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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx

Both New York State and New York City Take Bold Steps to Try To Improve Health Care

Posted On Jan 13, 2013 @ 07:16 PM by Ira Slavit

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state will work with hospitals this year to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients at key stages of hospital admission, treatment, and discharge, and more particularly with respect to sepsis.  Sepsis is the number one cause of death in U.S. hospitals, striking at least 750,000 people in the country each year, and kills as many Americans annually as heart attacks, and more than AIDS, prostate cancer, and breast cancer combined.  Also, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced a new pay-for-performance agreement that will reward doctors with up to $59 million in incentive payments over the next three years for meeting the public hospitals system's goals to improve patient care, efficiency, patient satisfaction and align with the new demands of healthcare reform.

Forensic Handwriting Expert Permitted to Examine Hospital Records to Determine if Medical Malpractice Covered-Up

Posted On Nov 3, 2012 @ 05:35 PM by Ira Slavit

In Lofton v. Grieco, the plaintiffs argued that Glen Cove Hospital delayed performing necessary surgery on a patient who died before the surgery was performed.  The hospital record contains a doctor's note purportedly documenting the decedent's refusal to have the surgery, but the plaintiffs contend that the doctor's note was written after the decedent died in an attempt to cover-up medical malpractice.  The plaintiffs moved for an order compelling the hospital to produce the original record for a non-destructive examination, inspection and photographing by plaintiff’s forensic handwriting expert. Plaintiff's motion was granted by Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Randy Sue Marber.

Medical Malpractice Victim Doesn’t Lose All of Her Medical Privacy Rights

Posted On May 22, 2012 @ 11:21 PM by Ira Slavit

In Del Terzo v. The Hospital For Special Surgery the court rebuffed a defendant’s demand for a medical malpractice victim’s HIV-related information, alcohol/drug treatment information and mental health information. The plaintiff successfully argued that Public Health Law § 2785(2) (HIV-related records) and Mental Hygiene Law § 22.05 and § 33.13 (records of chemical dependency) protected her from having to give defendant's attorneys authorizations to obtain those sensitive records.  Hopefully the courts will pay heed to this decision, and not limit it to HIV-related information and chemical dependence situations (or just to medical malpractice cases as opposed to motor vehicle or slip-and-fall- cases).

Court Holds First Responders Can Be Liable for Death Even Where Patient Found In A Life-Threatening, Nonresponsive State

Posted On Jul 31, 2011 @ 11:12 PM by SEO Admin

The decision of First Department, in King v. St. Barnabas Hospital., 2011 WL 2567782 (June 30, 2011), a medical malpractice case,interestingly found that the evidence from which a jury could find that the proximate cause of the death of a heart attack victim came not from expert testimony on behalf of the plaintiff but from [t]he very fact that advanced life support protocols exist for patients in an asystolic (no electrical activity in the heart) state . According to the court, the existence of advanced life support protocols for patients in an asystolic state in and of themselves means that adherence to the protocols afford a chance of reviving the patient, notwithstanding the grave nature of the condition. It necessarily follows that failure to follow the protocols reduces the chances for reviving the patient. The cour

Court Holds First Responders Can Be Liable for Death Even Where Patient Found In A Life-Threatening, Nonresponsive State

Posted On Jul 31, 2011 @ 11:12 PM by SEO Admin

The decision of First Department, in King v. St. Barnabas Hospital., 2011 WL 2567782 (June 30, 2011), a medical malpractice case,interestingly found that the evidence from which a jury could find that the proximate cause of the death of a heart attack victim came not from expert testimony on behalf of the plaintiff but from [t]he very fact that advanced life support protocols exist for patients in an asystolic (no electrical activity in the heart) state . According to the court, the existence of advanced life support protocols for patients in an asystolic state in and of themselves means that adherence to the protocols afford a chance of reviving the patient, notwithstanding the grave nature of the condition. It necessarily follows that failure to follow the protocols reduces the chances for reviving the patient. The cour

Two Cases This Month Where Doctors' Failure to Timely and Properly Treat Immunizes Them From Suit

Posted On Mar 27, 2011 @ 02:04 AM by SEO Admin

Theres much talk these days about the proposed $250,000.00 cap on recoveries for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. Ive seen a television advertisement crowing how medical malpractice reform will enhance patient safety (without mentioning the proposed cap), when common sense fails to explain how reducing a doctors or hospitals potential liability will make them act with more care towards the patient. At the same time, the proponents of the cap show no interest in fixing one of the most unfair aspects of current law - the absence of an extension of the 2-1/2 year statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice when the victim of medical malpractice did not discover that there had been malpractice until after the 2-1/2 year period has elapsed. Two

Two Cases This Month Where Doctors' Failure to Timely and Properly Treat Immunizes Them From Suit

Posted On Mar 27, 2011 @ 02:04 AM by SEO Admin

Theres much talk these days about the proposed $250,000.00 cap on recoveries for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. Ive seen a television advertisement crowing how medical malpractice reform will enhance patient safety (without mentioning the proposed cap), when common sense fails to explain how reducing a doctors or hospitals potential liability will make them act with more care towards the patient. At the same time, the proponents of the cap show no interest in fixing one of the most unfair aspects of current law - the absence of an extension of the 2-1/2 year statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice when the victim of medical malpractice did not discover that there had been malpractice until after the 2-1/2 year period has elapsed. Two

Plaintiff's Hard Drive Off-Limits to Defendant in Wrongful Death Case Alleging Medical Malpractice/Product Liability/Negligent Training and Supervision

Posted On Jan 6, 2011 @ 09:54 PM by SEO Admin

The plaintiffs in DeRiggi v. Krischen, 20753/08, NYLJ 1202476938011, at *1 (Sup., Nassau Decided December 17, 2010) sought to recover for the wrongful death of Patricia DeRiggi, who died at the age of 30 during percutaneous disk decompression surgery, an out-patient procedure used to treat lower back pain. Plaintiffs allege that Mrs. DeRiggi's left common iliac vein was perforated twice during the surgery resulting in an intra-abdominal hemorrhage and death. They also allege that the defendants HydroCision and/or New York Spinal Implants, the manufacturer and/or distributor of the Spine Jet HydroDisectomy System used in the procedure, were negligent in their design, manufacturer and dist

Do You Agree That $3,000,000.00 is Not An Excessive Jury Award for Pain and Suffering for Serious Impairment But Not Loss of Vision Following LASIK Eye Surgery?

Posted On Aug 5, 2010 @ 01:00 AM by SEO Admin

Devadas v. Niksarli, Index #: 107637/07, is an action for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent with respect to LASIK eye surgery. It was alleged that the defendant departed from the accepted standard of care for refractive surgeons inasmuch as the eye surgery was contraindicated in that at the time of the surgery the plaintiff suffered from forme fruste keratoconus, an early stage of keratoconus. Keratoconus is the non-inflammatory thinning and steepening of the cornea. The presence of forme fruste keratoconus weakens the corneal stroma and can lead to iatrogenic ectasia. (the word iatrogenic roughly translated means the doctor did it.) Ectasia, a bulging of the cornea, is also called iatrogenic ker

Do You Agree That $3,000,000.00 is Not An Excessive Jury Award for Pain and Suffering for Serious Impairment But Not Loss of Vision Following LASIK Eye Surgery?

Posted On Aug 5, 2010 @ 01:00 AM by SEO Admin

Devadas v. Niksarli, Index #: 107637/07, is an action for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent with respect to LASIK eye surgery. It was alleged that the defendant departed from the accepted standard of care for refractive surgeons inasmuch as the eye surgery was contraindicated in that at the time of the surgery the plaintiff suffered from forme fruste keratoconus, an early stage of keratoconus. Keratoconus is the non-inflammatory thinning and steepening of the cornea. The presence of forme fruste keratoconus weakens the corneal stroma and can lead to iatrogenic ectasia. (the word iatrogenic roughly translated means the doctor did it.) Ectasia, a bulging of the cornea, is also called iatrogenic ker

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