Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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blood drawA New York doctor may have committed serious medical malpractice had his license suspended yesterday.

Dr Timothey Morley had his license suspended yesterday after 4 of his patients were infected with the same strain of Hepatitis C. The New York State Department of Health and Westchester County Health Department are asking all patients who received an infusion or had blood drawn at Dr Morley’s practices to get tested for hepatitis B or C or HIV. Dr Morley was practicing at  Tomorrow Medicine in Mount Kisco and White Plains. In the past he was also a practitioner at Advance Medicine of Mount Kisco. If you are a patient of Dr Morley you can get tested for free by calling 914-995-7499 for an appointment.

Officials told the press that they suspended Dr Morley’s license after they  they found “a series of inappropriate infection control practices” and “concerns regarding the preservation, preparation, handling and administration of medicine” at the doctor’s practices. Timothey Morley is also accused of failing to produce records and documents requested by investigators.

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medical procedureIn a recent study,  a majority of doctors said they overtreat patients because they fear medical malpractice lawsuits. Not only is this fear exaggerated but also doctors seem to use it as a good excuse to perform unnecessary procedures that are very profitable to them.  For example angioplasty procedures to implant heart stents in patients are among the most overused interventions. Many procedures not only put patients at risk unnecessarily but inflate the nation’s medical bill.

In the study “Overtreatment in the United States” published in PLOS One yesterday, Heather Lyu from the Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Tim Xu, Daniel Brotman, Brandan Mayer-Blackwell, Michol Cooper, Michael Daniel and Elizabeth C. Wick from the Department of Surgery and the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America,  Vikas Saini and Shannon Brownlee from The Lown Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America and Martin A. Makary from the Department of Surgery and the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America surveyed 2,106 physicians about over treatment. The survey found that according to physicians themselves,  20% of  all medical care provided to patients are unnecessary.  Physicians indicated that they felt 25% of tests, 22% of prescription medications and 11% of procedures were not needed. 85% of doctors  said they were over treating for fear of medical malpractice and 59% because they were pressured by their patients. However 70.8% of them recognize that when they over treat patients, physicians tend to perform unnecessary procedures that are the most profitable to them. Over treatment can cause additional and unnecessary harm to patients  and obviously unnecessary financial burden to patients and to insurance companies. Spine surgery, operations done to narrow blood vessels in the leg or stent procedures are all profitable procedures that are the most often found unnecessary for the patient.

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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Bronx Lebanon covering fro medical malpracticesNew York orthopedic surgeon Ira Kirshenbaum was sued 10 times for medical malpractice and 4 of his patients died after undergoing surgery with him. This hasn’t stop Bronx-Lebanon Hospital to keep him as the head of orthopedic surgery since 2008 and to pay him $1 million-a-year and additional bonuses since that time.

Bronx-Lebabanon treats mostly poor patients on Medicaid and executives seem more concerned by the hefty bonuses they receive every year than by patient care. Hospital executives don’t seem to be too concerned if patients die after surgery or if they come out of  the hospital with one leg shorter than the other.

When they hired Kirshenbaum, Bronx-Lebanon executives main concern was how much additional money they could put in their pocket.  By hiring Kirschenbaum the hospital would increase the number of hip and knee replacements which are very lucrative procedures.

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pregnancyEvery year 700 to 900 mothers are dying from health complications during their pregnancy, during the child-birth or post partum.  According to a recent article written by Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas for Pro Publica little is known about the circumstances of these deaths except that 60% of them could have been prevented. Often hospitals concentrate on the baby but forget about the mother’s health.  Mothers too can suffer and die from birth injuries.

When such a tragedy hits a family, the grief and sometimes the guilt is so intense that members of the family are reluctant to share their story. The death circumstances are often kept private and not mentioned in the obituary. Medical institutions  have never been a trusted source of information when it comes to deaths related to health complications of their own patients especially if medical malpractice is suspected. Additionally, official statistics on maternal fatalities are so poorly reported by states that the United States hasn’t reported an official maternal mortality rate since 2007 according to a recent study published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In an effort to try to put a face and a name on these 700 to 900 mothers who died in 2016, Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas decided to launch a major investigation. They hoped that they would gather enough information about the circumstances of these mothers’ death to be able to get picture of  who these women were and why they died. They spent months searching social media and various other sources to identify these mothers. So far they have found 120 of them.

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“ Lissy McMahon’s sister, the executrix of her Estate made this video to express her appreciation for the NY Legislature passing Laverne’s Law. Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass. He is the co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial lawyers Association and co-chair of LawPAC of New York-the political action committee of the Trial Lawyers.  Recently, the New York State Legislature passed Lavern’s Law.  Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed.  Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 4 year old son Jack.  Jeff now represents her estate.

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Our partner New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer  Jeffrey Bloom was recently invited to appear on Today’s Verdict show hosted by David Lesch to discuss legal malpractice and medical malpractice (see the video of the show below)

Our firm receives many phone calls from people who are upset with their lawyer or unhappy with the result of their lawsuit. Attorneys do make mistakes however not every mistake is grounds for a lawsuit. It is not just because you are upset with your lawyer that you can sue him. Someone has a legal malpractice case if it can be proven that not only the lawyer was negligent not but also that the client would have won the underlying case. This is also the reason why our firm  only handles legal malpractice cases related to personal injury including Medical Malpractice. Often cases we handle are related to issues involving missed statute of limitations and court deadlines.

In the video below Jeff  discusses a legal malpractice case in which the underlying case is a medical malpractice case that he is working on now. The case involves a patient who died in the emergency room of an Upstate New York hospital. The patient showed up at the emergency room complaining about chest pain. The nurse saw him and noted that the patient needed a cardiac consult. The patient  then waited for 4 to 5 hours to be seen. While waiting he died from cardiac arrest at the hospital.  The family of the victim retained a lawyer to sue the hospital. The lawyer who handled the case didn’t file the lawsuit and missed the statute of limitations date which is 2 years for wrongful death and 2 and a half years for medical malpractice. The lawyer then tried to forge documents to make his clients believe that the case was re-opened.

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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeff Bloom with client Lissy McMahonCancer patients who have been misdiagnosed by New York doctors or hospitals will now have a fairer chance to be compensated. Yesterday, the New York Senate finally passed the Lavern’s Law which is moving the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the medical error instead of the date when the medical error was committed for cancer patients. The Assembly has also passed the law by a vote of 105-23. It will now be sent to The Governor to sign.

The original version of Lavern’s Law proposed to start the statute of limitations from the date of the discovery for all  medical malpractice cases  but a compromise had to be found with the Senate GOP.  Despite being a restricted version, the passage of this law is excellent news for many  cancer patients who were misdiagnosed but weren’t able to get compensation because the misdiagnosis was discovered too late.

Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass.  Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed.  Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Jeff traveled to Albany to support the passage of the Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 4 year old son Jack.

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medical malpracticeIn 2003 Florida lawmakers decided to limit non economic damages for negligence of practitioners to $500,000 or $1 million “if the negligence resulted in a permanent vegetative state or death”.  At the time lawmakers said the cap would stop the medical malpractice insurance crisis and prevent doctors from leaving Florida. However there is no evidence of crisis Today and the Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that this cap was unconstitutional.

The ruling arose from the case of  a victim of medical malpractice who saw the initial amount awarded by a jury substantially reduced by a judge based on this cap. Susan Kalitan had her esophagus perforated during an outpatient surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. She spent 3 months in the intensive care unit including six weeks in a medically induced coma. She sued the North Broward Hospital District  and other people involved in her care at the public district. She was initially awarded $4.7 million  by the jury for pain and suffering. This amount was reduced to $1 million by Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter based on the cap described above.  After the cap was found unconstitutional by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, the hospital appealed the decision. In a 30-page opinion the Supreme Court confirmed that the cap was unconstitutional.

Read more in Daily Business Review

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Victims of medical malpractice in New York have 15 months to file a lawsuit against a public hospital and 2 and a half years  to sue a private hospital or a physician after a medical error occurred. This rule is unfair to the many patients who only discover that they have been the victim of a medical malpractice after the statute of limitations has passed. For example if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, it can take several years until the misdiagnosis is discovered. The patient is then left without any possibility to sue and get compensated for the medical error. Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeff Bloom has been instrumental in advocating for the passage of the law which is a proposal to have the statute of limitations start at the time of the discovery of the error. He fought for our client, Elissa McMahon in her crusade to get Lavern’s law passed. In 2012 Elissa McMahon went to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for a fibroid removal. At the time of the surgery, pathology slides from Lenox Hill Hospital clearly indicated that the patient had cancer but doctors failed to diagnose it. Two years later she went to a doctor after suffering from severe back pain. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 6 months later she consulted with our firm and discovered that the statute of limitations had passed and that she was unable to sue.  Sadly, Elissa died from stage 4 metastatic cancer. Below is a video of Elissa McMahon in which she discusses her tragic situation with Jeffrey Bloom. Jeff traveled to Albany in support of Elissa and others in her situation to push for the passage of Lavern’s Law. Hopefully his efforts will now come to fruition. See more on Twitter @NYSTLA and on our previous blog. Jeffrey Bloom is the Co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Co-Chair of LAWPAC New York, the Trial Lawyers political action committee. In these rolls he has been instrumental in fighting for the passage of the “Discovery Rule.”

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