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

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 … Read the rest

New Yorks Law Against Text Messaging While Driving Signed by Governor Cuomo; Penalty for Using Cell Phone While Driving Rises from Two to Three Points

Effective immediately, it is a primary traffic offense for drivers to use handheld electronic devices for activities such as texting while a vehicle is in motion, thereby giving law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for engaging in this activity. Before this law, it was illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle was in motion, but it was a secondary traffic offense — meaning a driver had to be stopped for another violation in order to receive a ticket. The monetary penalty for a violation of this law continues to be a fine of up … Read the rest

Court of Appeals Applies Both New York Law and Ontario Law to Fatal Bus Crash

In Edwards v. Erie Coach Lines Company, 131, NYLJ 1202499068316 (Decided June 30, 2011), New York States highest court was called upon to answer a choice-of-law question regarding a motor vehicle accident wherein a charter bus carrying members of an Ontario women’s hockey team plowed into the rear-end of a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the highway near Geneseo, New York on January 19, 2005. Four bus passengers and the trailer’s driver died; several bus passengers were seriously hurt. The charter bus’s driver, his employer, and the company that leased the bus are Ontario domiciliaries, as are (or … Read the rest