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Misdiagnosis of lung cancer leads to malpractice charge


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.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendant hospital failed to diagnose the decedent with lung cancer, and this lack of diagnosis resulted in her death on the third of September, 2008.

The plaintiff started this action in December of 2009. At the time the plaintiff brought forth the action he had not been issued the letters of administration naming him as executor and granting him the right to bring suit on behalf of the estate. For this reason, he nominated himself as the proposed administrator as he was the next of kin and the only child of the decedent.

Case Discussion

The Suffolk defendants have moved to have the complaints against them dismissed on the ground that it is barred by the statute of limitations and/or that the complaint fails to state a cause of action. To support the motion the defendants argue that the plaintiff failed to serve a timely notice of claim. They further state that the alleged failure of diagnosing the decedent’s lung cancer occurred more than 90 days before the plaintiff’s notice of claim and for this reason the notice of claim is untimely.

The defendants further argue that the plaintiff lacks the capacity to commence with a wrongful death claim because he was not designated as the legal representative for the decedent’s estate at the time the action was started.

In opposition of this, the plaintiff states that he has now received the letters of administration for the estate and that none of the defendants were prejudiced by him starting the action before he was named as the estate’s administrator. The plaintiff further argues that he is the only heir of the decedent and therefore was the only person that could have started the claim.

Court Decision

Based on the information that has been provided to the court the complaint against the defendant hospital corporation is dismissed entirely. The wrongful death claim against one of the doctor defendants is dismissed as well. Additionally, the medical malpractice claim against this particular doctor is dismissed as time barred.

The wrongful death claim made against the other hospital defendant is dismissed in its entirety as well as any of the medical malpractice claims that occurred before the third of March, 2006. These complaints are deemed to be time barred.

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