Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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As a firm with decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, the law firm of Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP has represented victims injured due to various types of medical malpractice.  Unfortunately,  a medical error involving the incorrect administration of medicine is a scenario that arises more frequently than most would believe.  These situations do not typically garner headlines such as the recent report wherein a Russian woman was mistakenly injected with formaldehyde instead of saline according to a published news article.  Formalin contains formaldehyde which is used to preserve or “embalm” dead bodies.

The woman was apparently undergoing a procedure for the removal of ovarian cysts.  During the procedure, she as injected with formalin, which contains formaldehyde, instead of saline because the staff at the hospital failed to read the name on the vial.  By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late and the woman died as a result of the poison being introduced into her system.  Those responsible for this tragedy have apparently been terminated or otherwise held accountable.  In all likelihood, various members of the hospital staff, and the hospital itself, would be liable for medical malpractice and the wrongful death of this woman.

The reported situation is unique in that it is a clear case of medical malpractice and would likely fall under the category of hospital negligence.  Medical malpractice involves a breach of the duty of reasonable care by a medical professional or medical facility which results in injury or death to a patient.  If this happened in New York, the expert opinion of a doctor would be required prior to the institution of a lawsuit, despite the obvious nature of the medical malpractice to the general public. New York, and many states, require this expert review in order to prevent the filing of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.

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In New York, a medical malpractice action for “Wrongful Birth” has been recognized since the New York Court of Appeals rendered their 1978 decision in the case Becker v. Schwartz. This cause of action allows parents to recover monetary damages from a negligent physician for the extraordinary care and treatment expenses of a child with a congenital disability resulting from the failure of their doctor to properly warn of their risk of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities.

There have been a variety of issues surrounding this rather unique cause of action. One of these issues dealt with the accrual date of the applicable Statute of Limitations period for such an action. Negligent physicians would argue that the 2 1/2 year Limitations period began on the date of the medical malpractice, which usually occurred months before the delivery date. In an opinion released today, the Court of Appeals clarified that the statute of limitations for the claim of the parents begins to run on the date of the child’s birth, not on the date that the malpractice occurred. The Decision can be found in the case B.F. v. Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, LLP. This Decision marks a fair and balanced approach to the analysis and helps parents secure justice for their disabled child and the extraordinary expenses associated therewith.

The value of birth injury lawsuit can vary from case to case. Compensation for a birth injury can range from several thousand dollars to well over $1 million. The cost of medical bills, effect on future earning potential, and extent of pain and suffering caused by the injury are some of the factors that go into determining how much a medical malpractice lawsuit may be worth.

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 35-year married mother of 2 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,400,000. He was assisted in the preparation of this matter by our partner, Matthew Maiorana.

The plaintiff-decedent was 34 years old and with no significant medical history. She was not feeling well December 31, 2011 and went to the emergency room at a hospital in New York City at approximately 10:30 pm with complaints of pain, (10/10), body aches, diarrhea, nausea, blue finger tips, and low grade fever. She was diagnosed with tachycardia with a heart rate of 111 and blood pressure of 100/50. Over the course of the night tests were done that showed that she had a deceased white blood cell count and she was being worked up for an abdominal issue. By 1:30 am on January 1, 2011 her blood pressure was 95/50 and her heart rate was 118. At 2:30 am her heart rate was 127. At 4:30 am her heart rate was 212 and her temperature was 104.3. At 6:30 am the decedent was given antibiotics but continued to deteriorate. She was intubated at 11:00 am. At that time her blood pressure was 80/40 and dropping. At 12:30 pm she was given pressors to bring up her blood pressure and she lost consciousness. She was then brought to the operating room for a laparotomy and a hysterectomy was performed. She never regained consciousness and was placed on life support which was discontinued on January 8, 2011, when she died of complications relating to sepsis.

It was alleged that defendants failed to properly diagnose and treat sepsis. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent had sepsis from the time she arrived at the hospital and should have been given antibiotics and pressors immediately. Had antibiotics been given immediately there would have been less than a 20% chance of death. For every hour that is delayed the risk of death goes up 7.6%. Inasmuch as there was an 8 hour delay in giving antibiotics and a 4 hour delay in giving pressors the likelihood of death increased to 70-80%.

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The partners and staff wish to congratulate our partner, Barry Washor, for settling a Brooklyn Medical Malpractice case during trial for the amount of $10.85 million dollars. It is believed that this result ranks among the highest medical malpractice settlements of 2017. Congratulations also to our Partner, Kevin McDonald, and all of our exceptional staff, who assisted Barry with the preparation and trial of this matter.

The case involved a 32 year old construction worker who became paralyzed due to medical negligence in September 2012. The plaintiff was suffering from an aortic dissection, which was not diagnosed until two days after presentation to the hospital. During that two day period, he became paralyzed from the chest down and incontinent of bowel and bladder. He was transferred to another facility and underwent emergency repair of his aortic dissection. Unfortunately, the paralysis and bowel and bowel incontinence, secondary to the dissection, could not be reversed and is permanent. Since the surgery to repair the dissection, the plaintiff has remained paralyzed and incontinent and has undergone seven additional surgeries. He underwent a small bowel resection and now has a permanent iliostomy. Because of his immobility and fecal incontinence, he developed very painful sacral decubitus ulceration and has undergone surgeries to repair those. He also developed a condition called heterotopic ossification, a condition in which there is abnormal bone growth on various parts of the body. He underwent a series of surgeries to resect the heterotopic ossifications in his hips and knees. He is permanently disabled and he has been unable to return to work in any way.

During the trial of this matter, a settlement agreement was reached for the amount of $10.85 million. When asked about this incredible result, Barry stated that “This has been a long, hard-fought process and I am happy that we were able to achieve justice for our client.” Since he began practicing law in 1981, Barry has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in New York. His reputation stems from exceptional results and his integrity. His track record of success places him among the elite medical malpractice attorneys practicing in New York today.

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in lower Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 36-year old unmarried mother of 4 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,700,000. 

The case involved a 36 years old woman who was admitted to the hospital on September 8, 2011 with complaints of leg pain and swelling. She initially presented to the emergency room where she was given an ultrasound and diagnosed with a large DVT (blood clot) which ran from her knee to hip. A hematologist was called in and she was admitted under the care of an internist. She was then started on a regimen of Lovenox, an anti-coagulation medication, as well as Coumadin. She was discharged from the hospital the next day and went home by taxi cab with her aunt and cousin. In the cab she became very uncomfortable and was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. When she reached her front door she collapsed and lost consciousness. She was taken to a different hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She died as a result of a saddle embolism in her lungs which had caused cardiac arrest.

The claim in the case was that because the DVT was so large, the defendants should have done a work up to investigate the possibility of a pulmonary embolism. A CT scan was indicated and plaintiff’s experts opined that had it been done it would have shown some “showering of emboli” which would have required continued admission where it is likely that the pulmonary embolism would not have occurred or least could have been treated had it occurred. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent was deprived of a reasonable opportunity for a chance of survival had treatment been done immediately.

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U.S. News & World Report released their annual listing of “Best Law Firms” rankings. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP was included in the New York City rankings in three practice areas – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. The partners and staff are truly honored to receive this recognition and wish to thank everyone, especially our satisfied clients and legal peers.

For over 50 years, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P., has served injury victims in New York City and the surrounding area. Today, we focus our practice on complex cases involving catastrophic accidents and injuries, worker injuries, construction accidents, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, police misconduct and wrongful death. Our reputation as one of the premier personal injury and medical malpractice firms in the city remains as strong as ever.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.

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The partners and staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP wish to offer a heart-felt congratulations to the five (5) attorneys in our office who were named as Personal Injury Super Lawyers in New York for 2017. Barry A. Washor, Dallin M. Fuchs, Jonny Kool, Christopher L. Sallay and Matthew Maiorana each were recognized in this way and have been so recognized for multiple consecutive years. We are proud to have these outstanding and well-respected attorneys leading our firm.

The partners would also like to thank the staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP for their incredible support and years of service to our office. Their efforts and skills are a major reason our firm is able to accomplish the results we have been able to achieve.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.

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The partners and staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP wish to extend congratulations to our partner, Christopher L. Sallay, for his inclusion in the 2017 New York Edition of Super Lawyers. This marks the 5th year in a row that Chris has been included in Super Lawyers. Additionally, our firm is incredibly proud to have five(5) of our lawyers included in Super Lawyers.

Chris has extensive experience in high profile personal injury cases in the areas of medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents and products liability. Chris is responsible for all aspects of litigation, from the initial meeting of clients through the ultimate resolution of the case and has tried cases in both New York and New Jersey. He is admitted to the Bar of New York and the Bar of New Jersey in addition to the Federal Courts of both states, and has practiced extensively in those Courts. Chris has exceptional skills in the taking of depositions and has traveled throughout the country deposing necessary parties and witnesses. His skills in questioning medical professionals and confronting them with verifiable medical facts and principles have led to the swift and favorable resolution of multiple malpractice claims. His background and training in computerized legal research has proven to be an invaluable aid in the preparation of motions and appellate briefs for submission to the Appellate Divisions and the Court of Appeals. Chris believes that hard work is the hallmark of a great attorney and is the only way to truly represent the interests of a client. It is this conviction and attention to detail that has led to the significant resolutions of cases which involved difficult or unique legal questions.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or death as a result of the negligence of another person or company, the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will give you a free consultation to determine your legal options. To see if you have grounds for a claim, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online.

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An air conditioning failure due to power loss resulting from Hurricane Irma claimed the lives of 6 elderly residents of a Florida nursing home. According to CBS New York, a criminal investigation is underway concerning the nursing home for their failure to evacuate the residents and a failure to have the air conditioning connected to the backup generator. Reports indicated that the facility did have a backup generator, but that it was connected to the kitchen for cooking purposes. Temperatures reached into the upper 80s following the Hurricane and these residents were forced to deal with the oppressive heat, despite many having pre-existing medical conditions.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem in our country as too often, the elderly are the victims of poor care and cost-cutting fallout. The above-described incident in Florida could potentially form the basis for a medical negligence or general negligence claim should this tragedy have occurred in New York. There are laws in place which protect our elderly citizens and insure that nursing homes provide the proper and expected care that they deserve.

If you or a loved one have experienced negligent care and treatment at a nursing home in New York, you may have the basis for a lawsuit. If so, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will give you a free review of your legal options. Fill out our case review form or call 212-406-1700 to schedule your free consultation.

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The partners and staff of Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP wish to congratulate our partner, Matthew Maiorana, for being included in the 2017 edition of New York Super Lawyers. This marks the 5th straight year that Matt has been included in this publication.

After spending years in practice defending the City of New York, Matt decided to represent private individuals injured through the negligence of others. Today, his practice focuses on the litigation and trial of medical malpractice, serious injury and wrongful death claims. To the surprise of nobody, Matt’s career continued to experience the same level of success that he always enjoyed. Over the past few years representing plaintiffs, he has recovered millions of dollars for his clients and their families.

Matt has developed a significant expertise in the field of medical malpractice and devotes a large percentage of his practice to this area of personal injury law. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, medical errors constitute a leading cause of death and injury to Americans. Medical errors take many different forms and arise in different contexts. Matt has successfully represented victims of malpractice and their families across the spectrum of medical errors, including failures to diagnose or treat serious diseases, surgical errors, medication errors, and birth injuries.