Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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In this medical malpractice case the defendants requested that the court reduce the amount of damages for pain and suffering, loss of services, as well as the amount of damages awarded for pecuniary loss.

In April of 2003 decedent Thomas was admitted to Downstate Hospital for single bypass heart surgery and a mitral valve repair. However, instead, defendant doctor Burack performed three open heart surgical procedures on the decedent. According to the plaintiff, because of negligent monitoring and treatment of the complications related to the procedures, in September Thomas died in Downstate Hospital without ever leaving the hospital. Plaintiff, as the administratrix of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against defendant Burack. After a trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding $6 million for the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering, $13 million for the loss of the decedent’s services and society prior to his death, and $780,000 in pecuniary damages on the wrongful death claim.

Defendant Burack appealed. In addition to arguing that he was not liable for the decedent’s death, he also appeals the amount of the monetary judgements. He asserts that the $6 million for pain and suffering and the $13 million for loss of services are not reasonable. He further asserts that the $780,000 award for wrongful death was not proven.

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In a birth injury case, the court examines whether the actions of a volunteer midwife fall under the “Good Samaritan” rule, and as a result, the defendant should be granted summary judgement.

The plaintiff Lacy, who was carrying twins, opted for a home birth instead of giving birth at a hospital. She wanted to be assisted by a midwife and nurses. She hired defendant Delettera, a midwife, to assist with homebirth. Defendant Delettera invited defendant Chachere to assist with the process. On June 24, 2004, plaintiff had a sonogram which indicated a deceleration in the heartbeat of one of the twins. After following up at Stony Brook University Hospital, the hospital determined that the baby’s heartbeat had stabilized. The plaintiff then indicated that she wanted to give birth at Nassau University Medical Center. She requested that defendant Delettera assist, but Delettera did not have birthing credentials there. The plaintiff was told that if she wanted to deliver her baby at Nassau, it would have to be under the care of a doctor. The plaintiff refused and decided to give birth at home. On July 1, 2004, the plaintiff gave birth at home and one of the babies was stillborn. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a number of defendants, including Delettera, Delettera’s company, and Chachere.

Chachere filed a motion for summary judgement, arguing that she was merely a lay student observer, and that the claim against her should be dismissed. Chachere claimed that her role was restricted to observing, taking pictures, making chart entries, and injecting Pitocin at the direction of defendant Delettera. Therefore, she argued, there was no connection between her presence and the harm to the plaintiff because she did not assist in the actual birth and had no contact with the mother or the deceased child. In support of her motion for summary judgement, defendant Chachere submitted an affidavit of a board-certified maternal-fetal physician. His opinion was that the baby’s death was due to the failure of the nurse/midwife to document the fetal heart rate during the home birth. He also asserted that because Chachere had no role in the pre-natal or post-natal care of the mother or the twins, the baby’s death cannot be attributed to any of her actions.

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The issue in this medical malpractice claim based on the death of an infant during childbirth is whether the mother must suffer a physical injury in order to sustain a claim for emotional distress.

In March 1983, plaintiff was admitted to the labor and delivery unit of defendant hospital. During the course of her labor, plaintiff’s attending physician, defendant doctor, prescribed Pitocin to stimulate contractions. The Pitocin was administered intravenously to plaintiff and, as a result, her contractions increased in intensity and frequency. Plaintiff gave birth to a baby boy. The infant was in respiratory distress at birth and died approximately 6 1/2 hours later.

Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, as well as against the doctor and nurse who attended to the plaintiff throughout her labor and delivery. The plaintiff seeks recovery for serious personal injuries, physical and emotional pain, disappointment, sadness, anxiety and psychological trauma.

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In Fabiano v. Philip Morris Inc., the court is presented with the issue of the circumstances under which false and misleading advertising of cigarettes by multiple manufacturers can be the basis for recovery in a product liability claim.

The decedent, Fabiano, smoked cigarettes for over 40 years, starting in 1956 when she was 14 years old. Over the years Fabiano and her husband smoked several different brands of cigarettes. Oftentimes Fabiano switched brands to the brand that her husband smoked. She also was concerned about her health, and sometimes opted for brands that were advertised as “lite,” and, therefore, healthier. In addition, Fabiano made multiple attempts to quit, but, because of her addiction, she was note able to until a few year prior to her death. Fabiano died in 2002 from lung cancer.

Fabiano’s daughter and her husband filed a product liability claim against several of the major cigarette manufacturers seeking damages. The defendants seek to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims for fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation. In addition, their claims also include, failure to warn, fraudulent concealment, concerted action, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, defective design, addiction, wrongful death, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.

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This medical malpractice action arises out of the labor and delivery of plaintiff Bustos’ son. Due to the large size of her baby, Bustos suffered a fractured pelvis bone during the vaginal delivery. Bustos filed a medical malpractice claim against her doctor, asserting that he departed from good and accepted standards of medical practice by failing to properly evaluate the size of the fetus and failing to recommend a cesarean section. As a result, Bustos sustained symphysis pubis diastasis—a separation and/or fracture of the lower pelvic bone—following the vaginal delivery of her son, requiring surgical intervention and pinning.

The standard for whether a doctor committed medical malpractice is whether the doctor’s care and treatment of the patient deviated from accepted community standards of medical practice, and as a result, the patient was injured.

Defendant Segarra cared for Bustos during her pregnancy. She had regular appointments with him throughout her pregnancy. On the morning of April 1, 2003, Bustos was admitted to Lenox Hill where she delivered a healthy 10-pound baby boy via vaginal delivery. During delivery Bustos was positioned flat on her back on the delivery table and her legs were spread apart with her heels hitched onto the stirrups. The bones where the two halves of her pelvis met were relaxed by the hormones of childbirth but the doctor performed a hyper flexion-abduction maneuver after she was given an epidural. Following the delivery, Bustos complained of bilateral back and leg pain. She then had surgery to repair her fractured pelvis. Bustos maintains that her pelvis would not have fractured if the doctor had properly determined the baby’s delivery weight and delivered her baby via cesarean section. The baby was large, as is common when the mother suffers from gestational diabetes—as did Bustos. The pelvic fracture could have been avoided if the baby was delivered via a cesarean section.

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When a doctor fails to perform a c-section delivery when warranted, there is a risk that the mother or baby will suffer serious birth injuries, including permanent injuries to the brain. Plaintiff Mitchell filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her infant son against defendants Lograno, Strittmatter, and the hospital. Mitchell argues that because the doctors did not perform a c-section delivery, there were negligent, and as a result, her son suffered permanent brain injuries.

Two days prior to her expected delivery date, Mitchell was given a test that showed that her baby’s heartbeat was non-reactive. Mitchell was transferred to a hospital for additional tests and monitoring. Defendant Lograno, Michell’s doctor, discussed options with her and decided to induce a vaginal delivery using Pitocin. Before Lograno left for the evening, he discussed Mitchell’s case with Strittmatter. It was agreed that the baby would be delivered via vaginal delivery. Strittmatter performed the delivery. The baby suffered a number of injuries during the delivery, including brain damage. Mitchell filed a personal injury lawsuit against Lograno, Strittmatter, and the hospital, arguing that as a result of not performing a c-section, her baby suffered serious injuries including a brain damage. Lograno and Strittmatter moved for summary judgement dismissal of the case.

A motion for summary judgment dismal seeks a judgement on all or part of the case in a summary fashion, without the issue or case being fully litigated at trial. In this case the defendants are asking the judge to decide the case in their favor, immediately, without a trial. The legal standard for summary dismissal is that the defendants must show that there are “no genuine issues of material fact” and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In other words, the defendant must show that based on undisputed facts presented, the defendant must win because the law supports the defendants’ position.

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In this birth injury medical malpractice case, the defendant moves for summary judgment, arguing that he did not deviate from accepted medical standards in his care and treatment of a pregnant woman by delaying performing a cesarean section delivery despite evidence that the baby was in distress.

Plaintiff McLaughlin filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her infant son who was born in 1998 prematurely with an extremely low birth weight. The plaintiff contends that as a result of the negligent care of the defendants, her son suffered a variety of serious, permanent birth injuries including brain damage; status encephalopathy; fetal hypoxia; cerebral palsy; exacerbation of injuries related to prematurity; developmental delays; cognitive and speech deficits; and the need for braces on his extremities.

On September 5, 1998, the plaintiff, who was 23 weeks pregnant, was admitted to St. Charles Hospital with swelling of the legs and decreased fetal movement. St. Charles Hospital (a non-defendant) transferred the plaintiff to Stony Brook Hospital so that she would have access to its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in case the baby had to be delivered prematurely.

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This case is being heard in the Bronx County Supreme Court in the state of New York. The case involves the deceased infant, Kayla Kesse Madison Charles. The plaintiffs are the administrix of the estate of the deceased infant, Dionne Charles and Dionne Charles on her own. The defendants in the case are Doctor Chaisurat Suvannavejh, Doctor, Fergal D. Malone, Doctor Michael J. Orfino, Elizabeth Riley, R.N., Susan Zucchero, R.N., and the Lawrence Hospital Center.

Case Background

The plaintiff on behalf of herself and her deceased daughter is suing the defendants for medical malpractice that resulted in the wrongful death of her daughter. A New York Injury Lawyer said the defendants of the case, Suvannavejh, Zucchero, and the Lawrence Hospital Center all separately move for a summary judgment that dismissed the claims made by the mother in regard to emotional distress, and loss of comfort and affection. Additionally, the defendant Suvannavejh seeks for the claim made by the mother in regard to lost support, services, and protection be dismissed.

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The petitioner for this case is Lena Bagels, Inc. The respondent of the case is The City of New York and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. The case is being heard in the New York Supreme Court. The judge overseeing the case is Philip G. Minardo.

Case

Lena Bagels operates a corporation and the main place where business occurs is located on Richmond Avenue in Staten Island, New York. The company is authorized by the state to transact business. Lena Bagels was incorporated in 2001. A New York Injury Lawyer said the petitioner, Lena Bagels has been found guilty of selling tobacco products to a minor. The petitioner states that the fine of $3500 is void and requests the renewal of their application for their tobacco license. The petitioner is seeking to annul the recommendation made by Judge Mitchell B. Nisonoff.

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The issues before the court in Stuart v. Health & Hosps Corp. are whether a plaintiff is permitted to amend her complaint based on a change in the law that occurred after she initially filed her claim and whether the new law should be applied retroactively.

In 2000, plaintiff Ashmeade filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of her deceased son who was born with brain damage and cerebral palsy. Plaintiff claims that the injuries suffered by her son, who was born in 1996, were due to the negligent care by the defendant. In the complaint there were two causes of action. First, on behalf of her son, the plaintiff sought recovery for pain and suffering. The second cause of action was based upon a lack of informed consent.

At the time that the plaintiff file her claim, the law did not give a mother a cause of action for emotional distress in cases where her baby was stillborn or was severely impaired at birth. However, in 2004 the New York Court of Appeals changed the law when it decided Broadnax v. Gonzalez,  777 N.Y.S.2d 416 (2004). The court held that if medical negligence resulted in a miscarriage or stillbirth, then there was also a violation of duty of care to the mother. As a result, she would be entitled to damages for emotional distress. The same year, the court decided Sheppard-Mobley v King (10 AD3d 70 [2004]). This case focused on a child who was born severely impaired. The court held that even if the mother did not suffer a physical injury, if the child is born severely impaired, the mom would be entitled to damages for emotional harm because there would have been a violation of duty of care owed to the mother. Because of these two rulings, the plaintiff sought to amend the complaint filed on behalf of her son to include a claim for her own emotional distress. The defendant opposes the plaintiff’s motion.

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