Articles Posted in New York City

Published on:

On 19 October 1970, a doctor performed a surgical excision of a node from plaintiff’s neck. Allegedly, during the operation on plaintiff’s neck, the surgeon negligently injured a spinal-accessory nerve in her neck and also injured branches of her cervical plexus. Following the operation, plaintiff told her surgeon that she was experiencing numbness in the right side of her face and neck and that it was difficult and painful for her to raise her right arm. The physician was allegedly aware of the negligent manner in which he had performed the surgery and, as a result, plaintiff suffered a potentially permanent personal injury; that the physician willfully, falsely and fraudulently told plaintiff that her post-operative problems, pain and difficulties were transient and that they would disappear if she would continue a regimen of physiotherapy which he had prescribed and which was then being given by another doctor. Consequently, plaintiff continued with the physiotherapy prescribed by the subject doctor until October 1974. Meanwhile, she had moved to Syracuse, New York, where she sought further medical advice. In January 1974, she was first apprised by the Syracuse physician of the true nature of her injury and that it probably had been caused at the time of her surgery. This doctor’s diagnosis was substantially confirmed in October 1974 by a professor of medicine, specializing in neurology, at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, who also advised that reanastomosis of the sectioned nerve four years after the surgery would not be a physiologically successful procedure. Allegedly, the doctor who performed the surgery on plaintiff had intentionally withheld information as to the true nature and source of her injury, thus, she was deprived of the opportunity for a cure of her condition.

Sometime in April 1976, the present personal injury action against the surgical doctor was commenced. Prior to service of an answer, the doctor moved to dismiss the complaint under CPLR 3211 on the ground that the cause or causes of action alleged were barred by the Statute of Limitations. Plaintiff then cross-moved for leave to amend her complaint to include a cause of action for malpractice.

The Supreme Court in Westchester denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiff leave to amend her complaint, as requested. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed, granted defendant’s motion and dismissed the complaint. Plaintiff thereupon appealed the said decision.

Continue reading

Published on:

On 10 October 1956, an infant who was about fifteen months old, while at home, suffered severe burns for which the defendants bear no responsibility. The infant was taken first to his family’s doctor who advised that he be taken to a hospital. The infant was then hospitalized at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.

On 11 October 1956, at 8:15 a. m., about thirteen hours after the infant was admitted to the hospital, he appeared to be unconscious and slightly cyanotic. Cyanosis is a condition in which the skin becomes blue, as a result of insufficient oxygen in the blood, or due to a malformation of the heart. The mother of the infant plaintiff, with respect to her son’s condition before he was admitted to Kings County Hospital, states that the boy was about a year old when he began to talk, that he started to walk at eleven months, fed himself and ate very good; however, when she took him home from the hospital, the infant could not walk, could not talk, did not respond when spoken to, and that his body still had jerky movements. The infant couldn’t hold up his head erect. It keeps bobbing, and he was not the same boy.

Consequently, a personal injury action for medical malpractice has been instituted. The defendants are the City of New York and Kings County Hospital. However, only the action against The City of New York went to the jury. The action against Kings County Hospital was dismissed during the trial.

Continue reading

Published on:

In an action to recover damages for medical malpractice, the wife of the plaintiff Ulysses Simmons gave birth to their daughter, the infant plaintiff, Ivette Sheyanne Simmons, following what was an otherwise normal and uncomplicated pregnancy, via vaginal delivery after about two hours of labor, at the defendant Brooklyn Hospital Center (hereinafter refered to as the Hospital). However, according to medical records, the infant plaintiff was born macrosomic (excessive size), blue and diagnosed with fetal hydrops, also referred to as hydrops fetalis (total body edema) presumably due to intrauterine infection, resulting in anemia, thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), and brain hemorrhage. The infant was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy involving global developmental delays and seizures.

The plaintiffs commenced this medical malpractice action against, among others, the defendant Snehaprabha Lotlikar (hereinafter Dr. Lotlikar), an employee of the defendant Bedford-Williamsburg Medical Group, which is also sued herein as the defendant Central Brooklyn Medical Group, P.C. (hereafter together Bedford-Williamsburg). Dr. Lotlikar saw the mother during the 34th week of pregnancy, and then again during the 35th to 36th week of pregnancy.

A Lawyer said that, plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Lotlikar deviated from accepted medical practice by failing to perform a sonogram on each of those visits, and that said departure was a proximate cause of the infant plaintiff’s birth injuries because it would have revealed her macrosomic condition and fetal hydrops, which in turn would have led to delivery via cesarean section. Additionally, the plaintiffs commenced this action against the defendant Phillipe J. Day (hereinafter Dr. Day), who was also employed by Bedford-Williamsburg, and who was involved in the first hour of the mother’s labor at the Hospital, alleging that he deviated from accepted medical practice by failing to perform a sonogram. The plaintiffs also sought relief against Dr. Waltrous, who was also employed by Bedford-Williamsburg, and who was involved in the second hour of the mother’s labor and actually delivered the infant plaintiff, alleging that she deviated from accepted medical practice by failing to perform a sonogram. The plaintiffs also sought relief against Patrick LeBlanc (hereafter Dr. LeBlanc), who was employed by the Hospital, and who treated the infant plaintiff immediately following her delivery in the Hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit for her hydrops fetalis condition, alleging that he deviated from accepted medical practice by engaging in a more conservative course of treatment, rather than performing aggressive treatment referred to as paracentisis and thoracentesis (the insertion of tubes into the body to remove fluids therefrom). Additionally, the plaintiffs seek to hold the Hospital vicariously liable for Dr. LeBlanc’s alleged medical malpractice, and to hold Bedford-Williamsburg vicariously liable for the alleged medical malpractice of Drs. Lotlikar, Day, and Waltrous. The defendants’ moved and cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as the complaint asserted against them.

Continue reading

Published on:

In an action to recover damages for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent, a source said that, plaintiff Valerie Abdelkader, mother and natural guardian of Laila Abdelkader, alleged that Laila’s Erb’s Palsy injury was caused by the medical malpractice of the defendant doctor in connection with the obstetrical care administered at Laila’s birth on July 2, 1997. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant in the principal sums of $300,000 for past pain and suffering and $500,000 for future pain and suffering.

Thereafter, a source said that, the defendant appeals the judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated October 17, 2007, which, upon a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against him finding that the plaintiff sustained damages in the principal sums of $300,000 for past pain and suffering and $500,000 for future pain and suffering, and upon an order of the same court dated May 31, 2007, which denied his motion pursuant to CPLR 4404 (a) to set aside the jury verdict as against the weight of the evidence or to set aside the damages award as excessive, is in favor of the plaintiff and against him in the principal sums of $300,000 for past pain and suffering and $500,000 for future pain and suffering.

The issue in this case is whether the damages in accordance with the evidence presented, awarded to the plaintiff is excessive.

Continue reading

Published on:

When a family member dies, it is a heartbreaking time for the rest of the family. That is made especially true if they are not permitted to honor the memory of their loved one in accordance with their traditions and religious beliefs. In the case of New York, there are laws that are in place to ensure that when a loved one dies, they are placed in a situation that will ensure that every effort is made to locate the next of kin and return the body to them for burial. These laws refer to sepulcher. Sepulcher is the right of a family to inter their kin in the manner that they deem appropriate. It is a recognized right in the state of New York, but that is not the way that it was always done.

In the early 1800’s, medical schools and body snatchers ran amuck in the city of New York. Many families were faced with the loss of the body of a loved one. There was a demand for the legislature to create laws that made it illegal for a person to steal a body or otherwise interfere with the right of a family to possess the body of their loved one. The legislature was faced with a problem about how to word such a fundamental right. The question arose as to whether the theft of a body was a theft of property that belonged to the family. Initially, the laws were worded to reflect the body as the property of a family. However, as laws usually do, they evolved over the years so that the right of sepulcher for a family to possess the body of a loved one was viewed more as a violation of a right to seek the solace of the ritual of a burial than it was a question of a theft of property. That evolution caused a new factor to be raised as it regarded the loss of bodies in morgues throughout the state. The right of sepulcher became an issue of the emotional distress that is caused to a loved one when the body of their family member is not immediately available to them. It is from this evolution of legal statute that the present case came into existence.

On October 28, 2001, a famous playwright , Leonard Melfi died. He was famous for writing the one-act play the Birdbath and he was instrumental in the writing of the Broadway hit play, Oh: Calcutta! He had been a resident of a welfare hotel on the upper west side of Manhattan called the Narragansett Hotel at the time that he collapsed. The Emergency Medical Services personnel filed a report of their interactions at the scene of Mr. Melfi’s collapse. Their report stated that the famous author was in respiratory distress at the time of their arrival. They recorded his address, date of birth, social security number and his next of kin with her phone number on their report. Mr. Melfi was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital where another report, this one by the emergency room patient registration team was filled out with the same information. The triage report that was filled out on Mr. Melfi only showed that he was fitted with an oxygen mask and that no further treatment was administered to him. The attending physician in the emergency room diagnosed Mr. Melfi with congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. He prescribed a drug to slow Mr. Melfi’s heart rate, but again, the record does not show that any other treatment regimen was provided to him. The billing statement of the hospital showed that Mr. Melfi was treated by nurses who did a pulse oximetry, catheter placement, and electrocardiogram, but there is no report of these actions being taken in the patient’s care records.

Continue reading

Published on:

When a family places a loved one in an elderly care home, they have certain expectations regarding the care that the loved one will receive while they are living there. It is not reasonable to expect that the loved one will be abused while in the care of trained professionals. However, all too often, a family discovers that their trust was misplaced and that their loved one has suffered from an injury, abuse, or even death as a result of medical malpractice or nursing home abuse.

On October 31, 2003, one such loved one died in the care of New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was only 67 years old. She had been a patient at Isabella Geriatric Center, Inc. from the summer of 2000 until October 24, 2003 when she was transported to the hospital suffering from contusions, pain and discomfort, dehydration, soreness in her neck, and stage IV sacral decubitus ulcers. These injuries were inflicted according to her family members as a direct result of the employees of the geriatric center’s neglect and abuse under Public Health Law §§2801-d and 2803-c. The family contends that the geriatric center failed to properly hire, train, and retain qualified employees and that they failed to properly supervise those that they did hire to ensure that reasonable care was given to their loved one.

When they filed their complaint with the courts of New York, they were taken before a judge who read over the complaint. The family had requested permission to present a medical expert to testify on their behalf to show that the geriatric center had failed to provide the minimal standard of care to their loved one and that this diversion from standard medical practice was the proximate cause of the injuries that she suffered and ultimately the cause of her death. The judge who heard the motion denied the family’s request to present a qualified expert. She then stated that without an expert that they would not be able to show a prima facie case of neglect. She then proceeded to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Continue reading

Published on:

If a person is injured by a medical professional then they have the right to file a lawsuit against that doctor. However, members of the military probably won’t have this option and that’s due to a shield law. The law is opposed by many veterans and their families. This protects military medical personnel from being accused of malpractice.

They are hoping that the latest case which will challenge the shield will completely change the law indicates a source. The law suit is filed against a 25 year old non-commissioned officer who died due to medical mistakes. The officer died because the nurse put the tube into the wrong part of the throat.

The report explains that overturning this law could expose the government to millions of dollars of costs. This will make it a very interesting topic. Congress is desperate to reduce spending, which is why it’s unlikely they will get rid of the law. Medical mistakes in the military are often regarded as being very similar to wounds incurred when on active duty.

Continue reading

Published on:

In medical malpracticecases involving military medical personal, there is a separate law that that limits the doctors’ and hospitals’ liabilities. The act, known as the Feres Doctrine, was originally intended to limit the government’s liability for injuries which occurred in the line of duty, explains a doctor.

The Doctrine, while originally intended to limit lawsuits from wounded soldiers, was written in such a way that it has since been expanded to include injuries which are the result of malpractice at military hospitals and clinics. This has prevented numerous lawsuits against the government which would likely be brought against private physicians in similar circumstances. The Doctrine has undoubtedly saved the government billions of dollars in malpractice awards since it was enacted in the late 1960’s.

Arguments for the Doctrine claim that removing it would place a higher reward on injuries due to medical malpractice, potentially millions of dollars, than similar injuries which are the result of battle and that the cost to the government would be significant. Arguments against the Doctrine include claims that subjecting hospitals and doctors to liability encourages them to reduce the number of errors and improves overall care. Both sides have numerous supporters. The Doctrine has been addressed in several trials over the past six decades, but it has thus far stood up to criticisms.

Continue reading

Published on:

At the hands of allegedly negligent surgical staff, a newlywed 46-year-old woman suffered brain damage in a surgery that she underwent for illness shortly after returning home from her honeymoon.

Last week, the court heard how the 46-year-old Wyattville Park resident had been a “bubbly and vivacious” receptionist, but how after her injury she needs almost 24-hour care. A rep said that the woman is a completely different person.

The woman’s husband, the chief executive of Phonographic Performance Ireland and the director general of the Irish Music Rights Organization, is suing on his wife’s behalf. At the root of the suit are the allegations that the HSE and the consultant surgeon, who works as St. Michael’s Hospital where the operation was carried out, were negligent and breached their duty the patient.

Continue reading

Published on:

A sudy claims that capping pain and suffering awards for malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 will be a big mistake for several reasons. $250,000 might seem like a lot of money to some, but to somebody who is suffering from an irreversible, life-changing condition due to a medical mistake, it doesn’t even make a dent in the costs.

“Our lawyers will be hesitant to take on any of these types of cases because we know we will just disappoint our clients,” he said. He recommends a piece written by Eric Turkewitz to sift through the details of these caps pointing out a quote that said “the ideas of Big Government intervention, protectionism and increased costs to taxpayers would be interesting for conservatives to mull over, as it runs contrary to conservative ideology.”

Although the lawyer says he doesn’t completely conquer with the basic idea that malpractice litigation serves as a useful device for improving patient care, he believes it’s almost too unorganized to achieve that, and said that doctors can’t change their practices to fit a system of basically random punishment.

Continue reading

Contact Information