This is an instant action brought forth by the plaintiff for herself, her deceased husband, and her four children. The case involves personal injury claims that arise from a car accident and medical malpractice claims in regard to the treatment that her husband received at the defendant hospital for the injuries that he sustained during the car accident.
Prior to this action the Bronx driver of the other vehicle that was involved in the accident began this own action for personal injuries that he sustained during the accident.
The plaintiffs have moved to consolidate both actions for a joint trial. The defendants in the second action have opposed stating that consolidating the actions will result in undue prejudice and jury confusion. In addition, the defendants in the second action have moved to sever the causes of action that pertain to the car accident and those actions that pertain to the medical malpractice action. The defendant is also seeking to have the venue moved to Albany County where the treatment was provided.
The Brooklyn plaintiff’s decedent was in a car accident that resulted in serious injuries to himself, his wife, and their four children. According to the plaintiffs they were driving on Route 23 in Green County when their car was hit by the defendant driver. After the accident the decedent was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital and was then transported to the defendant hospital.
On the day after the accident the decedent underwent surgery for his injuries on his right foot, knee, and leg. He suffered from complications after the surgery, allegedly related to the respiratory treatment and anesthesia and passed away.
The driver of the other vehicle sustained injuries as well and contends the accident was the fault of the decedent. He started an action on the 8th of February, 2010 for the injuries that he allegedly sustained during the accident. The family of the decedent started the instant personal injury and medical malpractice action against the driver of the other vehicle and various medical providers in August of 2010.
The issues before the court are whether this action involving the personal injuries suffered by the family of the decedent and the medical malpractice of the medical personnel defendants should be consolidated with the action that was commenced by the driver of the other vehicle for the injuries that he sustained during the accident, whether the alleged medical malpractice case should be severed from the causes of action that pertain to the car accident, and if the venue of New York County is appropriate.
Case Discussion and Decision
The plaintiffs contend that the two actions regarding the accident should be combined because they both stem from the same car accident and therefor contain common issues of law. The driver of the second vehicle argues that because of the medical malpractice claims these should not be combined because the issues in the decedent’s family case are more complex.
After reviewing the facts of the case, the motion to combine the cases is granted. Holding separate trials in this matter would result in conflicting results. In addition, the medical malpractice claims will not be severed and will be heard by the same jury. The court also finds that the venue of New York County is appropriate as it is the county where the defendant driver resides. The venue will remain the same.