importance of following procedural rules when filing a malpractice claim.

In New York, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider causes harm to a patient due to carelessness, error and wrongdoing. Explained another way, medical malpractice takes place when a healthcare provider falls below the accepted standard of care, causing injury to a patient. The accepted standard of care refers to the level of care that a healthcare provider practicing the same type of medicine would have used under the same or similar circumstances.

New York’s law requires that you file a certificate with your original complaint, or within 90 days of filing. The certificate must state that your lawyer has reviewed the facts of your case and consulted with at least one expert who had evaluated your claim and concluded that it has merit and deserves to be heard by a court. The law in New York considers the expert to be qualified if they are licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Typically, an expert witness in a malpractice case is a doctor or surgeon with experience in the same field as the defendant. The expert gives his or her opinion about the standard of care in a particular case and then offers a conclusion as to whether or not that standard of care was met (i.e., did the surgeon follow or deviate from that standard of care?).

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to a surgeon’s negligence, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorneys will examine the facts of your case and come up with a legal strategy to make sure each and every procedural requirement is met in your case. Call us today at 833-200-2000 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Woman Sues Hospital for Performing Emergency C-Section without Anesthesia, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, August 31, 2018

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack in New York, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, August 24, 2018

Loss of Chance Doctrine in New York Medical Malpractice Cases, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, August 17, 2018


Super Lawyers
Justia Lawyer Rating
Rue Ratings - Best Attorneys of America
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Avvo Rating
Martindalle Hubbel
Best Law Firms
Contact Information