February 26, 2013

Sister brings case against Doctor

Respondent was born with Down syndrome in 1964 and began receiving medical assistance under the State Medicaid plan on July 1, 1992. On July 14, 1997, he suffered an injury during corrective spinal injury surgery, which resulted in his partial paralysis such that he was no longer able to ambulate. A Lawyer said that, a medical malpractice action was commenced by respondent’s sister on his behalf against the hospital where the surgery was performed and several Long Island doctors. Respondent continued to receive medical assistance from the DSS, and the DSS filed a lien pursuant to Social Services Law § 104-b (hereinafter the Medicaid lien) for recovery from any award made in the medical malpractice action, for such assistance for which the third-party tortfeasor was found to be liable.

A assistant said that, the parties to the medical malpractice action reached a settlement. Based upon the proposed settlement, the DSS agreed to accept the sum of $102,423.56 to settle the Medicaid lien. The amount necessary to settle the Medicaid lien was premised on a letter from the DSS stating that it would accept that amount on the Medicaid lien against the proceeds of the personal injury lawsuit, based on the proposed settlement of the lawsuit for the sum of $1,600,000. The letter further provided that the DSS reserved the right to collect any unpaid balance of the Medicaid lien if Ruben reached a further settlement that provided additional proceeds or if he should receive funds from another source such as the lottery; neither of those circumstances eventuated.

A reporter said that, the settlement of the medical malpractice action was approved by the Supreme Court, Kings County, in an amended order dated August 23, 2002, with the direction that payment be made to the DSS in the amount of $102,423.56, in full satisfaction of the Medicaid lien to the date of the order. Pursuant to regulation, the Medicaid lien was required to be satisfied or otherwise resolved in order for the remaining funds received by Respondent. To be disregarded, for purposes of eligibility to continue receiving Medicaid benefits, by placement in a supplemental needs trust. As will be discussed herein, the Medicaid lien was limited to the medical assistance respondent received as a result of the third-party tortfeasor's negligence. The lien was not and could not have been asserted in connection with any medical assistance provided to respondent as a result of his Down syndrome condition; whether such assistance was provided prior to or subsequent to the medical malpractice. The settlement of the medical malpractice action and settlement of the lien did not in any way address the other assistance that had been correctly paid to respondent.

The issue on this case dwells on the scope of entitlement of the Department of Social Services of the City of New York (hereinafter the DSS) to recovery, from the trust corpus of a supplemental needs trust, for the medical assistance provided by Medicaid to respondent the beneficiary of the supplemental needs trust, over the course of his lifetime.

The Court said that the DSS claims that it was entitled, pursuant to the statutorily-required language of the supplemental needs trust, to recovery of the total medical assistance provided to respondent over the course of his lifetime and not just the medical assistance provided to him after the creation of the supplemental needs trust.

New York adopted Estates, Powers and Trusts Law § 7-1.12 to allow for the creation of what have come to be called supplemental needs trusts. Those trusts were primarily intended to foster effective future care planning for disabled individuals whose basic needs were primarily met through government benefits or assistance programs.

The supplemental needs trust created for respondent contained a provision, as required by federal and state law, that upon his death, the State would receive all amounts remaining in the trust up to the total value of "all medical assistance" provided to him. On September 22, 2003, The Queens respondent died. In her amended final accounting, the trustee took the position that the State was only entitled to reimbursement of the amount of medical assistance provided to respondent after the creation of the trust, January 15, 2003, until his death, the sum of $50,226.63. The DSS asserted that it was entitled to recover the sum of $632,714.22 pursuant to the terms of the trust, representing the total of all medical assistance provided to respondent over the course of his lifetime. The DSS sought to recover the medical assistance provided to him, as a result of his Down syndrome for the five years prior to the medical malpractice that further incapacitated him; to recover that portion of the medical assistance provided to him during the five years preceding the settlement of the medical malpractice action that was not previously recovered with the resolution of the Medicaid lien addressed to the medical assistance for which the tortfeasor was liable; and to recover the total medical assistance provided after the August 23, 2002 settlement of the medical malpractice action, not just the portion provided after the creation of the supplemental needs trust. The Supreme Court held that the DSS was entitled to recover only the sum of $50,226.63, for the period after the creation of the supplemental needs trust.

The DSS's claim to recovery of the total medical assistance provided to respondent over the course of his lifetime is based on the language which is required to be included in all exception trusts. The state and federal provisions both require that a qualifying trust contain a provision that the State will receive, upon the death of the beneficiary, all amounts remaining in the trust up to the total value of "all medical assistance" paid on behalf of the beneficiary. The DSS's argument would be persuasive if that language were read alone and apart from the rest of the medical assistance statutes. However, the referenced language is just part of provisions relating to the treatment of trust assets on consideration of eligibility for benefits. Those provisions are part of extensive provisions governing the medical assistance program, which include specific provisions restricting the scope of recovery of medical assistance correctly paid. An application of the trust language in the manner proposed by the DSS would be in direct contravention of the recovery restrictions.

The Court said that as a condition of the receipt of Federal program funding, State Medicaid plans must conform with the statutory standards established by Federal law and the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The requirements that a state plan must include are set forth in 42 USC § 1396a. Paragraph (a) (18) of that section provides that the state plan must: "comply with the provisions of section 1396p of this title with respect to liens, adjustments and recoveries of medical assistance correctly paid, transfers of assets, and treatment of certain trusts.

Paragraph (b) of 42 USC § 1396p addresses the adjustment or recovery of medical assistance correctly paid. That paragraph begins with the statement: "No adjustment or recovery of any medical assistance correctly paid on behalf of an individual under the State plan may be made". The section then continues with limited exceptions to the no-recovery rule: specific instances where the state is required to make an adjustment or recovery for medical assistance correctly paid to certain individuals.

The exceptions include: (1) assistance provided to an individual who is an inpatient at a nursing facility, intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded or other medical institution, if the individual is required to pay all but a minimum of his income for such care; (2) an individual who the state determines, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, cannot reasonably be expected to be discharged from the medical institution and return home; (3) an individual who was 55 years of age or older who received specified services, or at the option of the state any services; and (4) an individual who received benefits or was entitled to receive benefits from a long term care policy and received medical assistance payments for nursing facility and other long term care services. Respondent’s receipt of medical assistance does not fall within any of these four specified categories of exceptions to the no-recovery of medical assistance correctly paid mandate.

The New York State provisions governing the recovery of medical assistance correctly paid, as required by 42 USC § 1396a (a) (18), are contained in Social Services Law § 369 (2) (b) (i): "Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this chapter or other law, no adjustment or recovery may be made against the property of any individual on account of any medical assistance correctly paid to or on behalf of an individual under this title". That subparagraph then continues with specified exceptions where recovery or adjustment of medical assistance correctly paid is required. Those specific exceptions essentially parallel the federal exceptions. Again, respondent’s receipt of medical assistance does not fall within any of the New York statutory exceptions.

In addition to the referenced exceptions, special provision is made for assistance provided to an individual to the extent the assistance is provided as a result of an injury incurred as the result of a third party's negligence. The federal provisions set forth the requirements of a state plan, relating to the liability of third parties to pay for care and services. The State will take all reasonable measures to ascertain the legal liability of third parties to pay for care and services available under the plan (B) that in any case where such a legal liability is found to exist after medical assistance has been made available on behalf of the individual and where the amount of reimbursement the State can reasonably expect to recover exceeds the costs of such recovery, the State or local agency will seek reimbursement for such assistance to the extent of such legal liability.

New York's compliance with that requirement is contained in Social Services Law § 104-b and is an exception to the no-recovery provision of Social Services Law § 369. "Nothing contained in this subdivision shall be construed to alter or affect the right of a social services official to recover the cost of medical assistance provided to an injured person in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred four-b of this chapter". The New York regulations governing medical assistance liens and recoveries are set forth in 18 NYCRR 360-7.11. The regulations repeat the standard that no adjustment or recovery for medical assistance correctly paid may be made except in accordance with specific exceptions. The exceptions specified in the regulations correspond to those in the statute.

As there is no specific authorization for recovery of medical assistance correctly paid to respondent prior to August 23, 2002 apart from the Medicaid lien, to allow such recovery would be in direct contravention of the federal and state statutes. The DSS does not address the no-recovery provisions of the federal and state statutes, apart from an assertion in its brief that the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (gave the government a broader right of recovery from a supplemental needs trust remainder than from estates, referencing 42 USC § 1396p (b) (1). The only basis for the claim of the DSS to such recovery is the language required to be placed in a supplemental needs trust.

Accordingly, the order is modified, on the law, by deleting the provision thereof denying that branch of the motion of the DSS which was for reimbursement of the amount of medical assistance provided by Medicaid to respondent from August 24, 2002 through September 22, 2003, and substituting therefore a provision granting that branch of the motion; as so modified, the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court, Kings County, for a determination of the amount of medical assistance provided by Medicaid to respondent from August 24, 2002 through September 22, 2003 that was not previously reimbursed, and for entry of an appropriate judgment.

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December 28, 2012

Hospital is Accused of Malpractice

The Long Island plaintiff in this case started this action as the administratrix of the estate of her deceased mother. She is seeking to recover money damages for the personal injuries her mother sustained while under the custody of the defendant hospital. The plaintiff has now moved for leave to submit a belated notice of medical malpractice. The defendant is cross moving for the action to be dismissed on the ground that it is time barred by the statute of limitations for medical malpractice.

Case Facts

The mother of the plaintiff was admitted to the defendant Queens hospital with end stage liver disease and end stage renal disease on dialysis. On the 27th of August, 2001, the decedent fell on the floor of the transplant unit. She fell again on the third of September, 2001 and sustained a blunt impact to her head. Two days later a CT scan was performed. The patient fell again on the 22nd of September and allegedly as a result of all of these falls she sustained severe head injuries. Ultimately, the mother lost consciousness and had to be placed on a ventilator. She then died on the 23rd of September, 2001.

Based on these facts the plaintiff started this personal injury action on behalf of her deceased mother by filing a summons and complaint on the 23rd of March, 2004. The plaintiff alleges numerous acts or omissions by the hospital and its staff and labels them as negligent. The case before this court is a motion by the plaintiff for leave to submit a late notice of medical malpractice. The defendant is cross motioning for dismissal of the complaint on the ground that it is time barred by statute of limitations.

Case Discussion and Decision

The court will first need to examine the cross motion made by the defendant’s that seeks summary judgment to dismiss the action as being time barred. The main issue in regard to this cross motion is whether the plaintiff’s claims are grounded in medical malpractice or ordinary negligence. Medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations of 2 and one half years. A negligence claim has a statute of limitations of three years. The action in this case was commenced after the two and a half year time frame, but before three years.

The court must consider the differences between medical malpractice and negligence. The line between the two claims is very thin. The main test to determine whether or not it is considered medical malpractice or negligence comes down to the acts that are performed and whether or not medical treatment was provided.

In this particular case the court finds that the plaintiff has raised several issues of ordinary negligence and for this reason the argument by the defendant hospital that the whole action is time barred is rejected by the court.

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December 12, 2012

There is a Limit to Med Mal Insurance in NYS

The petitioner in this case is seeking a judgment to require the Superintendent of Insurance to hold a hearing in regard to a decision that he made that reduced the petitioner’s proposed rate increase by approximately 85%. The Superintendent has cross moved to have this petition dismissed.

Case Background

The Long Island petitioner is a non-profit entity that is comprised of insurance companies that write personal liability insurance policies in the state of New York. Membership with the petitioner is required of companies that have the authority to write this type of insurance policy in the state. The petitioner is required to provide medical malpractice insurance to any physician or surgeon that is licensed in the state of New York. The amount of the policy is up to an aggregate limit of $3,000,000.

The petitioner develops and files rates that have to meet certain criteria. The reason for this is to assure the financial soundness of the association without having to charge excessive premiums for the malpractice coverage. The superintendent has the right to disapprove the rate filings, but must state his reasons for doing so.

Case Discussion and Decision

The petitioner filed for a 210% increase in April and again in October. The Superintendent studied the rate filing and that of another malpractice carrier. The independent firm that was used by the Superintendent recommended a rate increase of 107%.

The petitioner is asking for a hearing in order to gather information about the decision that was made by the Superintendent to deny the rate increase. This is not an adversary proceeding.

The court feels that it is within the rights of the petitioner to request this hearing and therefor is settling the case accordingly. A hearing will be held within two months of the date this judgment is entered.

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December 5, 2012

Petitioner minor child, represented by his parents

Petitioner minor child, represented by his parents is permanently and substantially brain damaged as a result of alleged medical malpracticeon the part of respondent physician and respondent medical center, as well as other medical providers. The petitioner parents filed suit in circuit court against their obstetrician, respondent, his professional association, respondent Hospital, and numerous other defendants. A Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer said that, the trial court abated the circuit court proceedings for a determination by the Division of Administrative Hearings as to whether the infant's injuries qualified for coverage under the NICA Plan. In the petition for determination of NICA coverage, petitioners alleged that long after the post-delivery period had ended, the minor child’s medical providers committed numerous errors, including administering too much IV fluid and failing to test for serum electrolyte derangements until numerous days after the delivery. As required by statute, NICA was served with the petition in the administrative proceedings. NICA intervened and took the position that he did not suffer a "birth-related neurological injury" within the scope of section 766.302(2).

A Lawyer said that, in a narrow category of cases in which a "birth-related neurological injury" occurs, parents' common law rights to sue on behalf of their children for medical malpractice are eliminated and replaced by an administrative remedy that provides limited compensation on a no-fault basis. "Birth-related neurological injury" is defined by statute as "injury to the brain caused by oxygen deprivation occurring in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in a hospital, which renders the infant permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired." § 766.302(2), Fla. Stat. (2001).

A Lawyer said that, the First District held that the petitioners were limited to the administrative remedy provided by the NICA Plan, reversing the decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ), who found that the minor child did not suffer a "birth-related neurological injury" as defined by the NICA Plan.

The issue in this case is whether, under the factual circumstances of this case, the minor child suffered a "birth-related neurological injury," which would require the petitioners to obtain limited compensation through the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan (NICA Plan) instead of full damages in a court of law.

In deciding the case the Court said that, in 1988, the Florida Legislature created the NICA Plan as a means to alleviate the high costs of medical malpractice insurance for physicians practicing obstetrics. The Legislature found that obstetricians were among the most severely affected by the increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums and that the costs of birth-related neurological injury claims were particularly high.. Consequently, the Legislature created the NICA fund to "provide compensation, on a no-fault basis, for a limited class" of birth-related neurological injuries. Because the NICA Plan provides limited remedies as a statutory substitute for common law rights and liabilities, this Court has held that the NICA statute "should be strictly construed to include only those subjects clearly embraced within its terms." The NICA Plan does not cover all incidents of brain damage sustained by an infant delivered by an obstetrician. No party in this case contends that the statute provides immunity from suit to physicians practicing obstetrics for alleged malpractice occurring during labor and delivery; rather, the immunity is narrowly circumscribed by the term "birth-related neurological injury." Specifically, the Legislature has limited coverage under the NICA Plan to a "birth-related neurological injury," which it defined as injury to the brain or spinal cord of a live infant weighing at least 2,500 grams for a single gestation caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury occurring in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in a hospital, which renders the infant permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired. This definition shall apply to live births only and shall not include disability or death caused by genetic or congenital abnormality.
Thus, based on the language of the statute, a birth-related neurological injury has four components: (1) an injury to the brain or spinal cord; (2) which is caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury; (3) during labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period; and (4) which renders the infant permanently and substantially impaired.
The ALJ has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether a claim is compensable under the NICA Plan. ("The issue of whether such claims are covered by this act must be determined exclusively in an administrative proceeding."). In making this determination, the ALJ is required to make the following determinations: (1) whether the injury claimed is a birth-related neurological injury; (2) whether obstetrical services were delivered by a participating physician in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in a hospital; and (3) the amount of compensation that is awardable. In determining whether the injury is a birth-related neurological injury, section 766.309(1)(a) provides for a rebuttable presumption as follows:

If the claimant has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the administrative law judge, that the infant has sustained a brain or spinal injury caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury and that the infant was thereby rendered permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired, a rebuttable presumption shall arise that the injury is a birth-related neurological injury as defined in s. 766.302(2)§ 766.309(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2001). Through this presumption, the claimant does not need to demonstrate that the injury occurred during labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period. Under the NICA statute, NICA is the administrator of the NICA Plan and has statutory responsibilities, including the responsibility to administer the funds collected on behalf of the Plan, administer the payment of claims on behalf of the Plan, exercise all powers necessary to effect any of the purposes for which the Plan was created, and take legal action as necessary to avoid the payment of improper claims, among other duties.

Because the issue involves whether the First District properly interpreted the NICA statute, this Court's standard of review is de novo. The Court must begin with the actual language in the statute "because legislative intent is determined primarily from the statute's text." As this Court has often repeated, "When the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous and conveys a clear and definite meaning, there is no occasion for resorting to the rules of statutory interpretation and construction; the statute must be given its plain and obvious meaning." Further, courts are "without power to construe an unambiguous statute in a way which would extend, modify, or limit, its express terms or its reasonable and obvious implications. To do so would be an abrogation of legislative power." Likewise, when a court interprets a statute, "it must give full effect to all statutory provisions. Courts should avoid readings that would render part of a statute meaningless." Another important principle that applies in this case is that because the NICA Plan limits the remedies as a statutory substitute for common law rights and liabilities, its provisions should be strictly construed. In applying the statute to this case, there is no factual dispute that the minor child suffered from two incidents of oxygen deprivation: one on September 26, 2001, and the other on October 3, 2001. Nor is there any question that she suffered a brain injury that rendered her permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired. The only question becomes whether the minor child’s brain injury occurred "in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in a hospital."

Here, the ALJ made factual findings that Tristan did not suffer a "birth-related neurological injury" as defined by the NICA Plan because the minor child’s profound neurologic impairments resulted from a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation that occurred on October 3, 2001, and not during labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in the hospital." In making this determination, the ALJ found that although the record established that the minor child, more likely than not, suffered from oxygen deprivation at birth on September 26, resulting in a multi-system failure that included her liver and kidneys, this oxygen deprivation did not cause a substantial neurological impairment. In support of this finding, the ALJ noted that the record established that she was delivered a traumatically, responded well to initial resuscitation, and her neurological examinations during the first seven days of life were normal. However, on October 3, she suffered prolonged and severe acidosis and shortly thereafter evidenced seizure activity and neurological decline. The Court holds that a narrow construction of the statute is the more reasonable interpretation. First, it restricts the impact of the statute to those situations involving obstetricians, who are the group of physicians that the NICA Plan was designed to benefit. Otherwise, as NICA points out in its brief, under the First District's interpretation, the statute would be expanded to cover situations where an infant is "transferred from the delivery room" and the "obstetrician relinquishes responsibility of the infant to other health care providers."

The Court concludes that the First District's statutory construction analysis of the applicable statute was flawed in two separate ways. First, the district court interpreted the phrase "immediate post-delivery period in the hospital" to mean "an extended period of days when a baby is delivered with a life-threatening condition and requires close supervision." Because the First District failed to read the phrase "immediate post-delivery period" as modifying "resuscitation," the First District expanded the NICA Plan to cover infants beyond the limit contemplated by the express language of the statute. Second, the First District incorrectly held that under section 766.309(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2001), the rebuttable presumption of coverage under the NICA Plan applied to benefit the defendants, even though the petitioners were not making a claim for compensation under the NICA Plan.

Accordingly, the Court holds that in order for a "birth-related neurological injury" to occur, the birth injury to the brain caused by oxygen deprivation, which renders the infant permanently and substantially impaired, must occur during labor, delivery or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period. That period does not encompass an additional "extended period of time when a baby is delivered in a life-threatening condition" unless there are ongoing and continuous efforts of resuscitation. Both the incident of oxygen deprivation and the brain injury resulting from the oxygen deprivation must occur in this time period. Further, regarding the statutory presumption, only the individual seeking compensation under the NICA Plan is entitled to the benefit of the statutory presumption. Based on our analysis, the Court approves the analysis in Orlando Regional to the extent that it is consistent with this decision, quash the First District's decision below, and remand to the First District with directions to affirm the ALJ's final order. Long Island and Manhattan Courts have dealt with similar cases.

In view of the foregoing, the Court held that in reviewing the facts under the correct interpretation of the statute, the Court holds that the ALJ's finding that the minor child did not sustain a "birth-related neurological injury" under the NICA Plan is supported by competent, substantial evidence.

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November 7, 2012

A two-day hearing was held before an ALJ,

Appellant Hospital appeals an order issued by an administrative law judge ["ALJ"] finding that claimant was not subject to compensation under the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan ["the plan"], because she was not permanently and substantially "mentally impaired" within the meaning of the plan. Appellants contend that, based on certain undisputed facts, she was permanently and substantially mentally impaired as a matter of law.
The minor child was born at Florida Hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida, on November 28, 1997. She was deprived of oxygen during birth and sustained serious birth injuries. An expert said that, her parents filed an action for medical malpractice in Seminole County circuit court against the appellant Hospital, as well as the two physicians who provided obstetrical services to the child’s mother, and Mid-Florida OB/GYN Specialists, Inc. Both obstetricians were "participating physicians" under the plan and the hospital was a participating hospital, but the parents did not file or pursue a claim for benefits under the plan.

An Injury Lawyer said that, the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association ["NICA"] intervened in the circuit court action, claiming that the child’s birth injuries were subject to the plan. The circuit court abated the action and required the parents to file a petition with the Division of Administrative Hearings to resolve whether the child was covered by the plan. The NICA statute defines "birth-related neurological injury" to mean an injury which, among other things, renders the infant both "permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired." The parents’ position was that the child did not meet the criteria for coverage under the plan because, although she had suffered significant physical impairments, she had not sustained a permanent and substantial mental impairment.

A two-day hearing was held before an ALJ, principally to resolve the issue of mental impairment. The evidence adduced at the hearing showed that Raven had significant and severe physical injuries due to oxygen deprivation. It was essentially undisputed that she has cerebral palsy, which refers to a group of motor disorders caused by an injury to the developing brain. Also, the child’s CAT scans and MRI's showed that she had sustained various permanent injuries to her brain. Her imaging studies show that she has damage to both sides of the basal ganglia and thalamus. There was also damage to the white matter surrounding the basal ganglia, the hippocampi, both frontal lobes, both parietal lobes, the corpus callosum, and the cerebral cortex. Most witnesses testified these injuries were diffuse, as opposed to global in nature. Her physical injuries include both spasticity and stiffness; when she tries to move, her body goes in the opposite direction and she gets posturing, as well as a wiggly movement. She is unable to walk or talk and has problems holding her head up and directing her gaze. She can crawl or sit up only with assistance. She cannot reach out and hold objects. She is unable to eat by mouth and must wear a diaper. Statistically, a little less than one-half of the children, who present with cerebral palsy, as the child does, are not cognitively impaired.

The issue in this case is whether the minor child has a permanent and substantial "mental impairment" in addition to the cerebral palsy.

Notwithstanding the evidence adduced at the hearing and the ALJ's factual findings, appellants' position, simply put, is that the minor child was permanently and substantially mentally impaired as a matter of law.

For this contention, the Court said that, they rely on 1997 Supreme Court decision. The 1997case involved birth injuries apparently similar to those sustained by the minor child in this case. As a result of birth-related events causing oxygen deprivation, the child in this 1997 case suffered a focal injury to the basal ganglia, an area of the brain which aids the body in performing "physical functions." Despite severe physical limitations, testing indicated that he was average or even above average in his cognitive skills. His parents nonetheless sought compensation under the plan, claiming that he was "mentally impaired" within the meaning of section 766.302(2), Florida Statutes (1991). NICA denied coverage, and a hearing was held to determine whether his injury was covered by the plan. At the close of the opinion, the Supreme Court of Florida approved the hearing officer's conclusion that he had sustained both mental and physical impairment within the meaning of the plan, briefly explaining: We are left with the hearing officer's finding which is properly predicated on a reading of the statute in the conjunctive that the child is "permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired and has suffered a `birth-related neurological injury' within the meaning of section 766.302(2)." Having thoroughly reviewed the record and the hearing officer's final order, we conclude that it is supported by competent and substantial evidence. Consequently, we disapprove the opinion below to the extent that it misconstrues the plain language of the statute, but approve the result, and direct that the case be remanded to DOAH for a determination of the amount of compensation he is entitled to under the NICA Plan.
In the case at bar, appellants construe the above-quoted passage from the 1997 case decision to create the definition of "substantial mental impairment" as this phrase is used in NICA. According to appellants, "The 1997 decision added to the definition of substantial mental impairment by effectively adding a requirement that the child be able to translate any cognitive capabilities into adequate learning in a `normal manner.' “It is apparent, however, that the 1997 case court did not define or redefine "substantial mental impairment." They simply said that the decision of the ALJ was supported by competent evidence. All this language in the 1997 case suggests is that, under NICA, the identification of a substantial mental impairment may include not only significant cognitive deficiencies but can include, in a proper case, additional circumstances such as significant barriers to learning and social development.

Appellants urge that, although the minor child’s brain injuries have not resulted in cognitive impairment, in the sense that they do prevent her from learning or thinking, they must, as a matter of law, constitute a "mental impairment" within the meaning of the plan because, she will require substantial accommodation in order to translate normal cognitive capabilities into learning. Apart from the evidence adduced and the findings made in this case, there are many other problems with this position. First, as a definition, it is not the plain and ordinary meaning of the undefined statutory term. The 1997 case court made clear that the plain and ordinary meaning of these terms should be applied. Second, it violates the definitional framework approved by the Supreme Court in the 1997 case. ‘The Statute is written in the conjunctive and can only be interpreted to require permanent and substantial impairment that has both physical and mental elements.'

To say that physical disabilities that impede the cognitive and social development of a child alone are enough to constitute a mental impairment violates the dichotomy identified by the high court. If this were the true definition of "substantial mental impairment," then seemingly most children with cerebral palsy would be classifiable as "substantially mentally impaired," although the evidence indicates that cerebral palsy and mental defect are two separate injuries. There was expert testimony that children with oxygen deprivation injuries "can be physically disabled, yet be intellectually preserved." Cerebral palsy is a motor injury which occurs when the circuits in the brain that control movement are damaged, while cognitive injury or impairment occurs when circuits relating to memory or learning are impaired. Furthermore, according to the testimony, oxygen deprivation or hypoxia first attacks those areas of the brain which control motor function, and only secondarily results in damage to mental function.

Courts have always recognized that different juries may reach a different result on similar facts. It is common for us to see, for example, that juries have awarded significantly different sums for apparently identical injuries. We similarly see different outcomes when the fact finder is asked to determine whether a particular injury is "permanent" or "not permanent." These differences arise not because we have an "unprincipled, incoherent system" but because such differences can arise in a principled and coherent system where every individual is guaranteed an opportunity to lay his own case before an impartial arbiter of the facts. In most cases, this is a jury. In cases such as the one before us, the ALJ, as fact finder, brings his own background, training, experience and expertise to the task of weighing and evaluating very sophisticated evidence. The child's advocate likewise brings his own communication and strategic skills to the fact-finding process; and finally, the evidence in each case will vary in its power to persuade. This will be especially true in cases where the opinions of experts are considered. In each case, the ALJ appears to have attempted to apply the plain and ordinary meaning of the term "substantial mental impairment" to his evaluation of the evidence. The term is broad enough to encompass more than just damage to cognitive capacity, contrary to appellees' argument, and more than merely the inability to "translate cognitive capabilities into adequate learning in the normal manner" or "impairment of social and vocational development," as urged by appellants. Both the ALJ in the 1997 case and the ALJ in this case appear to have understood this and to have done their job conscientiously.

Finally, as judges, we learn, early on, that there are always fact situations at the margins where it is very difficult to determine the side of a line on which a particular decision will fall. That is one reason why our review is limited to whether the decision was supported by substantial competent evidence. Appellants bore the burden of persuasion in this case that the minor child was "substantially mentally impaired" and its evidence was not persuasive to the finder of fact.

Accordingly, The Court held that judgment is affirmed. Courts in Long Island and Staten Island would do the same.

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September 24, 2012

An action to recover damages for medical malpractice was filed.

An action to recover damages for medical malpractice was filed. The defendant was found by the court, on the issue of liability, to be 75% at fault and the plaintiff 25% at fault in the causation of the plaintiff's injuries; and, on the issue of damages, that the plaintiff sustained damages in the sums of $150,000 for past mental distress, $50,000 for future mental distress, and $134,000 for loss of past financial support, and awarded the plaintiff the sum of $166,000 in punitive damages.

Defendant then appeals from the aforesaid decision and upon the denial of his motion pursuant to CPLR 4404(a) to set aside the verdict on the issue of liability as contrary to the weight of the evidence and for a new trial or, in the alternative, to set aside the jury verdict on the issue of liability and for judgment as a matter of law, is in favor of the plaintiff and against him in the principal sum of $416,500, and the plaintiff cross-appeals from stated portions of the same judgment.

The Ruling:
Under the rules, a jury verdict should not be set aside as contrary to the weight of the evidence unless the jury could not have reached its verdict on any fair interpretation of the evidence.
Here, the plaintiff sought to recover damages for medical malpractice and, thus, was required to prove that the defendant's deviation from good and accepted medical practice proximately caused her injury. The credible evidence at trial established that the plaintiff sought and obtained treatment from the defendant for, among other things, mental health issues, and that, during and after the course of the treatment for mental health issues, the defendant and the plaintiff became involved with each other sexually for a period of approximately nine months. After the sexual relationship began, and concurrently with it, the Manhattan plaintiff was also treated by a Long Island therapist who was recommended by the defendant. The plaintiff disclosed to that therapist that she was having an affair, but she did not disclose that the affair was with the defendant since, as the plaintiff explained at trial, the therapist and the defendant were friends. The jury found that the defendant's conduct departed from good and accepted medical practice, and that this departure proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer emotional distress and economic loss. The jury found that the defendant was 75% at fault and the plaintiff was 25% at fault with respect to the plaintiff's injuries. The jury also awarded the plaintiff punitive damages in the sum of $166,000.

The court finds that the plaintiff made a prima facie showing at trial that the defendant committed medical malpractice. Furthermore, the jury's verdict on the issue of liability was supported by a fair interpretation of the evidence and, thus, was not contrary to the weight of the credible evidence. As the plaintiff's expert has testified, by reason of the particularly sensitive nature of the relationship between a mental health provider and a patient, including the emotional dependence of the patient on the provider, a sexual relationship between the patient and the provider is very likely to harm the patient. A sexual relationship between a mental health provider and a patient is a departure from the standard of care, whether it is characterized as part of the treatment or independent of it and it is a departure even when it takes place after the treatment has ended. In the instant case, the plaintiff relied on the defendant for treatment, medication, and talk therapy relating to mental health issues arising, at least in part, out of problems she was having in her marriage. Her sexual relationship with the defendant began while that mental health treatment was continuing, and it clearly had an impact upon the plaintiff's level of trust and openness with her other therapist. The fact that the plaintiff acknowledged that the sexual relationship between the defendant and her was not part of the treatment does not mitigate the breach of trust and, therefore, does not mitigate the defendant's breach of duty. More so, as stated in the expert testimony adduced by the plaintiff, it was entirely foreseeable that eroticized transference, in which the doctor becomes, for the patient, a very sexually charged figure, would occur as a result of the treatment. Rather than competently dealing with that transference, as the applicable standard of care requires, the defendant exploited it. In addition, a mental health provider's duty is different, and a sexual relationship between that provider and a patient violates the trust that lies at the heart of the relationship. It is irrelevant that the defendant was not actually a psychiatrist. When the defendant started providing talk therapy, he assumed the duty of care applicable to mental health providers.

In sum, the defendant undoubtedly committed medical malpractice by having a sexual relationship with the plaintiff, even where the plaintiff knew that the sexual relationship was not in furtherance or a part of the medical treatment; the jury's determination to award punitive damages was justified; the evidence established that the defendant's departure from the standard of care predictably and inevitably damaged the plaintiff in those areas for which she sought treatment and was most vulnerable; over the prolonged period during which the defendant departed from the applicable standard of care, the defendant's reprehensible conduct evinced a gross indifference to his patient's well-being; the Court properly denied the defendant’s midtrial application to preclude evidence of certain special damages, inasmuch as, among other things, that application was untimely; and, the jury's award did not deviate materially from what would be reasonable compensation. The court finds the parties' remaining contentions without merit. Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Continue reading "An action to recover damages for medical malpractice was filed." »

September 17, 2012

On April 6, 2007, the New York State Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded

On April 6, 2007, the New York State Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to a call just before ten at night to an apartment on Colonial Road in Brooklyn. The call was related to a twenty-five year old woman bleeding vaginally. Upon their arrival, the EMS team noticed that there was blood in the shower area and that the young woman who was seated on the commode was bleeding from her vagina. She was cold and clammy and was transported immediately. The EMS team asked her if she was pregnant or if she could be pregnant. She stated that she was not. However, upon admittance into the hospital at Lutheran Medical Center, the doctors discovered that it was clear that she had recently given birth to a child. The woman refused to admit that she had delivered a baby.

The Long Island hospital personnel contacted the police department to locate the baby. The police officers returned to the apartment and questioned the sister of the woman who was in the hospital. They told her that the hospital had said that there was a baby and that they needed to check on the welfare of the child. They repeatedly asked the sister where the baby was. She denied that there was a baby, but finally told them that there were several garbage bags outside in the cold night air behind the apartment. When the officers examined the contents of the garbage bags, they discovered the body of a newborn infant girl in the trash. She was still alive, but showing no signs of life other than being pink in color. She was intubated and transferred to the hospital for emergency medical care. The infant died shortly after arrival. Her cause of death was from exposure to the cold and hypoxia brought on by being tied up in a garbage bag.

The young woman was charged with homicide in causing the death of her newborn infant. The defense attorney filed a motion to suppress the evidence that was collected by the police officers because they contend that it should be excluded from the case under the exclusionary rule. Their contention was based on the idea that the police officers had responded to the location without a warrant and had located the infant based on confidential medical information that was illegally obtained.

The state maintains that the Westchester doctors were well within the law when they contacted the police department with the information that the mother was admitted to the hospital after having just given birth to a child that was missing. It is a statutory requirement that any child that is endangered by reported to the police immediately. The facts of the situation made it obvious that the child was endangered. When any woman is admitted into a hospital denying that she has given birth, when the evidence is clear that she has, must cause concern. The fact that she would not reveal the location of the infant would lead a reasonable person to believe that the infant is most likely endangered, especially, given the temperature that night in April. The police were then legally notified that there was a possibly endangered child at the location where the woman had been collected. The police were then legally responsible to go to the location and make reasonable inquiry into the location of the infant. The court maintained that there was no impropriety taken in searching the garbage bags and locating the infant.

Thus, the woman’s defense counsel was denied their request to suppress all of the evidence that was located following the disclosure to the police by the doctors that she had recently given birth. The court determined that all evidence was legally obtained and was therefore fully admissible in a court of law.

Continue reading "On April 6, 2007, the New York State Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded" »

September 7, 2012

Petitioner was diagnosed with stomach cancer by hospital-one

The Facts:

Petitioner was diagnosed with stomach cancer by hospital-one after undergoing an endoscopy and after staff at hospital-two and hospital-three who saw petitioner on many occasions through 2009 failed to make that diagnosis or perform any diagnostic testing. Petitioner claims that the delay in diagnosing her cancer allowed the cancer to progress and adversely affect her prognosis. Thus, an action for medical malpractice ensued.

Petitioner moves for leave to serve a late Notice of Claim, pursuant to the General Municipal Law. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) opposes the petition, contending that there has been at least a six month delay in filing the Notice of Claim against NYCHHC, and, more than one year ninety day delay in filing the Notice of Claim against the individual respondent, who NYCHHC claims, and petitioner does not dispute, last saw petitioner on 9 May 2008.

The Ruling:

Under the General Municipal Law, a claimant commencing a tort action against a public corporation must serve and file a proper Notice of Claim within ninety days after the claim arises. The related action or proceeding must be commenced within one year and ninety days of the event. An application for an extension of time to serve a Notice of Claim may be made before or after the action has been commenced, but not after the one-year and ninety-day statute of limitations has run, unless the statute has been tolled.

As a rule, in determining whether to grant leave to file a late Notice of Claim pursuant to General Municipal Law, a court must consider the key factors of whether the movant demonstrated a reasonable excuse for the failure to serve the notice of claim within the statutory time frame, whether the municipality acquired actual notice of the essential facts of the claim within ninety days after the claim arose or within a reasonable time thereafter, and whether the delay would substantially prejudice the municipality in its defense. The presence or absence of any one factor is not determinative.

First, on the actual notice of petitioner's claim:

It has been ruled that merely having or creating hospital records, without more, does not establish actual knowledge of a potential brain injury, spinal injury or any other injury where the records do not evince that the medical staff, by its acts or omissions, inflicted any injury on plaintiff during the birth process. Thus, while agreeing with the plaintiff that General Municipal Law only requires actual knowledge of the essential facts constituting the claim, and not knowledge of a legal theory, the Court of Appeals has held that where, as here, there is little to suggest birth injury attributable to malpractice during delivery, comprehending or recording the facts surrounding the delivery cannot equate to knowledge of facts underlying a claim.
Here, no affidavit is proffered to establish that the hospital records contain sufficient information about the facts constituting the claim so as to constitute actual knowledge. However, contrary to NYCHHC's argument, the failure to supply such an affidavit is not fatal; actual notice is merely one element of the analysis.

Second, when the petitioner has a reasonable excuse for her filing delay:

In the instant case, although petitioner failed to demonstrate that NYCHHC had actual notice, the failure is not fatal as petitioner has a reasonable excuse for the short six month delay and NYCHHC is not prejudiced as a result. The long Island petitioner only received the diagnosis of stomach cancer sometime in March of 2010; she had surgery on 22 March 2010; she stayed one week in the hospital; and she had chemotherapy and radiation treatment immediately thereafter. It is not reasonable to expect that petitioner would have served the Notice of Claim on NYCHCC within 90 days of her last treatment at NYCHCC's hospitals, as NYCHHC claims she should have, given that she, as a layperson, would not have known that any malpractice occurred.
And third, on the issue of prejudice:

NYCHHC claims that it will be substantially prejudiced by the late filing because a prompt investigation was not done, due to lack of timely notice; that respondent cannot be certain that relevant staff members are still employed and even if they are, it will be difficult for them to remember events occurring as far back as 2007. However, petitioner made complaints to both hospitals through 2009. No effort has been made to ascertain whether staff members are still employed, and given that medical records are kept in the ordinary course of business, memories, if lost, can be refreshed by the records.

Here, petitioner alleges, and NYCHHC does not dispute, that she saw hospital-two’s staff numerous times between 2007 through 2009 and hospital-three’s staff numerous times in August of 2009.

While it has not been demonstrated that NYCHHC had actual knowledge of the facts constituting petitioner's claim, petitioner clearly has a reasonable excuse for the delay in serving the Notice of Claim, and the delay will not substantially prejudice NYCHHC.
In sum, the petition for leave to serve a late Notice of Claim is granted against respondent NYCHHC, and the Notice of Claim, as amended, is deemed timely served on respondent NYCHHC only; denied as to respondent individual.

Continue reading "Petitioner was diagnosed with stomach cancer by hospital-one" »

August 14, 2012

Medical Mistakes cost Yorkshire £150 per minute

The standard of healthcare in some of Yorkshires best hospitals and clinics has been called into question. This problem has become so serious that it is costing taxpayers over £150 per minute. Almost a third of this money will go directly to lawyers.

The NHS has had to pay out for various medical negligence cases. This costs the NHS over £80 million per year. This is money that could be better off spent providing better medical treatment.

Clinics in Yorkshire have experienced over 1,280 cases against them. These cases include medical malpractice and medical. The number of cases seemed to be increasing every year, with a 10% increase in the number of cases in 2010.

The Manhattan report explains that the government has been forced to introduce new laws which can be used to reduce the number of claims against doctors.

However, as the report points out, these reforms might make it much more difficult for any injured patients to get the compensation they deserve. It could also stop many cases coming to light.

Almost a quarter of the payments were a result of poor treatment provided to young babies and pregnant ladies.

The source explains that the government has outlined changes to the legal system. This should prevent the health service from needing to pay lawyers’ fees and insurance premiums when cases are lost.

It’s also been suggested to stop offering legal aid for these negligence claims as this is encouraging more people to file lawsuits.

Some patients are critical over these reforms. Although they will reduce the costs to the NHS it will do nothing to help the people who are injured at the hands of the health care system.

Many Long Island lawyers can see the reforms halving the number of medical malpractice cases in Yorkshire. An investigation to these reforms is currently ongoing to try and decide whether or not they are in the public interest.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are a major problem around the world. While they do help many people, many other people are wondering whether they are negatively affecting health care in the country.

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July 26, 2012

University of Miami doctors get protection from Malpractice Suits

The University of Miami has been trying to protect its doctors from malpractice suits for years. They finally managed to do this explained a well-known Medical MalpracticeLawyer. Florida lawmakers have agreed to extend the lawsuit protection to university doctors when they are working in a public hospital.

It's suspected that the bill will become law. The state protects all hospital employees who are employed by the government from any major malpractice judgment. However, University of Miami school doctors who teach are not protected in the same way.

University of Miami officials have been trying to get the same benefits for their employees for over two decades. The university argues that many patients will sue the university instead of the hospital because the university is less familiar with these cases and more likely to pay out.

The university needs to pay over $40 million per year on defending malpractice. It's thought that the new legislation could cut the expense from defending these cases in Manhattan and Long Island by half. This will be a major cost saving for the university.

The university believes that this is a useful bill which will even out the playing field and make it much easier for the university to compete and offer good medical facilities to its patients.

Jackson hospital backed the proposals and Florida International University also supported it. This is because the university also wants the students to study along with UM doctors at Jackson Hospital.

The measure was opposed by many trial lawyers who did not want the bill to be passed. The lawyers tried to say that this bill accepted negative negligence and accepted that it would happen. It also said that the medical universities didn't have enough requirements to keep records. Lawyers argued that the university hospitals will need to keep the same records as state hospitals.

The senate voted to make sure that the expert witnesses which can be called are chosen and regulated by the state. This puts restrictions on using out of state experts as was common with almost all medical malpractice cases claims the Lawyer.

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July 23, 2012

New Legislation in Florida Protects Doctors

New legislation has been passed in the state of Florida to restrict the ability of patients to sue medical professionals who try to provide treatment to them explains a report.

Many republican lawmakers are trying to justify the cost of the state’s Medicaid program. They are trying to reduce costs to the hospitals by reducing the chances of lawsuit losses for hospitals in the state. This is designed as a way of encouraging cooperation between doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

The House of Representatives recently passed new legislation that would restrict using expert witnesses in lawsuit cases explains a source. The bill first said that hospitals would not be held liable for negligence of contracted providers unless the hospital exercises complete control.

Doctors and lawyers in Manhattan and Long island have been trying to find a way to reform and improve the healthcare system in the state. This new legislation is said to be a step in the right direction to make it a much friendlier place to practice medicine.

Many Lawyers have claimed that Florida needs to scale back on malpracticelawsuits so that more doctors will remain working in the state rather than traveling somewhere else. The caps put on malpractice cases in 2003 has helped to improve the situation, and this new bill should make things even better.

Many doctors and hospitals are against Medicare because it reduces their profits. By offering to limit the malpractice cases they can encounter, it is designed to make them work together as more of a team.

When the final Medicaid reform bill is unveiled to the public it is expected that there will also be new caps placed on medical malpractice cases. The senate's Medicaid plan will limit the wrongful death cases to $250,000.

Doctors and hospitals treating patients through the Medicaid system would have the liability capped at $300,000. The only reason this cap could be passed would be if the provider has acted maliciously or in bad faith.

After the reforms of 2003 the number of medical malpractice claims has decreased significantly. This has helped to attract more doctors to work in the state.

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July 18, 2012

Ohio Supreme Court to Decide on Medical Malpractice Immunity

The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments recently in a medical malpractice case involving the University of Toledo - College of Medicine and the issue of state employee immunity from litigation. The court's decision in this case will have significant implications for certain medical negligence plaintiffs.

In this case, the court must decide if a surgeon who was treating his own patient is immune from a medical malpractice lawsuit because a student was observing the procedure. The plaintiff in the case alleges that the surgeon made mistakes during two vasectomy procedures which caused pain, additional medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress. The surgeon claims immunity under Section 9.86 of the Ohio Revised Code. His legal team argues that the plaintiff can only seek damages from the University of Toledo's medical school, claims an
attorney.

At stake in the highest state court's decision is whether liability of certain actions performed by some 8,000 Ohio doctors who now serve in similar mentoring functions will be shifted from private insurers to the state.

As to whether that is good for medical malpractice victims, the plaintiff in this case has argued against immunity from the start, preferring to proceed directly against the surgeon. Five years from the events that caused him harm, the plaintiff is still awaiting his day in court on the underlying malpractice issue.

The life cycle of medical negligence lawsuits in Brooklyn and Long Island are often quite long because legal complexities often arise. For that very reason, injured parties or surviving family members should keep in mind that they must enlist a Law Office that has the resources and experience to handle their claim over the long haul.

One of the most important steps is to assemble a record of harm suffered and symptoms. As soon as awareness hits that something went wrong, the patient needs to compile information and lists. From surgical mistakes, birth injuries and other medical mistakes to failures to diagnose cancer, heart disease or the aftermath of a stroke, identifying the harm is vital to being able to assess what went wrong.

In the present case, the defense tried to deflect legal liability to another party. When legal maneuvering causes protracted delays, it is important to know that your medical malpractice lawyer will keep you updated about the status of your claim.

Continue reading "Ohio Supreme Court to Decide on Medical Malpractice Immunity" »

July 10, 2012

Legal Negligence Claim Explored

While the legal profession exists in order to assist people with various legal problems, sometimes clients feel that the legal professional is the source of the problem. In a recent case, a husband and wife are suing their lawyer for negligence. In this case, the couple claims, the lawyer’s unreasonable delays lead to the expiration of the statute of limitations, explains a Lawyer.

In this case, the Manhattan doctor involved was sued by several patients within a six month period. The number of lawsuits brought against the doctor over the extremely short period of time suggested that the doctor was acting negligently and would have resulted in a strong case for the couple.

The husband, who was the patient in this case, was treated for a broken ankle which required surgery. The surgery was improperly performed and two follow up surgeries took place to correct the errors from the original procedure. The resulting pain and suffering the couple faced, along with the economic damages from the additional medical procedures, were the reason for the lawsuit stated a Long Island rep.

The case, however, was not brought to trial because the statute of limitations had expired. The couple claims that this is the fault of the attorney they had retained for their case. The couple is now seeking damages against their original attorney and has retained new representation.

The doctor in this case moved to a different state and changed his name. He later declared bankruptcy and lost his medical license. Because the doctor declared bankruptcy, it is unlikely that the couple would have received any monetary compensation from the doctor himself. However, the couple probably would have received payment from the doctor’s malpractice insurance company, assuming that he had a policy in place at the time of the incident.

Because the couple would not have received money from the doctor, it makes the claim that the lawyer’s negligence caused them to lose money. This will complicate the couple’s case against their attorney. The husband’s current medical condition is unknown at this point.

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May 31, 2012

Attorney Gets $10 Million for Client in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia attorney won a big case for a client in a case of misdiagnosis.

A Scranton lawyer was able to obtain a $10 million award for a 60-year-old man who as misdiagnosed with a fatal neuromuscular disease. The doctor in question was a noticed expert on ALS.

The attorney in this case, who has a brother in the U.S. Senate, represented the 60-year-old man in a two-week trial at Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. According to the suit, the client will have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, due to the misdiagnosis.

The decision of the jury found the doctor was negligent when he diagnosed the client in 2003 with ALS, known commonly as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The damages the jury assessed came out to more than $10.1 million.

During the trial, the attorney argued that the doctor, who was medical direction of the ALS Association Center at the University of Pennsylvania, failed to perform necessary tests and consult with radiologists before making his diagnosis of ALS for the client. Hospitals in Long Island and Manhattan have noted this.

Due to the misdiagnosis, the doctor told the client, his patient, that the man had only 18 months to three years to live. It was more than three years before the client received the correct diagnosis – a spinal cord compression. He had already made plans for his funeral.
According to the attorney, if his client had been properly diagnosed back in 2003 by the doctor, he could have been treated with surgery. The passage of time, however, has rendered his condition inoperable. The 60-year-old man, a New Jersey resident, now has permanent leg paralysis and must use a wheelchair to get around.

As for the doctor, it is not known what actions, if any, the hospital will be taking after the verdict against him. No further information on any of the trial’s participants is available at the moment

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May 8, 2012

Med Mal Reform in Texas may be in Hot Water

While some people think that medical malpractice reform, meaning capping damage awards, is a good idea, the victims don’t, and with good reason. Many medical malpractice lawyers are also joining the hue and cry against med mal reform because of what it will do to innocent victims whose damages exceed the proposed caps – in most cases, $250,000, explained a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

What’s going on in Texas could go on in Manhattan and Long Island and may well spill over to other states and this is something that needs to be watched carefully, as the legal impact may be enormous. In Texas, there are concerns tort reform just may override their own state limits on medical liability issues. Seems they don’t think the feds have the power to do that under the Commerce Clause. They also want to ensure the med mal reform law does not violate states’ rights under the 10th amendment. Missing here seems to be the concern for victims, which does come up later, but a little too little too late.

What’s going on in Texas is that they want to keep their own med mal reform law, which caps pain and suffering at $250,000 and they like the idea of tort reform. In fact, they want tort reform for all states – something other Americans are not so sure is a good idea.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice tort reform and capping damages for victims has become a political football, at the expense of those who are victims of medical malpractice.

On the Republican side of the med mal reform debate is the conviction med mal lawsuits drive up health care costs and malpractice insurance fees. On the Democrat side, they feel the problem is way overblown, that most injured patients do not sue and limiting lawsuit damages for valid cases would be unfair to the victims. The real problem is that politicians don’t seem to know what medical malpractice really is and what causes it.

Currently, the bill being discussed is one that would slap a three year statute of limitations on med mal lawsuits, cap non-economic damages at $250,000 and limit punitive damages at $250,000, or twice the economic damages or whichever is the greater. Tort reform is really taking aim at states that don’t have their own laws in place already and not taking victims into consideration in the drive to save money.

Continue reading "Med Mal Reform in Texas may be in Hot Water" »

April 26, 2012

Boy Receives £4.6 Million for Birth Injury

Mistakes made by medical doctors and staff, left a newborn seriously injured. A Lawyer reports that the child has now been awarded £4.6 million. The compensation will go a long way towards helping his family pay for his continued care.

In June 2004, the boy was born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. The boy suffered injuries that were severe when, during the delivery, medical personnel misinterpreted his mother’s heartbeat as his. This misinterpretation led to the staff not realizing that he had an abnormal heartbeat. Had the staff been more diligent and questioning, they would have noticed and been able to avoid the birth injury. Their misunderstanding led to a catastrophic delay in the boy’s delivery which resulted in the fetus’s heart beat stopping. Serious brain injury occurred because of the ensuing oxygen starvation to the brain.

The family’s legal counsel genuinely argued that had his birth been just ten minutes sooner, his client would have escaped injury completely, and the sole responsibility for that should reside on the medical doctor and staff present. The boy will have to suffer with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties for the rest of his life. He will also be wheelchair dependent forever.
Early last week, the Judge at the High Court in London read and approved of the offered settlement package. It is expected to be awarded to the boy over the course of his lifetime. A source from Manhattan and Long Island said, “The specifics of his payment schedule are unknown, but similar cases usually result in a lump-sum payment coupled with annual amounts paid out to cover the cost of extensive care needs. Professional legal counsel undoubtedly took into consideration the annual cost of caring for a growing child with such dependencies, and when attempting to reach an agreement they no doubt argued those points.”

The judge was heard congratulating the boy’s parents on the level of care they were providing for their son already.

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April 10, 2012

Child Dies Due to Medical Negligence

A two year old girl has recently died due to medical negligence. She was suffering from serious health problems which were triggered by endosulfan – a pesticide. She died because of medical negligence in a state owned hospital.

The hospital board worked very quickly to investigate the case. They have decided to suspend the doctor while the investigation is ongoing. They decided to take this action due to lots of protests.

The child suffered a reaction to the pesticide and was rushed to the government hospital as her condition seemed to be getting worse. The pediatric expert in the hospital was away on leave, which delayed her treatment.

The child was then taken to a doctor’s surgery who demanded upfront payment before he would look at her, even though she was in a critical state. After this the child was taken to a private hospital for treatment.

The doctor at the state owned university has been suspended while the health board looks into the allegations and decides what best to do.

This is a very upsetting incident, which simply shouldn’t have been able to happen. If medical attention was given on time then it is likely that the child would have made a full recovery. It is a shame that such a young child has died because of something which was completely avoidable.

The area around Kasargode is well known for its high use of pesticides including endosulfan. These chemicals are sprayed on crops including cashew nut trees. These pesticides are thought to result in many people dying every year and creating even more health problems.

There are already lots of protestors in Long Island and New York City which believe endosulfan is bad for them. There is a growing global movement to try and ban endosulfan so that it cannot cause any harm to the world’s population.

It’s important that doctors are aware that treating pesticide reactions are easier the quicker they are treated. They should know exactly what to look out for so they can deal with these conditions quickly.

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April 8, 2012

Malpractice Suit Settled with $7 Million Payout

A medical malpractice suit involving the birth of a child has recently ended with a $7 million settlement. The Judge has recently approved the settlement described a Lawyer. The child who is the subject of the case has a very rare genetic defect.

The lawsuit was filed in 2008 against a genetic counselor, nurse, and two doctors who were from China. It is alleged by the patient that the correct medical counseling was not available before the woman gave birth. The woman successfully gave birth to a baby girl which had cat cry syndrome.

The girl is now three years old but is still affected by her condition. She has mental and physical disabilities as a result of this. The parents argue that if the abnormalities were detected earlier then it would have been easier for the patient to decide whether or not to go ahead with the pregnancy. A procedure known as amniocentesis is fairly routine and this would have been able to detect the problem.

The two doctors, the nurse and a genetic counselor are all mentioned on the original malpractice suit mentions the source.

The lawyers of the defendants have denied the suggestion that they were medically negligent in their handling of the pregnancy. The hospital said that they were offered the diagnostic tests but turned them down; however, the parents of the baby girl deny that they were ever offered this.

The Judge approved the settlement of $7 million after first listening to a short hearing in Worcester Superior Court.

This includes $4 million dollars which will be left in a trust fund to take care of future medical expenses of the child as she grows older.

Hopefully she now has enough money to make sure that she is looked after correctly for the rest of her life, explains the rep.

The settlement is thought to be the largest of its type in the area of Massachusetts. All the lawyers signed a confidentiality agreement which means that the lawyers cannot talk about the case in more detail. Unless there's a case in Long Island or Manhattan.

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February 26, 2012

A stillborn baby, born at home, was the reason for a mother to file a medical malpractice lawsuit

A stillborn baby, born at home, was the reason for a mother to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, commented the doctor. The mother has gone to hospital in April with a headache, lower abdominal pain and a fever. She remained in care for six days. In June she went back and said she was spotting. She was admitted to rule out her being in labor, as she was in the 32nd week of her pregnancy.

During her second admission, she received drugs to relax the uterine muscles and stop any premature labor and was hooked up to a fetal monitor, reported the source. She was given an antibiotic, diagnosed with cervicitis and sent home.

Two days later, she was admitted once again with the same complaints, was again given another drug to stop labor and was discharged against medical advice. Two more days went by and she returned to the hospital once again, where she was told she was not in labor and given another antibiotic for a possible urinary tract infection and send home.

The day after she was sent home with the latest round of drugs, she was admitted again and a midwife said she was not in labor and left. The mother went home, only to return in the morning and be given a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. There was no record of this visit in the plaintiff’s medical files, explained the official.

She was once again sent home and went into labor. However, the baby was born feet first with the head stuck in the birth canal. An EMS responder tried to resuscitate the baby but was unsuccessful and even though the baby went to the hospital, no signs of a pulse or respiration were detected.

At trial the plaintiff’s expert doctor said a breech born baby that is blue and has no pulse or respiration after about a half hour is considered to be stillborn, whether attempts were made to revive it or not. The jury found the hospital was negligent sending the mother home with Tylenol without evaluating her and that this was a substantial factor in the baby’s death. Hospitals in Brooklyn and Long Island have looked into this case.

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February 23, 2012

Costs of Coroners Reporting on Nursing Home Deaths Cause Concern

A bill that would require a coroner to be called to all nursing home deaths so they can be investigated in the event of foul play or other issues is stalling in the state's General Assembly, states a report.

The bill, which would require all nursing homes in the state to contact the local coroner’s office when a nursing home patient dies, is designed to ensure that any abuse or neglect occurred, it could be investigated. However, opponents of the bill cite the costs that such measures would incur.

The state's chief medical examiner states that if the bill is passed, in order for the local coroner offices to comply three more doctors, and an undisclosed number of additional support staff would be needed. There would also be a need for additional equipment for the required investigations, reports a doctor.

Most assembly members and the medical community support the bill. The questions that are raised concern where the funds to pay the support staff and to purchase the needed extra equipment, along with any additional staff the nursing home facilities might need will come from, explains a source.

The bill not only would require nursing homes Manhattan and Long Island to report any deaths at their facilities, but also a specific staff would need to be designated at the long-term care facilities and all death would have to be reported to the local county coroner’s office within 24 hours.

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February 3, 2012

Cleveland Mom Sues Hospital

An Ohio mother is suing the Cleveland Clinic for medical malpractice. The mother claims that surgeries performed at the Cleveland Clinic left her infant son severely brain damaged, and ultimately led to his premature death.

The mother has filed the wrongful death complaint against the Cleveland Clinic and the two surgeons who performed the surgeries in 2003 on her son. The surgeries were performed to repair an abnormal vein the base of the boy’s brain. This vein was causing excessive blood flow to his heart. A study stated the surgeons used a surgical device that was specified for adult use on an infant without receiving the mother’s permission.

A doctor explained that glue from the surgical device leaked, seeping into the baby’s brain. This glue then caused a stroke and permanent brain damage. There were no medical reports about the severity of his brain damage, or the lasting effects of it. No other information about his medical condition following surgery was provided. The boy passed away in 2008. The mother filed a wrongful deathcomplaint against the Cleveland Clinic and both surgeons on January 24th.

A spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic reported that the physicians took every appropriate measure they could to save the child’s life. Unfortunately, according to the Cleveland Clinic, the boy died from complications surrounding his severe underlying medical condition, and not from complications following the surgical procedure. Hospitals and doctors in Manhattan and Long Island try to avoid situations like this.

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January 15, 2012

Woman committed to pysch ward by mistake

A man shared information about a civil trial of a woman who says that she was wrongfully committed to a psychiatric institution after she vented angrily about how she felt about her church’s pastor.

The woman hired a medical malpractice lawsuit and sued the psychiatric hospital along with other staff members. The woman has claimed that the psychiatrists did not follow the acceptable standards of psychiatric care as she was committed to their institution without her consent and was held there for ten days.

However, the hospital’s attorney is defending the medical malpractice because their defense is that they had every reason to believe that the woman was a danger to society at the time. A source reported, the woman had been volunteering at the church as a treasurer and after a while, she turned against the pastor of the church. The woman asked if she could speak to a psychiatrist because she felt that the pastor was not making it easy for her to do her work. According to the report, the woman talked about killing the pastor and that is what got her taken away to the psychiatric ward.

Although, she used those words, the woman claimed that she would not have carried out the threat. The woman testified in court that she was not a threat to society, but the defendant’s lawyer said that the woman would come to the church even after her working hours to harass the pastor. Hospitals in Manhattan and Long Island face these situations all the time.

A souce indicated that the pastor felt as if his life was in danger and may have had reason to feel threatened.

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December 17, 2011

Child born with cerebral palsy as a result of errors during delivery, indicated the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When it’s time to give birth, the parents are excited and anxious for everything to go well. When they don’t and their child suffers permanent disabilities because of a hypoxic brain injury, a lawsuit usually follows.

In this case, the parents filed a med mal lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor who delivered their baby girl. The claim states that the doctor ruptured membranes in her head and didn’t use the proper resuscitation techniques and then compounded the whole mess by failing to perform a C-section immediately, reported the doctor. As a result of this gruesome series of errors, the baby did not get enough oxygen to her brain and was born with cerebral palsy, unable to hear properly and with learning disabilities.

The parents filed a claim asking the court for compensatory damages for their baby’s suffering, pain, disability, disfigurement and her inability to ever be able to enjoy a normal life, explained the hospital spokesperson.

While it is true that cerebral palsy may happen without the doctor making any medical mistakes, it is equally clear that if the doctor does follow the proper and accepted standards at birth, the child’s brain would not have been deprived of oxygen.

Since the baby “was” deprived of air at the crucial time, the med mal lawsuit may result in compensation for the baby’s disabilities. Fair compensation is not possible without the dedicated and skilled assistance of an expert. This would be true in Manhattan and also in Long Island.

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December 10, 2011

Woman who suffered permanent brain damage due to medical malpractice receives $23 million

The woman in this medical malpractice case got a rough deal from the get-go, indicated a source. She was only 35-years old and a mother of four children, when she experienced unexplained headaches and other strange symptoms. In July of 2006, she went to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

Testing indicated that she had a non-bleeding aneurysm and a hospital neurosurgeon put coils into it. Unfortunately, the surgical team didn’t notice they had also perforated one of the arteries in her brain. From there on out, things went from bad to worse, explained the observer. For instance, the woman, who had been put on Heparin, a blood thinning medication, started to show signs that she was having a stroke. A nurse noticed the symptoms, but still gave the woman her Heparin.

Unfortunately, the doctors didn’t find out about the problem until it was too late to do anything and the woman’s brain was filled with blood and she had sustained significant brain damage. The complications of this fiasco left her paralyzed on one side and trying to cope with poor vision and a whole host of other medical problems. Her life had been totally changed and would never be the same again, added the investigator.

The negligent nurse settled for $1 million prior to trial and a jury awarded her $23 million to provide for her constant care. The trial took a while to get to court, but that’s usually the case with complex medical malpractice lawsuits. Most cases like this in Manhattan and Long Island require expert witnesses to testify to what standard of care was violated not to mention the fact that there would be months of intensive reading relating to the patient’s medical files.

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November 10, 2011

Surgical sponge left in patient’s body causes infections and other problems

When you go to hospital to have surgery, you expect that when the surgical team is done, they will make sure they have all their equipment and sponges before closing. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in this case, said a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer. In fact, this particular plaintiff found out the surgeons left a sponge in his abdomen after surgery for rectal cancer.
It wasn’t long after his surgery that this patient started to have bad abdominal pain. A CT scan showed he had a foreign body in his abdomen. This meant another surgery to get the sponge out. As a result of the sponge being in his body and the need for a second operation, the plaintiff stated he has had to undergo extensive medical treatments, has experienced numerous infections and has spent a lot of time in hospital. Doctors and hospitals in Manhattan and Long Island need to take note of this case and make provisions to prevent a duplication of these mistakes.
When his case went to trial, the patient was asking for damages for depression, anxiety, medical costs, disability, frequent medical care, mental anguish and pain and suffering, along with court costs and interest. The basis of that lawsuit was that the hospital and the doctors didn’t meet the accepted standard of medical care and that they were negligent in their care and treatment of the patient. This case was a complete comedy of medical malpractice errors from the moment of the first surgery, indicated the NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

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November 7, 2011

Liposuction Results in Patients Dead Due to Surgeon’s Negligence

Who would have thought that going for lipsuction would result in a sudden death? That is what happened in this wrongful death case which resulted in a medical malpractice lawsuit said a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer.
The 28-year old woman went to see the liposuction center and spoke to the surgeon who indicated her bill would be $8,000 for liposuction on her upper arms and abdomen. Unfortunately, when the surgery was done, the doctor didn’t keep track of how much Lidocaine he used on the patient. His medical assistant could not even remember how many bags of the solution were used.
Additionally, the investigation into this death revealed that the doctor also did not monitor the patient properly or check on the amount of nitrous oxide used explained the case investigator. When the operation was done, the doctor left the clinic and didn’t check to see if the patient was stable. She did not get replacement fluids and there was no record of the amount of fat actually removed during the procedure. The only person left in the clinic, was the medical assistant and when no one came to pick the patient up, she was put in a cab, but was not given any contact numbers if she experienced an emergency.
The patient died the next day from acute Lidocaine poisoning and the lawsuit indicated that the ads for the liposuction were deceptive in that they stated it was safe and just about painless reported the NY City Medical Malpractice Lawyer. Neither of those claims was found to be true. The doctor will be facing medical disciplinary action by his state board. He would face the same action in Manhattan and Long Island.

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October 10, 2011

New Insurance Group to Reduce Med Mal Payments

It is an old tale: insurance premiums hurt doctors and it's all the fault of evil lawyers. But a new start up group is aiming to change all that, says a New York Medical Malpractice LawyerThey seek to reduce premium payments and thus save doctors money by becoming an all online medical malpractice insurance group. Innovative techniques and new thought processes are helping to reshape an industry long filled with clunky ways of doing business.

Currently, your average regular doctor pays around $7,000 in insurance premiums every year (with that number rising to around $30,000 for a surgeon). Surgical Errors are usually more serious and call for more insurance. This may surprise some people who have been lead to believe that doctors are innocent victims of out of control lawsuits and that as a result they struggle to make a buck. Mostly, that is a lie spread by an out of control medical industry that seeks to avoid responsibility for its actions. These doctors want to harm patients without any fear of repercussion. The richest and most demanding of trust profession simply wants to never be held accountable.

Well, this new insurance group can help them to so for a great deal less money, reports a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New York. Backed by Blue Cross Blue Shield, in Long Island and Manhattan, and other major insurance groups, they will reduce doctor's premium payments even more. It didn't take an act of Congress, or a new law, or the banishing of lawyers, it just took a little brain power and the desire to make a buck.

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September 23, 2011

Is Medical Malpractice Immunity in Exchange for Treating Medicaid Patients on the Horizon?

If medical malpractice immunity is instituted in return for treating Medicaid patients, the system would become a shambles, indicated a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer.
Perhaps this is an idea that may find favor with the general public; a way to treat those who don’t have much in the way of proper medical care. On the surface, this sounds very humanitarian. Deep in the heart of this idea though lies a very real threat. This is also true of things like misdiagnosis which can be a suable offense.
By providing doctors with immunity to lawsuits for treating Medicaid patients, what is to say that they will get the same standard of care someone with health insurance will get? What is to say that the care given to Medicaid patients may not on occasion be substandard and a mere nod to the rules of providing care for immunity from being sued, asked the New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Sovereign immunity is a slap in the face to medical malpractice patients, whether they have health insurance or not or whether they are on Medicare or Medicaid. Should a State give immunity to doctors, the State then becomes the doctor who was negligent.
This means if a patient sues, taxpayers would then be footing the bill for med mal claims, while the doctor gets off scott free. Where is the justice in that? Where is the compassion for victims of a medical professional’s negligence? The very idea is an affront to victims, indicated the Lawyer.
Medical professionals in Long island and Manhattan need to be held accountable for their errors and if they are not held up to scrutiny, then the old saying of “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” would certainly hold true.

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September 13, 2011

Leg Pain Results in Double Amputation

This case should never have happened and the awful thing is that the woman the suffered the medical malpractice is unable to sue in the state she lives in. This would never happen in New York, indicated a NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The woman knew that there was a major problem, as she had pains in her legs. She had a history of blood clots and had a filter installed in one of the main veins of her heart. She went to the hospital ER outlined her problem. She was discharged with a diagnosis of bilateral leg pain.
Three days later, her legs were bright red and she called an ambulance and was taken to a different hospital. Evidently, her filter was blocked with blood clots and because she had waited, there was dead tissue in her legs and she was starting to go into kidney failure. Several weeks later when she came out of a coma she discovered both her legs had been amputated to save her.
The woman sought help from an attorney, but in the state where she lives, even though she has a good case, it can’t be pursued due to caps on medical malpractice lawsuits. Her home state passed laws in 2003 that made it even more difficult to sue in “any” health care situation, but more particularly in an ER setting. The med mal cap was set at $250,000 for non-economic damages per health care provider, with a maximum award of $750,000.
In this woman’s case, the $750,000 would barely make a dent in her medical bills and other expenses she is facing for the rest of her life, said the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer. While her case against the ER doctor is solid, the language in the new law protects ER doctors from misdiagnosis, unless they acted with wanton and willful negligence; a hard thing to prove. The doctor would have to “know” they were putting a patient at risk and still proceed with their diagnosis. There is no room here for simple negligence and the new threshold is virtually impossible to meet. In New York City and Long Island this defense would probably not hold up.

If you have been in a situation like this and have been misdiagnosed by an ER doctor, make your first call to a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney. Do not wait until you feel better, as the Statute of Limitations must be met in cases such as this. Only a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney will be able to obtain equitable compensation for you.

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August 6, 2011

Mother of Cerebral Palsy Girl Seeking Stem Cell Cure

A mother is hoping that stem cell research could provide the secrets which can be used to cure her daughters Cerebral Palsy. The 9 year old girl suffers from epilepsy, asthma and cerebral palsy.

It is alleged that the young girl suffers from cerebral palsy because of mistakes which were made during her birth. The girl was in an awkward position which meant that the mother really should have been offered a caesarian section. However, the pregnancy was allowed to continue as normal but she didn’t give birth until two weeks after the due date.

The family have successfully filed a case against the doctor in the emergency room. They have received a settlement of $1 million. Once all of the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer fees were paid, the rest of the money was put into a trust fund.

The family have had 9 years to get used to coping and living with the condition of the girl. The young girl requires daily treatment with a nebulizer to assist her breathing. Her epilepsy also causes seizures. The full time careers of the girl are her father and brother. In Long Island and New York City, Lawyers deal with birth injury on a daily basis.

The NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer explains that the mistakes made at the time of her birth have had a serious impact on her whole life. She cannot eat normal food and is instead fed through a small tube which is inserted straight into the stomach. Her body finds it difficult to retain the food and her weight at 9 is only 30 pounds.

She tries to live as normal a life as possible. She attends school whenever possible. She has a personal instructional aide to assist with her studies when she is at school. At the moment she cannot communicate because she does not have any movement in her hands.

The parents of the girl are hoping that stem cell research will provide a suitable treatment. They have chosen a medical center in China which will implant the stem cells by lumbar puncture. This is not a cure, but will hopefully lessen the symptoms.

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June 17, 2011

Doctors Death Lawsuit Could Cost Millions of Dollars

Medical malpractice happens every day; it's just that most people aren't too concerned with fighting it. Many pensioners try to find a NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer to handle their wife’s death. However, few lawyers would actually want to take this case on because the rewards are not high enough.

But, when someone with more earning potential dies like a doctor, then the wrongful death lawsuit is a real possibility. The doctor died on 23rd April 2010. He was a 35 year old, skilled neurosurgeon. He just got offered a job at a local practice which could see him earning over $2 million per year. This is a huge sum of money, which means his wrongful death is worth a lot of money to any good New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

The family of the doctor is currently suing the hospital and the doctors involved in the treatment. Many people believe that doctors look after their own kind, and you might expect that he would of received the very best medical care available. The doctor had been vomiting and had a fever and diarrhea. By 11 PM in the evening he died.

It's thought that the cause of death was sepsis. This is a serious infection which can kill by causing septic shock.

The lawsuit which has been filed alleges that the doctor did not receive the correct treatment for his illness. When the correct treatment was chosen there were several delays which made the condition worse.

The NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer called on two medical experts to assist the case. One was an expert in emergency medicine, and the other an expert in sepsis.

Although the doctor was seriously ill, the emergency doctors did not treat him as such. They did not provide him with the necessary treatment quickly enough.

The level of care was also called into question. The emergency doctors did not check in on the patient nearly as often as they needed to. The ER nurses also neglected to take good care of him. The experts believe that the patient would have been able to survive if he received the right treatment quickly enough.

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June 17, 2011

Apologies Prevent Medical Lawsuits, Reports New York Medical Malpractice

A new Michigan State bill may help lessen the amount of medical malpractice lawsuits. This new measure would allow a doctor to say “I’m sorry” without it being an admission of guilt when procedures go wrong. A NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer says that doctors see it as a step in the right direction.

A doctor with the Michigan State Medical Society has said that anything you say when dealing with patients and their families can be held against you. If you admit that you’re sorry that something has went wrong, many people see that as an implication of guilt, or that you did something wrong during the procedure. Currently these heartfelt apologies can be seen as admissions of guilt to a wrongdoing on the doctor’s part. Anesthesia errors can occur at any hospital and often do in Nassau, Long Island where a lawyer familiar with the law should be called.

According to a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer, a new proposed bill states that saying “I’m Sorry” when something goes wrong would no longer be an admission of guilt. 35 states already have what are called “I’m Sorry” laws in place, and reports have shown that the number of medical malpractice lawsuits have decreased in a lot of those states.

The hope is that fewer lawsuits may eventually lead to lower insurance premiums as well. But first the Michigan State Medical Society just wants to help protect the health care workers and their families. Although this law would apply to all health care professionals, it would not apply to people who apologize and admit they’re guilty as well.

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June 12, 2011

$13.9 Million Is Awarded In Birth Injury Lawsuit

A New York Medical Malpractice Attorney explains that a doctor from Ohio was found to be responsible for medical negligence concerned with the birth of a baby girl.

The trial took a day and a half and various expert witnesses were called to the stand. It was decided that the doctor was responsible and the hospital was ordered to pay $13.9 million in damages.

The girl who is the subject of the case is now ten years old. She suffered from cerebral Palsy which was directly caused by the doctor being negligent and not acting quickly enough. It is alleged that the doctors actions during the birth deprived the baby of oxygen which lead to the complications.

The patient visited her family doctor on a regular basis for checkups. These checkups allowed her to check how her pregnancy was and that everything was going properly. The hospital ordered tests which showed her baby had a fairly low heart rate. The doctor decided that it was in the babies best interests to induce labor early.

The parents agreed and had an emergency Caesarean section. This is where the baby is delivered through surgery. However, after labor was induced the doctor changed his mind and decided not to do the C-section. Expert witnesses said that the lack of oxygen to the brain of the baby caused the child to suffer from cerebral palsy.

The expert witness also gave further details that showed the child also suffered another cerebral palsy when contractions were induced. The doctor argued that she never even though about doing a C-section because there was no reason to think that the baby had anything wrong with it.

The New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer says the family is arguing that if a c-section was performed quickly that the baby would have been completely normal. The complications during her birth were completely avoidable.

Cerebral Palsy is a medical condition which can affect the way the brain works and impair several functions including learning, hearing, thinking and walking. Many of the problems which cause this can be avoided.

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June 11, 2011

Malpractice Suits are not Increasing Health Care Cots as Much as Some People Imagine

America's healthcare system is under continuous reform and improvement. There have been many debates over the years about reforms which could be used to make the healthcare system much better and more effective.

One of the most controversial issues is that malpractice suits could be increasing our annual healthcare costs, explains a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The debate has to consider the dangers to patient safety, and the doctors wellbeing.

Many people who are trying to reform the medical malpractice lawsuit procedure argue that they are pushing qualified doctors away. Many of these people will also suggest that medical malpractice cases are the main reason why health insurance is rising so steeply. However, this certainly isn't true.

The NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer explains that the cost of medical malpractice cases only affects a very small proportion of health care costs. This is mainly because these malpractice costs are much less common than many people assume. In 2004 the cost of malpractice cases was under 2% of the total spending on healthcare. This means that the costs of malpractice cases are unlikely to push up insurance costs.

Other people have looked at the topic of medical negligence in more detail. They have suggested that this is costing more because doctors are over-cautious. They order more tests than they require so that they are not liable. Again, this only pushes up health care costs by a very small amount.

Although many hospitals have to deal with a few malpractice cases every year, their profits are always rising. This means that the malpractice claims are not damaging the industry. The profits rose by 56% during 2009. Health insurance companies also made more profit than before, and many Americans found their monthly payments for health insurance actually fell.

Health care is something that is very important to everyone in America. This is why the debates will continue to rage on forever. When looking at the reform topics, it is important to fully understand both sides of the story. This will give you an understanding of the real costs of malpractice cases.

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June 7, 2011

Doctor Speaks Out Against Medical Malpractice Bill

A new television ad which has recently started airing on the internet sees a doctor speaking out about a bill which is planned to limit the rights of patients who are injured. The New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer states that this is designed to promote the awareness of medical malpractice claims.

The doctor featured in the ad talks of his wife and how she was disfigured as a result of an operating room fire which could have been prevented. He criticizes senate bill 33 which as the NY City Medical Malpractice Lawyer explains puts a limit on how much people can claim. This is because it treats every malpractice case the same and applies the same limit on all of them.

One version of the ad can be seen on the internet and has also been shown on TV throughout the state. The doctor keeps saying that operating room fires are avoidable. His wife was undergoing a simple outpatient procedure but the fire caused disfigurement. He argues that if the hospital maintained the operating room correctly that these fires should never happen. The senate voted to cut the levels of damages awarded to people who had been disfigured as a result of malpractice.

The doctor gives this story a very emotional and real feel that most people don't experience. Nobody can put a cap on the pain a person experiences and so there should be no level on the amount of compensation that they can receive. Doctors in Westchester and Long island have presented the same case for patients.

There have also been a few other doctors which have spoken negatively about Senate Bill 33. It is suggested by some that the cap will reduce the medical care quality which is given to people in North Carolina.

Both of these doctors show that every case is different and should not be treated the same. Everybody's injuries are unique and they will need to learn the facts about each case and decide the compensation accordingly.

There is a lot of opposition against Senate Bill 33 as it is correctly argued by many people that no two medical malpractice cases are the same. The arbitrary cap which applies to all cases is unfair. People have also shown that the same levels of compensation should not be used for cases which lead to death, disfigurement and emotional distress.

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June 4, 2011

New Trial against Silver Hill Hospital Ordered by Court

A New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer explains that a court ordered a new malpractice trial against Silver Hill Hospital on Monday. The reason for this is because the judge did not ask the jurors whether they read the newspaper story and were influenced by it. This meant that the verdict of the jury was less reliable.

The New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer explains that the original suit was filed against the psychiatrist and the hospital when a middle aged woman died. The patient committed suicide by hanging herself at the medical facility where she was undergoing treatment. She was being treated for a personality disorder and clinical depression.

The Silver Hill Hospital is a very well-known medical facility which has been open for over 80 years. Many famous people have visited the center for psychiatric treatment over the years and it has a very good reputation.

The estate of the diseased lady filed the suit. When the jury found that the hospital was not liable, the executor of the estate appealed the verdict. This was because it was possible that the verdict of the jury was compromised by the newspaper article.

The appeal was based on the fact that the judge did not follow the request of asking whether jurors had read the New York Times story which was related to the case. This could have influenced them which is the reason why the courts verdict was thrown out explains the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

It is expected that the attorney for Silver Hill hospital will appeal the ruling next week. The hospitals lawyers disagree with the ruling and will be filing a new suit early in the week. Hospitals in Suffolk County, Long Island have their own attorneys to defend cases like this.

The newspaper story was published a few weeks before various pieces of evidence were found. The story could of quite easily influenced the opinions of the members of the jury.

The doctor who admitted the patient to the hospital ordered that the bathroom door was locked because of suicide attempts on previous occasions. The next day supervision was reduced and the bathroom unlocked. The patient hung herself over the bathroom door.

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