Medical Malpractice

Friday, May 6, 2016

Operating Room Fires

The New York Post reported that on December 30, 2014, a fire broke out in an operating room and likely burned the patient at NYU Langone Medical Center. Because of a communications failure between the surgeon and anesthesiologist, who wasn’t aware that a certain instrument would be used in the presence of oxygen, somehow the instrument caused a fire.

Fires at surgical sites are rare, but the presence of pure oxygen increases the danger of oxygen fires. On April 7, 2009, Hazel Volke was undergoing surgery when a hair within the surgical field, combined with Chloraprep and the oxygen that Ms.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Appellate Division, 2d Department Roundup: November 18, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, employees at a local psychiatric hospital are attacked by a patient, and a dialysis patient falls off the scale during a weigh-in, as well as several motor vehicle accidents. The most exciting element was that the City was found to have constructive notice of expansion joists that were not flush with the pavement on the bike path of the Manhattan Bridge, allowing plaintiff's practitioners to sidestep at least one aspect of the prior written consent law. More, after the jump . . . 

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Court of Appeals Alert: Hospitals & Doctors Can Be Responsible for Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused by their Patients

When a loved one is hurt or killed in a motor vehicle collision, a common and reasonable step to take is to explore options for possible claims. Since hospital bills, reduced income, and sometimes, sadly, funeral expenses, put great hardships on friends and family, those who have been victimized by negligent drivers or others look to find balance. New York Courts, including the New York Court of Appeals, function as a gatekeeper to whom may be held responsible for a loved one’s injury. And often, they can help us understand the complexities of these injuries in modern day life. The case of Edwin Davis v. South Nassau Communities Hospital, recently decided by the New York Court of Appeals, is a signal case to this cause. More, after the jump . . .

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: November 12, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, we have an interesting round of construction accident and motor vehicle cases, most of which shows the powerful extent of timely summary judgment motions to clear the air of issues. In a construction accident case, summary judgment removed most of the height-related issues but kept the key failure of the case. But in a few slip-and-fall on ice cases, the Court was relunctant to introduce habit evidence or find that the City had time to correct the icy crosswalk. More, after the jump . . . 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

EMTs Declare Woman Dead; She Isn't

In cases of medical malpractice, an individual who is responsible for another's medical care commits medical malpractice when he or she deviates or departs from accepted practice and that the deviation and departure was a cause of the patient's further injury. EMTs can be held liable for medical malpractice. Last week, on 115th Street near 103rd Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens, a woman attempted to commit suicide by shooting herself in the head. The EMTs from Jamaica Hospital responded to the scene, declared the woman dead, and left. NYPD officers from the 106th precinct, preparing the scene for investigators to arrive, "heard gurgling noises and at least one heard wheezing coming from the woman." The two EMTs have been barred from responding to patients by Jamaica Hospital's staff until an investigation has been completed.

This kind of malpractice is all to common in New York City. The lawyers at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty can help. If you, or a loved one, has been hurt by careless, reckless, or negligent EMTs or ambulance workers, you can call us for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at

Monday, November 16, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: November 5, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, we're limited by only three personal injury related cases decided on November 5 - a medical malpractice, a workplace injury indemnification dispute, and a summary judgment motion on the slope of the interior floor of an apartment on a slip-and-fall.

Michael Ferrante v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Michael Ferrante is a "sandhog", someone who works in the tunnels beneath the city of New York. The law firm of Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty often represent construction workers and those who have suffered injury from construction accidents. Here, Mr. Ferrante is working on a project connecting Metro North Station with Pennsylvania Station. One of the defendants, Kelley Engineered Equipement, LLC, designed a transporter used in that project. Mr. Ferrante was asked to stand on top of the transporter while it was carrying a roadheader, or a machine used to mine the tunnel. The transported tipped over, and Mr. Ferrante was injured. While this was a motion for summary judgment for Kelley to get out of the case, Mr. Ferrante's immediate employer, Dragados-Judlaw, may have been aware that the roadheader would be unstable unless loaded with its boom arm configured to offset any off-side on the load. Therefore, Kelley was not able to get out of the case.

Julio Anthony Lopez v. Vincent Gramuglia, DPM

Dr. Gramuglia, a podiatrist, is alleged in this case to have failed to diagnose a condition called "deep vein thrombosis" or DVT, a medical condition that caused plaintiff's pulmonary embolism. Mr. Lopez, the plaintiff, is alleging medical malpractice against the defendant doctor. The Court sides with the doctor, finding that the doctor did deviate from care in failing to account plaintiff's risk factors for developing DVT, since there was not evidence of the risk factors for the case at bar.

Jorge DaSilva v. KS Realty, LP

This is a unique case, because it involves a tenant suing the landlord for personal injury due to defects within the plaintiff-tenant's apartment. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the sloping condition in his apartment caused his desk chair to roll on the hallway floor, which caused him to fall. The defendant was able to defeat the case on summary judgment because he had an expert who gave an opinion that the 4% slope in the area where plaintiff allegedly fell was not a dangerous condition and was not a proximate cause of the accident. The plaintiff's expert failed to address how the slope was a proximate cause of plaintiff's fall from his chair.

Friday, November 6, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 28, 2015 Edition

In this good dozen decisions, we have a basic lesson on hearsay evidence, as well as multiple occasions where cases against municipalities are lost due to proper notice requirements, and some cases laying out the basic law regarding medical malpractice. Also, a foray of teen house parties into the realm of premises and landowner negligence, after the jump . . .

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 7, 2015 Edition

This is a particular exciting edition of the Roundup, as there are three big cases dealing with complicated issues, including one involving a multi-million dollar verdict for the plaintiffs. There are several cases having to deal with threshold and serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents, as well as a number of cases dealing with bread-and-butter litigation issues. We'll explore more, after the jump . . . 

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Friday, October 9, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 1 & October 6, 2015 Edition

As most of the personal injury cases backlogged on the Court's docket seems to have been dealt with a few weeks ago, there are really only two cases worth mentioning:

Muth v. Wali Mohammed, MD, PC

In this case, the plaintiff committed suicide three weeks after meeting with Dr. Radcliffe, a staff psychologist with a firm that examined plaintiff on three separate occasions for a Workers' Compensation examination and evaluation. The Court dismissed the case that sought to find Dr. Radcliffe's responsible for plaintiff's suicide, since the Court found as a matter of law that "the choices Dr. Radcliffe made were not a proximate cause of [plaintiff's] suicide, an event which occurred three weeks after he last visited with Radcliffe."

Obiotta v. Dukes System Corp.

In this case, the defendant Dukes System Corp., the owner of a truck, and the driver of the truck, were dismissed from a case. The plaintiff's vehicle was being towed, and the tower of the vehicle crossed double yellow lines and nearly hit the truck. In order for the tower to avoid hitting the truck, the plaintiff's vehicle hit the truck, which was stopped. The Court found as a matter of law the truck could not be held liable for the accident, nor could its failure to take evasive action be responsible for the accident.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: September 30, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the 2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup, which was light on detailed personal injury cases, we bring to you some interesting elements of presenting a successful case against municipal defendants, and the 2d Judicial Department's thoughts on the necessities of motion to compel discovery: 

Bachvarov v. Lawrence Union Free School District and County of Nassau

This case again shows the difficulty of proving “prior written notice” when municipal defendants are being sued for personal injuries related to defective conditions. The plaintiff was hurt when she tripped and fell over a defect in a sidewalk abutting a premises owned by the school district in Nassau. Unlike New York City, which generally makes the landowner responsible for sidewalks with the exception of certain family residences, in counties like Nassau it is the municipality’s responsibility. However, the county needed to have prior written notice of the defect in order to be sued over it. Here, the Court said that even though the Nassau County of Public Works, the entity in charge of actually fixing the defect, had prior written notice, because the statute required that the Office of the County Attorney get the notice, the County could not be held liable. Therefore, the plaintiff’s case was dismissed.

Fridman v. New York City Transit Authority

Another case where the trial lawyers have to be experienced with the ecosystem of municipal defendants in New York City in order to properly provide clients with a chance at recovery. In this case, the plaintiff was injured when the Q60 bus on Queens Boulevard suddenly stopped, throwing him forward and fracturing his hip. The correct defendant to sue was the MTA Bus Company, but instead, the lawyers for the plaintiff sued the MTA and the New York City Transit Authority. Since the MTA Bus Company, although a subsidiary of the New York City Transit Authority, was a different entity, the plaintiff’s lawyers missed the statute of limitations and the motion for summary judgment was granted.

Friedman v. Rogerson

In this motor vehicle accident case, the plaintiff was granted summary judgment on the issue of liability, when she proved that was walking within an unmarked crosswalk, that she had observed the conditions of approaching traffic before she began to cross, and that the defendant driver did not yield the right of way.

Pardo v. O’Halleran Family Chiropractic

In this medical malpractice case, the defendant lost their application for summary judgment on whether the defendant’s chiropractic treatment caused the plaintiff’s injury, and also failed to establish with reasonable certainty that the plaintiff would not be able to prove lost earnings. Furthermore, as a practice tip, it should be noted that the court simply threw out the motion for compelling discovery since the required affirmation of good faith effort to resolve the dispute was missing.

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