On February 23, 2017, a New York court of appeals cleared several pediatricians and a major New York hospital, of a medical malpractice lawsuit that accused them of failing to diagnose an infant’s tumor. The lawsuit was brought by the infant plaintiff’s parents. The lawsuit alleged that the doctors breached the expected standard of medical care by not discovering and treating the infant’s Medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor, earlier.
Submitting claims to insurance agencies can be complex as there are fee schedules and set services which are covered. One recent case involved fee schedules and payment of claims. Ms. Kenia Perez was a patient at East Coast Acupuncture (ECA) during August, September, and October 2013. After ECA submitted claims for Ms. Perez for treatments received, the defendant, Hereford Insurance Company, recalculated the amount of the claims based on their fee schedule. Afterwards, ECA brought suit to recover the amount of claims left unpaid by Hereford.
The case concerned a young mother who had maintained a relationship with a New York City Police Officer 22 years her senior, since she was 16. In July 2007, he shot and killed her, then shot and killed himself. The victim was survived by her infant daughter. The administrator of the estate alleged that before the murder, numerous complaints were made to the City regarding the officer’s abusive conduct toward the victim and her daughter.
A recent decision from the New York Court of Appeals held that a Medical Examiner does not have a legal obligation to notify a decedent’s next of kin that any organs or tissues were retained for further medical examination as part of an authorized autopsy. Although the right of sepulcher provides that the next of kin have the right to immediately possess the body of their deceased loved one for burial, the recent holding did not extend that right to include tissues and organs.
Relying on long-standing precedent, the New York Court of Appeals recently redefined what constitutes a foreign object in medical malpractice cases. The Court reversed the Appellate Division, Fourth Department , and held that a broken piece of a catheter did not meet the statutory and precedential definition of a fixation device, but was a foreign object, and thus not subjected to the fixation device statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases.
It is not easy to enter into the profession of law. One must go through three years of rigorous academic training, endure the difficult bar exam, and pass an ethics panel interview to determine that the applicant requesting admission into the profession possesses integrity, honesty, and good moral character. The panel looks for candor in the applicants, and goes through a lengthy investigation to ensure fitness for membership of the bar.
Jurors comprise one of the most integral components of our legal system. In criminal cases, a defendant’s life and liberty is at the mercy of those who sit in the jury box. In civil cases, a plaintiff may or may not get the compensation they deserve for injuries depending upon what transpires during the jurors’ deliberations. Therefore, when a juror falls asleep during testimony and when evidence is being presented, those whose fates rest upon the outcome of the trial may not see justice served.