Medical Malpractice Followed by Legal Malpractice
Plaintiff is the administratrix of decedent's estate. This is a very sad story. Decedent entered United Presbyterian Residence after a stroke, and was the victim of a most avoidable problem: pressure ulcer, or more commonly, a bedsore. It eventually, and after much suffering, killed her. Her family hired an attorney to sue the residence, and the attorney failed to start the case. Later the attorney was disbarred when he was convicted of a felony.
Corsiatto v Maddalone 2013 NY Slip Op 30553(U) March 13, 2013 Supreme Court, Suffolk County Docket Number: 2009-14305 Judge: John J.J. Jones Jr is mostly the story of bad medical care. It was an inquest, so we guess that there was no legal malpractice insurance. It may have been a Pyrrhic or a technical victory.
"The medical record indicates that although a wound care specialist was ordered, the decedent was never seen. No order was written for culture of the wound at the decubitus site; no orders were made to obtain blood cultures, both departures from good and accepted medical standards. According to Knieste, the poor management of the decedent’s Stage IV pressure sore was contrary to good and accepted medical practice and a contributing cause of the formation of a Stage IV pressure ulcer, the decedent’s continued suffering, and death. The decedent’s discharge note contained a diagnosis of sepsis."
"The issue of causation has been resolved in the plaintiffs favor due to the defendant’s default, that is, it is established that the plaintiff would have prevailed in the underlying action against UPR. However, it is not established that the plaintiff would have prevailed on all three claims: medical malpractice, negligence and the statutory claim under Public Health Law ij 2801 - d(1). At least one court has addressed the distinction between medical malpractice and negligence claims on the one hand, and a statutory cause of action under the Public Health Law on the other. See Butler v. Shorefront Jewish Geriatric Center, 33 Misc.3d 686, 693, 932 N.Y.S.2d 672 (Kings Sup. Ct. 2011)."
"The court is obliged to award an amount in compensatory damages that does not materially deviate from what would be considered “reasonable compensation” under the Circumstances given the plaintiffs injuries (CPLR 5501 (c); Slzurgan by Shurgan v. Tedesco, 179 A.D.2d 805, 578 N.Y.S.2d 658 [2d Dept.19921). Although the plaintiff assented to conduct the inquest “on papers”, the court has not been provided with any comparable awards or verdicts for similar injuries of comparable duration to assist the court’s determination of what can be considered reasonable compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering. The court has found several cases where patients have endured pressure sores similar to that endured by the decedent. For example, in Parson v. Interfaith Medical Center, a jury verdict of $1,000,000 was reduced to $400,000 to compensate the plaintiffs decedent for the mismanagement of her numerous bedsores that were a cause of her death (Parson v. Interfaith Medical Center, 267 A.D.2d 367, 700 N.Y.S.2d 224 [2d Dept. 1999).