This case is being heard in the Queens County Supreme Court. The plaintiff of the case is the infant Jasan Stuart. He is represented by his natural guardian and mother, Ann Ashmeade. The defendant in the case is the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Case at Hand
This is a motion for an order to allow the plaintiff to amend the complaint as it was filed by adding Ann Ashmeade, the mother, as an individual plaintiff in the case. A cause of action is requested based on the emotional distress Ashmeade suffered as a result of her son’s birth on the 8th of August in 1996, while in an impaired state because of the medical malpracticeand negligence of the defendants.
The case started from the care that the plaintiff received during the delivery and birth of her son, the plaintiff while at the Queens Hospital Center on the 8th of August in 1996. The plaintiff was born with several impairments including cerebral palsy and brain damage. The instant action was started in March of 2000 and claimed that the injuries were caused by the malpractice of the defendants’. A New York Injury Lawyer said the original case had one cause of action which sought recover for the pain and suffering of the infant and the lack of informed consent.
In cases in 2004, the Supreme Court decided that even without physical injury, impairing a child is a violation of the care that is owed to the mother and entitles her to damages for emotional harm. The plaintiff is now seeking to add a cause of action based on this ruling. The defendant opposes.
The plaintiff argues that she could not have brought forth this motion any sooner as the amended cause of action statute was only recently created. She states that requesting this amendment is appropriate. The plaintiff claims that the new cause of action has merit and is sufficient in the matter of the law.
The defendant argues that the cause of action is time-barred and the rulings from the Supreme Court case cannot be applied retroactively. A Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the defendants also argue that there is no merit to this proposed cause of action case.
The court finds that the causes of action are not barred by time as the rule allows relation back to the date of service or to the filing of the original complaint. All of the complaints in this case come from the same conduct and for this reason the statute of limitations does not apply. Since the cause of action was only just created, the plaintiff had no way to make a timely service for the notice of claim.
The question for this court is whether or not the new law can be applied retroactively. A Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer said when reviewing the new law and comparing it to the issues at hand in regard to this case, the court finds that retroactive application of the law are appropriate. For these reasons, the court finds in favor of the plaintiff and the motion to amend the original complaint and add the mother to the case as an individual plaintiff is allowed.
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