Articles Posted in New York

The New York Medical Malpractice Law Blog – which I found via the New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog – reports on something I did not know: electronic medical records are now being widely utilized in Great Britain. For one, York Hospital is now using electronic medical records in an effort to improve communication among doctors in treating patients.

The reality is that this is a public safety issue, but it’s also an “it is 2008 and we have no money left in the budget” issue. The federal government pays for nearly 40% of the over $1.3 trillion spent on medical care in this country and spends millions more providing disability benefits to medical malpractice victims. Besides saving potentially thousands of lives, electronic medical records will reduce the costs associated with medical malpractice, and the government and our health care system will see significant savings in the long run. This will decrease medical malpractice lawsuits which will lower medical malpractice premiums.

All good. What is the problem? The problem is the cost. While a national system of computerized medical records is on Obama’s wish list, that list is getting cutback as we look at the economic realities of our federal budget considering our country’s financial crisis. Ironically, this is the perfect project for deficit spending because it is not a money pit – electronic medical records will save us more in the long run than the 3% interest the government would pay for the investment. But while I’d love to be wrong about this, I do not see a great push for electronic medical records in Obama’s first term.

The widow of a man whose brain was allegedly taken without permission for medical study has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the medical examiner who performed the man’s autopsy. According to the lawsuit, neither plaintiff nor her deceased husband signed an organ donation card, and the brain is still missing.

The lawsuit seeks $4 million against Mount Sinai in damages. This woman, while I am very sorry that she lost her husband, does not want me on the jury. My question would be why are you and your husband not organ donors? I hate these kinds of lawsuits and I wish these types of claims never found a lawyer who would take them.

I tried a case last week. We did not get a good outcome because, in the end, the jury did not believe my client was still suffering from her injuries. These kinds of cases just don’t help.

New York limits an attorneys medical malpractice contingent fee in a medical, dental or podiatric malpractice case to 30 percent of the first $ 250,000 of the sum recovered; 25 percent of the next $ 250,000 recovered; 20 percent of the next $ 500,000 recovered; 15 percent of the next $ 250,000 of the sum recovered; 10 percent of any amount recovered over $ 1,250,000.

While contingency fees vary from malpractice lawyer to malpractice lawyer, 40% is a common fee in medical malpractice cases. So if a case settles, or the plaintiff gets a verdict for $1,000,000, the attorneys’ fees, in many cases, is $400,000. In New York, when a malpractice case recovers $1,000,000, the malpractice lawyer’s fee is limited to $225,000.

If you are not a malpractice lawyer, you might think that this is not a bad payday for a single case. You are right. But the problem is that plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyers lose most cases. When a lawyer loses a case, he might lose $100,000 or more in out-of-pocket costs. This discourages many good lawyers from handling medical malpractice cases.

The Times Union (Albany, New York) reports that after a three-week trial before Supreme Court Judge Michael Lynch, a jury awarded Watervliet man and his wife $1.87 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit Tuesday against a doctor whose Plaintiffs alleged failure to detect and disclose a high glucose condition leading to a stroke.

Specifically, the jury believed it was negligent not to advise the Plaintiff of the results of a blood glucose study that had been done. The jury found the doctor’s negligence was a “substantial factor” in his stroke. The doctor’s lawyer contended that there is no evidence that Plaintiff would have acted had he been given the blood glucose test results.

Samaritan Hospital was also a named defendant, but the jury did not find that the hospital was negligent.

Contact Information