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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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.

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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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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeffrey BloomBy: Jeffery B. Bloom; 

Tort reformer Michelle Mello is at it again, this time in the latest New England Journal of Medicine writing about the proposals from Sec. Tom Price and the US House. Instead of caps (about which she states: “caps have not been shown to improve the quality of care, a key goal of the tort system”), Mello is now criticizing the proposals in the US House bills while praising health courts which she calls administrative compensation systems (and others would call a proposal for eliminating the right of trial by jury).

As to safe harbor for doctors who adhere to evidence-based practice guidelines, she concedes that these safe harbors are NOT effective in reducing liability claims or costs.

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Jeffrey-Bloom3On Wednesday, Our partner Jeffrey Bloom lectured and did a demonstration of a deposition of a defendant doctor in a medical malpractice case at Metropolitan Hospital Emergency Department Grand Rounds which was attended by New York Medical College emergency medicine faculty, residents, medical students and other observers and research staff.
Two days before Jeff was also invited by the NY Kings Supreme Court bench & court attorneys to present and discuss issues frequently encountered in the trial of a medical malpractice action in a “lunch and learn” program.

A co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and a member of the organization’s board of directors, NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeff Bloom has lectured extensively to law students and fellow lawyers on the preparation and trial of medical malpractice lawsuits. He has also lectured in New York State Bar Association-sponsored programs entitled “Medical and Legal Issues in Breast Cancer and Gynecological Cancers and Surgery” and “Woman’s Health Issues and Malpractice.”

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Rubinowitz-Ben-B_12d7428b-27a7-4195-bebc-7788dce430881Our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be lecturing at the Nassau County Bar Association on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:30pm.   The topic will be Direct and Cross Examination in a Medical Malpractice Case. Ben will provide tips and techniques for examining the Target Defendant Doctor, strategies for questioning the Plaintiff’s Expert as well as the Defendant’s Expert. Ben will also suggest  methods of setting up successful arguments for Summation through strategic direct and cross examination.  Examples from real cases will be used throughout the presentation.

Click here for more info or to register

 

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New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Marijo AdimeyA NYC Medical Malpractice  case in which our partner Marijo Adimey won a 1.27 million verdict was featured by Lexis Nexis as their case of the week. Marijo successfully represented a 64 year old woman from Kings County, Brooklyn, who suffered ruptured spleen during a colonoscopy after the doctor used excessive force. A detailed overview of the case can be found on the Lexis Nexis Litigators’ Verdict & Settlement Exchange. Congratulations Marijo!

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A patient who has to be readmitted to an hospital may have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital or the clinicians. When a patient is discharged too early or with not enough support not only may his or her condition worsen but also the health costs related to his or her readmission can be significant. Additionally,  hospital and doctors can be liable if the patient was negligently discharged.

Patients with chronic disease such as diabetes, COPD and congestive heart failure are among those who have the highest risk of being readmitted. Chronic diseases affect 1 out of 2 adults in the US and are responsible for 86% of healthcare spending. They also rank among the top 10 causes of death in thew US.

Recent studies have demonstrated that hospital who are using remote patient monitoring (RPM) can significantly reduce the readmission rate of chronic disease patients. RMP allows patients to collect samples and answer questionnaires about their personal health from home. Data is then transmitted to the doctors who can analyse them and follow up in real time with their patients.

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NYSTLA will hold a meeting of the Medical Malpractice Committee on April 19th at 6:00 p.m. and should last until 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at NYSTLA Headquarters at 132 Nassau Street Suite 200.

Red Alert!

As you probably know by now, federal legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 1215 would impose severe restrictions on medical malpractice actions and actions against nursing homes throughout the country including a $250,000 cap on awards for non-economic damages as well as other toxic limitations. The bill has already passed committees in the House. It was scheduled to be brought to the House floor on March 29th, 2017, but that has been delayed. It is anticipated, however, that it will still be brought to the floor, and that it has a good chance of passing.

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Patient wristbandPatient identification error may be medical malpractice that can result in serious injury and sometimes death of a patient. This type of medical error can happen at any step of a medical process from lab testing to medication administration and even billing.

A special report published by the ECRI Institute reviewed 160 recent scientific searches and publications written on this type of medical malpractice to provide a snapshot of the status of this prevalent occurrence.

The report found patient  identification errors at each of the following clinical contexts: