On November 8, 2023, Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri and Rani Kulkarni won summary judgment in a medical malpractice case against a major Brooklyn Hospital. Plaintiff’s claims related to the care and treatment rendered during the labor and delivery of the infant-plaintiff allegedly resulting in neurological and cognitive deficits. The defense attacked plaintiff’s claims utilizing experts in multiple disciplines to establish a prima facie entitlement to judgment demonstrating that there was no departure from good and accepted medical practice. Following oral argument, the Court agreed and granted our motion dismissing all claims against the Defendant.
Vincent Nagler recently obtained a defense verdict for an anesthesiologist in a case tried before Justice James Quinn Supreme Court, Suffolk County. Our client performed a regional peribulbar block on the plaintiff, a corneal transplant recipient, who was undergoing subsequent cataract surgery. During the administration of the block the corneal transplant dehisced, and the cataract with lens was expulsed through the dehiscence. The plaintiff claimed a loss of usable vision from the affected eye.
The plaintiff argued there was a negligent administration of the block and lack of informed consent. The defense focused on the lack of foreseeability of the unanticipated complication.
The jury agreed that there was no departure from the standard of care and that informed consent was properly obtained.
On November 1, 2023, Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri secured a defense verdict in a medical malpractice action tried before Justice Leonard Livote in Supreme Court, Queens County.
The plaintiff alleged that her obstetrician/gynecologist (“ob/gyn”), our client, improperly treated her abnormal uterine bleeding and performed a vaginal hysterectomy and salpingo oophorectomy that was not indicated. The plaintiff denied understanding the nature and extent of the procedure and, despite executing a consent form, claimed that she was not aware of the risks associated with the procedure. The hysterectomy resulted in an injury to the bowel, in light of plaintiff’s undiagnosed endometriosis and extensive pelvic adhesions, requiring a laparotomy and surgical repair. This left plaintiff with an ileostomy and colostomy bag for several months, followed by a reversal of the ileostomy and recovery period, which occurred without complication.
The defense was predicated on the fact that apart from abnormal uterine bleeding, the plaintiff did not present with any other complaints that would suggest endometriosis. The vaginal hysterectomy was not only indicated, but the least invasive approach to stop the plaintiff’s abnormal uterine bleeding. Moreover, the plaintiff consented to the procedure with a family member present to translate due to the plaintiff’s limited ability to understand English. A professional translating service was also utilized at the hospital to properly communicate the nature and risks of the procedure. The known risks, including injury to bowel, were delineated on the consent form, and discussed with the plaintiff prior to the hysterectomy. The defense was supported by testimony of an expert ob/gyn who explained that the decision to forego medical management and opt for definitive treatment vis-à-vis a hysterectomy was made by the plaintiff, in conjunction with her doctor, and that the risk of injury to the bowel was a well known and documented one.
Several potential appellate issues were raised during the trial, and Megan Lawless, Esq. argued same before Judge Livote. Both the medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claims were sent to the jury for deliberation. The jury accepted the defense’s position and found no departures from the standard of care and no deviation regarding lack of informed consent.
Brian Andrews and Dylan Braverman prevailed on their pre-answer motion to dismiss, seeking to enforce the EDTPA COVID-19 immunity against claims of wrongful death, malpractice and statutory violations brought against one of the largest long term care facilities in the state. Plaintiff claimed that the patient was exposed to and then died of COVID-19 during the initial surge of COVID-19 when New York was the epicenter of the pandemic. The court ruled that Dylan and Brian proved that the patient’s care was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire to stop the spread of the virus and efforts to rapidly identify and treat any COVID-19 positive patient. As a result, the court dismissed all claims based on the EDTPA immunity.
Nicole Varisco, Brian Andrews and Dylan Braverman obtained pretrial dismissal of all claims against their Brooklyn facility. Plaintiff brought malpractice and statutory claims against the facility claiming that improper care led to a hip fracture requiring reconstructive surgery with hardware, a Stage 1 heel pressure ulcer and a Stage 3 pressure ulcer of the sacral region requiring surgical intervention. The COVID-19 team identified this claim for dismissal since the patient was COVID-19 positive during portions of the care. Plaintiff argued that there was no link to the patient’s COVID-19 and the alleged care and injuries, however the Brian, Dylan and Nicole argued that the care was impacted by the patient’s COVID-19 sequala and the need to comply with COVID-19 protocols including social distancing and PPE. The Brooklyn judge agreed and dismissed all claims on the EDTPA immunity.
On October 25, 2023, Bruce Brady secured a unanimous defense verdict in a medical malpractice wrongful death case tried before Justice David Reilly in the Supreme Court Suffolk County. The plaintiffs alleged that our client, a radiologist, failed to identify evidence of breast cancer on two mammograms and two ultrasounds performed over the course of seven months. At the time the patient was diagnosed 15 months later, her cancer had advanced to Stage 4, with metastasis to 21 of 23 lymph nodes and to her hip and liver. She died 2 years, 8 months after her diagnosis. Our defense was based on the premise that the speed with which the patient’s cancer progressed from undetectable by breast imaging to Stage 4 in such a short time was due to its highly aggressive biology. This defense was supported by the testimony of a radiologist who specialized in breast imaging and a breast pathologist. The jury accepted the defense position and unanimously found no deviation from the standard of care.
On October 31, 2023 John Barker, Kiki Chrisomallides and Rani Kulkarni won summary judgment in a medical malpractice case brought against an individual physician and a major New York hospital. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants negligently performed a colonoscopy/polypectomy which led to a bowel perforation, sepsis, and multiple hospital admissions. Following oral argument, the Court agreed that plaintiff’s expert did not address our expert’s contentions and did not establish the required background to testify as to the standard of care for performing a colonoscopy/polypectomy, granting dismissal of all claims asserted against the defendants.
On October 31, 2023 Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri, Ralph Morales, Rani Kulkarni and Claudine Travers won summary judgment in a medical malpractice case brought against a major Brooklyn Hospital. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s endometriosis, hydronephrosis and ureteral obstruction resulting in the need for a permanent colostomy and hysterectomy. Following oral argument, the Court granted dismissal of all of the claims asserted against the Hospital after ruling that plaintiff’s expert did not sufficiently rebut the opinions of the OB/GYN expert that accompanied the hospital’s motion.
In a hard fought win that will impact over 1,000 hotly contested COVID-19 claims throughout the state, Megan Lawless and Dylan Braverman achieved a landmark victory in reversing an Order from New York’s Litigation Coordinating Panel that forced all nursing home COVID-19 era claims to be coordinated for dispositive motions, discovery and pretrial proceedings throughout New York State. The Panel’s now reversed Order coordinated all claims brought against nursing homes or their physicians and nurses. This Order would have highly prejudiced individual nursing homes and their clinical team by forcing them to collectively litigate legal and factual issues unique to each of them in a mass tort type setting, thus removing the reality that each claim arose from highly personal and individual facts concerning the patient’s care and medical condition. This would have prevented each nursing home, nurse and physician from telling their personalized COVID-19 story. The win by Megan, Dylan and the firm’s COVID-19 team will now allow the truly individualized accounts of heroism in the face of extreme adversity to be heard in defense of these claims.
This hard fought win was the result of an unprecedented initiative by Megan, Dylan and the firm’s COVID-19 team. The firm commenced six individual Article 78 petitions on behalf of multiple clients to challenge the enforceability of the coordination order on the grounds that it violated New York’s Constitution. After months of litigation and consideration by all parties, this effort led to the Panel reversing its Order, effectively disbanding any coordination of these cases, and reaffirming that COVID-19 nursing homes claims should be individually litigated in the courts where they were properly commenced.
Indeed, in dozens of motions, plaintiffs have sought to delay ultimate justice on these cases based on the now reversed Coordination Order. Nursing homes, and their physicians and nurses can now seek dismissal on these claims without delay.
On October 11, 2023, Kiki Chrisomallides and Daniel O’Connell won summary judgment in a medical malpractice case brought against a major New York Hospital in Richmond County. Plaintiff’s allegations revolved around the development and treatment of decubitus and sacral ulcers during the decedent’s admission to the hospital. The Court held that that defendant had established a prima facie entitlement to judgment showing there was no departure from good and accepted medical practice and found that plaintiffs’ expert’s opinion was insufficient to create a question of the standard of care attributable to the Hospital and its staff. As a result, the Court found that all causes of actions asserted against the Hospital were dismissed.