Articles Posted in Suffolk County

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The defendants have moved for an order to amend the caption that recently appointed the plaintiff as the administrator of the estate and upon the amendment to have the complaint against them dismissed.

Case Facts

The Westchester plaintiff both individually and as the administrator of the estate of the deceased, started this action against the defendants to recover damages for medical malpractice and wrongful death. The plaintiff alleges that the care given to his mother was negligent up until the time that she passed away.

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The Bronx appellant in this case is appealing by permission an order that denied his motion to vacate a finding of liability made by a medical malpractice panel. There are five main issues to consider on this appeal.

First, the court must consider whether an order that denies a motion to vacate a medical malpractice panel’s finding is appealable in this court.

Second, if the doctor member of the medical malpractice panel must be a specialist that practices in the same field of medicine as the defendant doctor who the malpractice is claimed.

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This is an action to recover damages for fraud. The New York City plaintiffs are appealing an order made by the Supreme Court of Suffolk County that granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint against them.

Case Background

The plaintiffs in this case are an infant and his father. In 1987, the plaintiffs settled a medical malpractice action against an insured of the respondent in this case. The settlement included an annuity that would provide payments to the infant plaintiff in the sum of $3000 per month for life. The respondent estimated the present value of the entire settlement package to be $940,180.

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This is a case of appeal being heard in the Supreme Court, Appellate Division and First Department. The original judgment was made in the Supreme Court of New York County and awarded $61,478.40 against the defendants.

Case Background

The plaintiff in the case provided medical malpractice liability insurance for a dental center. The premiums for the insurance policy were based on the number of outpatient visits and adjusted by a stabilization fund charge. The policy was renewed twice and at the end of three years there was a premium balance of $40,795. The plaintiff sued for these premiums and obtained a judgment on liability.

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The complainant Nassau man went to the emergency room of a hospital complaining of weakness in his lower extremities and severe lower back pain. He had gone to the emergency room five days earlier complaining of left hip and back pain, and was sent home with pain medication. The pain persisted, and he began experiencing weakness in his legs, twice falling or nearly falling when his legs buckled. He was able to walk, though with difficulty. During his emergency room visit, radiographic tests, including a myelogram, were ordered, and the man was admitted to the hospital.

On the morning of 25 June 1994, the accused anesthesiologist explained to the complainant man that he would need to administer a caudal block rather than general anesthesia for the myelogram because the man needed to be awake during the test. The radiologist performed the myelogram around 3:00 p.m. that day. The next morning, the man discovered he felt no pain, was numb from his hips down, and could not move his legs. The Suffolk anesthesiologist and the nursing staff blamed the numbness and inability to move on the anesthesia, telling the man it had not yet worn off. The man thought this was strange because, in his experience, it usually took only four to five hours for the effects of anesthesia to wear off. He thought either something had gone wrong or his condition was worse than the doctors originally thought.

The myelogram revealed massive disc herniation causing spinal injury, and the accused man’s attending physician and neurologist advised the man that he urgently needed surgery. The neurologist performed a laminectomy and discectomy. However, the man remained paralyzed following the surgery.

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This is a claim for medical malpractice against the state city health and hospitals corporation brought by a mother, individually and on behalf of her son. The infant was born at one Nassau hospital and allege that the infant sustained meconium aspiration syndrome and hypertonia as a result of the hospital’s mismanagement of the labor and delivery. Though the infant was transferred to another hospital and stayed for almost two weeks, he was then transferred back with the previous hospital where he received continuous treatment. It is also alleged that the infant suffers from brain injury and severe developmental delays.

At the beginning, the court had lack of authority to grant the leave to file a late notice of claim as to the mother’s individual claims because her application is made more than one year and ninety days from the accrual of the incident. As to the infant’s claims, based on the dates of the alleged malpractice, a notice of claim should have been served on the hospital corporations but the infant is the beneficiary of an infancy toll.

Further, entries in the medical records reveal that the infant was developing normally at the time of discharge and there is no indication of a long term injury. In the supporting affidavit, the mother admits to being aware of the conclusion by noting that at the age of three months her son had met all developmental milestones. A neurology visit note also supports the said conclusion. The mother also stated that about 17 months after her delivery, her son had once again met all milestones. The Suffolk mother stated that she did not learn of her son’s alleged delays until some point and that it was not until more findings led her to believe that her son’s injury was in fact related to his birthing process. It is evident that the mother could not have been aware of any damages attributable to the delivery within 90 days of the date of accrual, or a reasonable time thereafter, as there was no indication that the infant experiences any alleged delays. Consequently, the subject medical records alone do not support that the mother, by its acts or omissions, inflicted injuries to the infant and that the mother should have been aware of same within the applicable 90 days, or a reasonable time thereafter.

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This case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Nassau County. The plaintiffs of the case are seeking to recover damages for medical malpractice. The plaintiffs allege that as a result of the negligence of the defendants the infant plaintiff suffered from fetal complications including oxygen deprivation that caused brain damage and resulting complications.

Case background

The infant plaintiff was born on the 29th of April, 2004. By December of 2004 he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, left – sided hemiparesis, motor deficit, delayed speech, and cognitive deficits. The defendant in the case is the obstetrician of the mother. He treated the mother at his office and at the hospital.

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This is a medical malpractice case filed against the defendant hospital because of the negligence committed by its employees during plaintiff’s birth in September 1993. According to the hospital records, the medical employees in attendance gave his mother Pitocin, a drug used to facilitate the birth. The delivery involved two attempts at vacuum extraction and, ultimately, the use of forceps. Records show that the mother’s pelvis was adequate to accommodate the baby’s head and the birth was without complication. The infant weighed 8 pounds, 3½ ounces. His Apgar score was within satisfactory range: eight at one minute after birth and nine at five minutes after birth. The records also reveal that there were marks on his forehead from the forceps and his clavicle was broken. Because of the foregoing, plaintiff is presently suffering from epilepsy and developmental disabilities.

The record reveals that in 1995 plaintiff had an electroencephalogram (EEG), a test to trace his brain waves. The results were normal, but EEGs in 1998 and 1999 showed signs of abnormality. On September 5, 2003, 10 years after plaintiff’s birth, his counsel sent defendant hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk a notice of claim alleging, in essence, that plaintiff suffered brain injury resulting from the hospital’s malpractice during his delivery.

In support of his motion for late service of a notice of claim, plaintiff argued that section 50-e (5) contemplates “actual knowledge of the essential facts constituting the claim,” not knowledge of a specific legal theory, and because defendant hospital is in possession of the medical records, they necessarily have actual knowledge of the facts constituting the claim. Plaintiff further argued that the delay in the service of claim was a product of his infancy.

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On 4 March 1986, plaintiff commenced a medical malpractice personal injury action against the defendant, a licensed physician, alleging that defendant was negligent in the care and treatment of plaintiff’s infant daughter and ultimately caused the child’s wrongful death.

In 1985, as part of a comprehensive reform of medical malpractice, the Legislature enacted CPLR 3406(a) which requires plaintiffs to file a notice of dental, medical or podiatric malpractice action within 60 days of joinder of issue. Plaintiff failed to timely file this notice. Thus, as a sanction, the Appellate Division dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint and reversed the lower court’s decision; the court found that plaintiff had failed to proffer a reasonable excuse for her eight-month delay in seeking an extension and had not demonstrated the merit of her claims.

The Issues:

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On or about 2 January 1975, defendant who is a physician commenced an action against the plaintiffs in the District Court, Nassau County, to recover the sum of $750 for professional services rendered on or about 21 May 1974, with interest. A default judgment was entered in that action against the plaintiffs on 7 February 1975.

On 22 March 1976, plaintiffs commenced the instant personal injury action against a doctor and a Hospital for medical malpractice (for the injury sustained as a result of the negligence in the care of plaintiff) allegedly committed during the period between 27 May 1974 and 22 June 1974, in which issue was joined by the individual defendant on 27 October 1976. Thereafter, the defendant doctor moved, inter alia, to amend his answer to assert the affirmative defenses of res judicata and collateral estoppel and, in the alternative, a summary judgment. The plaintiffs then cross-moved for leave to serve a supplemental Bill of Particulars. The motion to amend defendant’s answer and the motion for summary judgment was denied. Thus, defendant doctor appeals the said judgment.

The Issues:

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