Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

law-300x125Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have finally reached a deal on medical malpractice lawsuits relating to cancer diagnosis. Under the new law, cancer patients will be able to sue doctors and other medical professionals for a wrongful diagnosis or missed diagnosis of cancer for up to two-and-a-half years from the date the patient discovered, or should have discovered, the misdiagnosis.

There will, however, still be a limit on when these medical malpractice claims can be filed. Regardless of when the patient discovered or should have discovered the wrongful cancer diagnosis, the injured cancer patient will not be able to file a lawsuit once seven full years have passed after the doctor or other medical professional’s wrongful act. The new medical malpractice law will also be limited in two unique ways. First, it will only apply to a wrongful diagnosis of cancer or a missed diagnosis of cancer, other illnesses were not included in the final version of the bill. Second, while the law will apply retroactively in a severely limited manner – wrongly injured patients whose statute of limitations ran out in the previous ten months will only have six months to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court. Continue reading

hidden-camera-300x204A Port Authority employee filed a lawsuit alleging that she was secretly videotaped during a medical exam. The employee, Charlene Talarico, said the incident happened during an exam in August 2016. Talarico is suing for unspecified damages, according to the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court last week. Alleging emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other unspecified damages, Talarico is also asking the court to certify a class action on behalf of approximately 8,000 employees whose medical exams may also have been secretly recorded. According to the lawsuit, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey covertly records employees receiving medical care at all of its facilities.

Talarico, a senior administrative secretary, claims she was recorded without her permission while having her hand examined at the Port Authority’s medical office on Park Avenue.  While Talarico remained clothed for the entire exam period, the examination area had the same “privacy curtain” typically used in hospitals and doctor offices. Therefore, it is likely the video cameras set up in the examination areas also caught other patients while they were undressed. If Talarico’s allegations are true, the covert video recording would be a violation of the United States and New York constitutions – specifically, the federal healthcare privacy laws and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, according to the lawsuit. Continue reading

Two New York City hospitals are being sued for the damages caused by the release of allegedly dangerous patients from their psychiatric wards. In the past month, two lawsuits have been filed against New York City hospitals alleging that the hospitals behaved in a negligent or careless manner when they released dangerous patients into the tri-state area. These patients then went on to physically attack the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

subway-push-victim-300x200The first case involves Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where a Queens man is suing the hospital after one of its patients pushed her husband in front of a subway car last year. Tragically, the man’s wife died as a result of the fall. According to the lawsuit, Bellevue never should have released the patient, Melanie Liverpool-Turner. Liverpool-Turner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was allegedly ranting about killing transit riders while on an involuntary psychiatric hold at the hospital, according to filings with a Manhattan Supreme Court. Continue reading

med-errorThe third leading cause of death in America is death by hospital error, according to Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Following heart disease and cancer, hospital errors account for around 440,000 deaths each year. That means that there are more than 1,000 preventable deaths in hospitals across America every day.  Given these findings, its perhaps unsurprising that for Americans over the age of 65 – there is a 14 percent chance hospital visit will make them sicker.

Lacking mandatory reporting requirements, these kinds of errors are not typically tracked by hospitals and consequently, have escaped scrutiny by public health advocates and government officials. Speaking to The Post Star, Matt Austin, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute, puts it more bluntly, “It tends to happen to a patient here, a patient there.” Continue reading

heathcare-technology-300x169The billions of dollars of investments in healthcare technology over the last decade have produced undeniable benefits. With the push towards electronic health records, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that prescribing errors will be reduced by 95 percent. In addition to making healthcare safer for many Americans, healthcare technology has also made the process more efficient – “doctor-on-demand” services proliferate across the internet, promising the availability virtual doctor within minutes and from anywhere in the world.  According to Slate Magazine,

However, while the delivery of healthcare by hospitals, doctors, and nursing homes may have improved over the last decade, healthcare technology has not reached its full potential. A growing chorus of medical professionals is pointing to several large blind spots in managing the healthcare of Americans. According to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation, just 10 percent of our health is determined by the care received in a clinical setting – such as a doctor’s office, hospital, or nursing home. The report found that individual circumstances and social factors are the largest determinants, accounting for 60 percent of a person’s health. Genetics account for another 30 percent. This explains why in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, residents of the affluent suburbs live an average of 20 years longer than their lower-income counterparts, who live just blocks away from the same grocery stores and world-class hospitals. Continue reading

The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, ruled in favor of two sets of parents who were pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors that performed their in-vitro fertilization treatment. The issue before the Court of Appeals involved whether the statute of limitations for the medical malpractice began when the doctor committed the malpractice or when the child was born.

A “statute of limitations” is a legal term for the time period in which a person can file a lawsuit after they have been wronged, if the Court of Appeals had decided that the clock started running at the time of the medical malpractice then the parents would have been effectively barred from pursuing a lawsuit against their doctors.

wrongful-birth-300x180A parent typically files a “wrongful birth” lawsuit after a doctor negligently, or recklessly, fails to diagnose a serious birth defect and thereby deprives the parents of the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. Because of advances in reproductive health and genetic testing, doctors and hospitals now have the ability to diagnose some serious genetic and birth defects during the early stages of a pregnancy. Continue reading

One of the highest-paid surgeons in the United States was hit with two lawsuits alleging that the doctor was not performing his own surgeries.  According to the lawsuit, Dr. David Samadi, the head urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, routinely allowed medical residents, who are still in training, and other doctors to perform the surgeries. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Samadi may have left up to 1,000 of his patients in the hands of another, less-skilled doctor or resident.

According to Dr. Samadi, the surgeon was merely “double-booking” his surgeries, a controversial practice where the surgeon is not present for an entire surgery. Instead, he or she “delegates” portions or sections of the surgery to another medical professional. According to an analysis of hospital records, Dr. Samadi has performed 2,182 urologic surgeries since began working at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2013. A full 70 percent of these surgeries overlapped with another surgery. The New York Post reports that on a single day in 2014, the doctor “performed” eleven surgeries, and all but one overlapped. Continue reading

A New York woman filed a lawsuit against a Westchester doctor alleging that he used his cell phone during a medical procedure to take a Spanish language test. Mary Edwards is suing for damages caused by “severe emotional distress” after hearing her doctor speak Spanish phrases into his cell phone during the procedure.  Edwards is suing both Dr. Eric Fishman and Westmed Medical Group, the entity that owns the clinic where her surgery was performed.doc-on-phone-300x172

The 70-year-old woman was being treated for a varicose vein when she heard Dr. Fishman speaking in Spanish. According to the lawsuit, when Edwards asked the doctor what he was doing, Dr. Fishman amazingly responded that he was taking a Spanish language test on his smartphone. According to Edwards lawyer, that left her with an intense, and understandable, fear that the doctor was not paying attention to her procedure. Because her varicose veins were fixed without any issues, the emotional distress caused by the doctor is the basis for the lawsuit. Continue reading

medical-malpracitce-300x200A recent report released by the Department of Veteran Affairs shows the government agency going to great lengths to cover up medical malpractice by its doctors. With over 100 procedures performed incompetently, the routinely-criticized government agency now has a new stain on its reputation. According to the government, most of these botched procedures can be blamed on a single doctor – Dr. Thomas Franchini.

The Department of Veteran Affairs states that of the 100 medical malpractice cases that surfaced during the investigation, 88 could be attributed to the doctor. The stunning number of victims is secondary only to the horrific damage he caused by his incompetence. Of the many examples given by USA Today, the doctor drilled the wrong screw into one veteran’s leg, he once “cut into patients who did not need surgery at all,” and, perhaps, most horrifically he failed to fuse the ankle of a woman. The resulting pain was so great that she chose to have her entire leg removed. Continue reading

According to a watchdog organization, New York has the 47th worst record in the United States when it comes to hospital safety. New York’s ranking has been in a slow decline – dropping a full seven spots in the last five years.

The watchdog group, Leapfrog, was founded by healthcare employers and unions wanting to provide more public information about patient experiences at hospitals. Among other factors, the group considers the rate of medical errors, injuries and infections, and patient satisfaction.

According to, the group is “widely considered among the toughest graders” and gave 15 hospitals an “F” rating this year. Most hospitals receiving a failing grade catered mostly to low-income, minority groups. Of the hospitals that Leapfrog failed, almost 90 percent were rated “average” by Medicare and Medicaid. Continue reading

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