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Plaintiff Moves for a Frye Hearing in Medical Malpractice Action


This case is being heard in the Queens County Supreme Court in the state of New York. The plaintiff of the case is Judy Fernandez. The defendant in the case is the St. John’s Queens Hospital, et al. A New York Injury Lawyer said the judge overseeing the case is the honorable James P. Dollard.


This is an action to recover damages for medical malpracticeallegedly performed by the defendant Metropolitan Child Neurology, P.C. and Doctor Steven G. Pavlakis. The move is for a Frye versus United States hearing or to dismiss the action. Defendant, Dr. Raul Miquez makes a cross motion for the same relief. The plaintiffs have issued a cross motion for a Frye hearing in regard to the testimony of Dr. Robert A. Zimmerman, expert witness for the defendant as well as the testimony of Dr. Alfred J. Spiro. As an alternative the plaintiffs preclude that the testimony of these two doctors is unsupported by published articles, and lacks prevailing medical and scientific thought.

Plaintiff Argument

Judy Fernandez, the infant plaintiff was born prematurely on the 29th of April, 1991 at St. John’s Hospital. She remained at the hospital until the 10th of July, 1991. Dr. Pavlakis, the defendant, was placed in charge of her care after her release from the hospital. He is a pediatric neurologist. A Manhattan Personal Injury Lawyer said she was also placed under the care of the pediatrician, Dr. Miquez. Dr. Pavlakis diagnosed the plaintiff with obstructive hydrocephalus and he placed a shunt in order to remove the fluid from the brain. Films from the hospital show that there was damage that affected the periventricular white matter of the infant’s brain. There is argument over the extent of the damage and whether the hydrocephalus could or did cause any additional damage. The infant was transferred to the New York Foundling Hospital. She is still at the hospital at this time. The plaintiff suffers from seizures, is profoundly impaired with spastic quadriplegia, and suffers from severe mental retardation.

The expert witness for the plaintiff states that both of the defendants in the case did not provide proper care for the infant. The ultimate issue for this particular case is whether or not the sole cause of the infants present disability was caused by the hydrocephalus.

Defendants Argument

The defendants make the argument is that the infant would be in the same condition even if they had diagnosed and treated the hydrocephalus in a timely manner. They state that by not treating her in a timely fashion is not an act of malpractice for this reason.

Case Discussion and Verdict

Experts in the case state that there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that the plaintiff would be in the same condition if the hydrocephalus was treated in a timely matter. However, there is evidence to support the fact that the hydrocephalus could have caused her current ailments.

After reviewing the case and studying the facts at hand, the court finds in favor of the plaintiff. A Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer said a Frye trial will not be granted and the case will not be dismissed. Additionally, the defendants will not be allowed to submit evidence at the trial in regard to every child that has damage to the white or grey matter of the brain will suffer from the type of injuries that the infant has and that a child cannot suffer additional damage if the hydrocephalus is left untreated.

Medical malpractice suits can become extremely difficult. For this reason, it is important to hire a lawyer to help guide you. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates and allow one of our expert litigators help you with your legal matters. You can set up a time to meet and discuss your case at any of our offices located in New York City.

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