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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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endoscopic surgeryInappropriate cleaning of medical devices especially the cleaning of flexible endoscopes continue to be a significant cause of deaths and serious injuries to patients.

Not adequately processed reusable devices are a main conduit for healthcare associated infections which according to previous reports have caused at least 2 million infections and the death of 90,000 patients.

A  previous study at 3 large American hospitals and published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that more that 70% of reusable medical scopes ready for use on patients tested positive for bacteria.

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280px-Patient_receiving_dialysis_03The corporate dialysis industry is resorting to unethical tactics and medical malpractice to prevent patients getting the kidney transplant they need to survive and to keep them on dialysis for years. As a result, many patients who had to go to dialysis centers several times a week during the pandemic, caught Covid19 and died. In a recent investigation, ProPublica describes the multiple obstacles that JaMarcus had to go through to be able to get on the list for a kidney transplant before the covid19 pandemic hit and he ultimately died from contracting the virus at a dialysis center.

In the US, two companies, DaVita and and Fresenius, control 70% of the dialysis market

Patients who require dialysis are mostly patients who suffer form diabetes and who develop end stage kidney failure. While many of these patients could be saved by receiving a kidney transplant, two corporate dialysis companies are spending millions in heavy lobbying so they can continue to get multi billion dollar revenues from mostly Medicare patients who are getting dialysis multiple times a week instead of receiving the transplant they need. According to a recent article in Kaiser Health News, over the last 4 years DaVita and Frenesius spent $212 million just in California to influence voters and politicians and fight a ballot initiative that would have capped their profits.

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metal in mask MRIThe FDA recently received a complaint from a patient whose face was burned after wearing a facemask with metal during a MRI. The patient was undergoing a 3 TESLA MRI scan of the neck. The burns were consistent with the shape of the mask.

It is clearly negligent to allow a patient to enter an MRI without checking for metal in a face mask. Anyone who is being scheduled for a MRI procedure must be checked for metal placed in or on their body including in their face mask.

Typically, patients undergoing an MRI are submitted to a metal checklist during which they are asked if they are wearing electronic devices, had metal in their eyes, have implants, had previous surgery on their head or ears or are wearing items such as jewelry, hearing aids, medication patches and obviously these days, a mask that doesn’t contain metal.

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OxyContin_branded_oxycodone_10mg_OC_sideA Staten Island doctor committed gross medical malpractice by illegally prescribing massive quantities of oxicodone pills and asking some of his patients for sexual favors in return. 65 year old Joseph Santiamo, a geriatric care physician whose New York State License was recently suspended, pleaded guilty in front of New Jersey US District Judge Michael A. Shipp to illegally prescribing more than 65,000 pills to 7 patients and to solicit sex in exchange for prescriptions from most of them. Two patients were prescribed a total of 14,000 pills and another one was prescribed 9,000 pills.

“Even more egregiously, (he) solicited sexual favors from certain patients who were struggling with substance abuse in exchange for writing them additional opioid prescriptions,” said New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentito. “Instead of getting help from their doctor, they were drawn deeper into the cycle of drug abuse.”

Santiamo was arrested during a major law enforcement sweep in the North East during which 54 people were busted including 15 doctors. The doctor was “treating patients” who lived in New Jersey, Upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. While the doctor was supposedly a geriatric specialist, his patients were all younger than 40 years old.  The doctor admitted that he solicited at least 5 of them for sexual favors. From January 1 2012 to May 3rd 2018, the “patients” would visit the doctor in his office and have sexual encounters with him in his office in exchange for oxycodone prescriptions. When he was asked by investigators how the sexual relationships started, the doctor replied “They had a need”.

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photo__2573607_christopher_conadio_pp-1Our partner, Christopher Donadio will be one of three Distinguished Panel Members at the “How to Effectively use a Neurosurgeon in the Courtroom” CLE program organized by The New York City Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) & The Defense Association of New York tomorrow from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm EST via ZOOM.

Christopher will speak about the Plaintiff’s Perspective while the second panel member, Jenine Gerrard, a defense attorney with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP will speak about the Defense Perspective. The other member of the panel is Dr. Christopher Allyn Lycette, a Board Certified Neurosurgeon. The program will be moderated by Sean Dugan, an attorney with Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP.

Suitable for both  experienced and newly admitted attorneys, the panel fulfills 2 CLE skills credits. It is not too late to subscribe for this 2-hour Zoom Program that will start tomorrow, Tuesday November 12 at 5:00pm. Click here to subscribe or download the PDF

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Best Law Firms - Standard BadgeFor the 11th consecutive year, our New York Personal Injury Law Firm was named a Best Law Firm 2021 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. The firm was also named

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UW_surgery_and_residentsMore than 40 million Americans are undergoing surgery every year. An estimated 35.8 million of them will immediately return home after having their surgery performed in a freestanding ambulatory surgery center or in a hospital-based outpatient setting. Another 7 million will be required to stay at the hospital after their surgery. While most patients fully recover from their surgery without problems some of them will suffer from surgical complications or errors. It is estimated that around 14% of surgical patients encounter at least one adverse event.

In a recent study, the ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices took a close look at surgical malpractice and analyzed 2,400 surgical adverse events that were recently reported to them. Among these 2,400 reported surgical malpractice events, researchers found that 1,561 of them were relevant. They found that 478 of them (31%) were complications related to the surgery, 460 (29%) of them were adverse events related to patient and operating room readiness,  377 (24%) were retained surgical items, 102 (6.5%) were contaminations, 80 (5.1%) were adverse events caused by equipment failure and 64 (4.1) were wrong surgeries.

To reduce these adverse events, the ECRI recommended the following strategies:

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nursing home abuseVictims of nursing home abuse , hospital neglect or medical malpractice in New York State not related to Covid-19 can legally hold healthcare professionals responsible for their negligence again.

Yesterday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that rolls back the legal immunity that nursing homes and hospitals were granted during the coronavirus crisis

Since yesterday these institutions can again be held liable in criminal prosecutions and lawsuits.

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Drive_Thru_DrugsDispensing errors occur when a pharmacy commits a medication error and patients receive a different drug, a different dosage or a different drug quantity than their doctor prescribed. Sometimes when the doctor prescribed several medications, the pharmacy might also miss one. While most patients realize when the pharmacy did not give them the proper medication, some don’t. Medication errors by pharmacies can result in more harm to a patients and even death in some cases.

As doctors, pharmacies and patients are adapting to new safety guidelines related to Covid-19, pharmacies should also create new protocols to prevent the risk of medication errors.

The increase in phone prescriptions as well as not delivering the medication at the counter but offering curbside pick-up, drive-through window, home delivery, or mailing the medication can lead to an increase in medication errors if the pharmacy doesn’t take extra safety steps to prevent them.

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New York Personal Injury Attorney Marijo AdimeyIn a 2nd Department decision decided June 24, 2020, (see decision here), the Court reversed a trial court’s reduction of a $2.5 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice action involving a perforated intestine during an upper endoscopy.  When conservative treatment failed, Mrs. Garzon required an exploratory laparotomy to resect a perforated diverticulum, as well as a feeding jejunostomy, during a nine-day hospital stay.  Due to presence of intra-abdominal scarring and adhesions from the surgery, Ms. Garzon is at an increased risk of developing a bowel obstruction in the future.

At the trial, our partner NY Medical Malpractice Attorney Marijo C. Adimey obtained a unanimous verdict of $2,500,000 on behalf of her client, Elsa Garzon, from a Queens County jury.  The verdict awarded Mrs. Garzon $1,500,000 for past pain and suffering and $1,000,000 for future pain and suffering (see our previous post for full case details).

Defendant filed a post-trial motion pursuant to CPLR 4404(a) to set aside the jury verdict as excessive and against the weight of the evidence.   In granting defendant’s motion, the trial court reduced the award for past pain and suffering to $550,000 and reduced the future pain and suffering award to $100,000. The court held that the award for future pain and suffering was speculative and against the weight of the evidence.