Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

by
In this medical malpractice action, the Supreme Court held that the trial court properly determined that there was sufficient evidence from which the jury reasonably could have found that a surgical resident was an actual agent of of a hospital when he negligently performed a surgical procedure under the supervision of a member of the hospital’s clinical faculty, who was also Plaintiff’s private physician. Further, the Court that that imposing vicarious liability on the hospital for the surgical resident’s actions was not improper. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying the separate motions filed by the hospital and the surgical residents to set aside the verdict, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and remittitur. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the trial court’s judgment as to the hospital’s vicarious liability for the surgical resident’s negligence and otherwise affirmed. View "Gagliano v. Advanced Specialty Care, P.C." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of Defendant following the grant of Defendant’s motion to strike, holding that an action authorized by the claims commissioner, limited to medical malpractice, may not survive a motion to strike where the plaintiff was not a patient of the defendant, as required by Jarmie v. Troncale, 50 A.3d 802 (2012). Plaintiff, administratrix of the estate of the decedent in this case, sought permission to bring an action against Defendant for medical malpractice based on mental health services and treatment given to Robert Rankin, who allegedly fatally stabbed the decedent. The claims commissioner granted Plaintiff permission to bring an action under Conn. Gen. Stat. 4-160(b), limited to medical malpractice. Plaintiff then brought this action. Defendant filed a motion to strike the complaint, arguing that Connecticut does not recognize medical malpractice claims brought by nonpatient third parties. The trial court granted the motion to strike and then rendered judgment for Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Jarmie prohibits an action, limited by the claims commissioner to medical malpractice, where the plaintiff was not a patient of the defendant; and (2) if Plaintiff’s action sounded in negligence, then the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claim. View "Levin v. State" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff brought an action against a hospital and one of its employees for personal injuries allegedly sustained as a result of medical malpractice. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the hospital. The trial court ultimately awarded the hospital $5965 in expert fees and other costs. Five months later, the hospital filed a motion to hold Plaintiff in contempt of court, arguing that the award of costs was a court order and thus amenable to contempt and that Plaintiff had not paid any of the award costs. The court denied the hospital’s motion for contempt, concluding that, as a matter of law, it lacked the inherent authority to coerce compliance with an award of costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under ordinary circumstances such as those in this case, the court’s inherent contempt power is not an appropriate means of enforcing an award of costs or other monetary judgment. View "Pease v. Charlotte Hungerford Hospital" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff brought a cause of action against a practice group and an orthopedic surgeon (collectively, Defendants), alleging medical malpractice during a spinal surgery. After the expiration of the pertinent statute of limitations, Plaintiff sought to amend his complaint. Plaintiff’s original complaint included allegations of the improper usage of a skull clamp, but his proposed amended complaint included allegations of the improper use of a retractor blade. The trial court narrowly construed the original complaint as limited to a claim of the negligent usage of the skull clamp and denied Plaintiff’s request to amend. Because Plaintiff had abandoned the theory that negligent use of the skull clamp had caused his injury, the court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s denial of Plaintiff’s request to amend, broadly construing the original complaint as a claim of negligence in performing the surgery, which could be supported by either set of factual allegations. The Supreme Court affirmed, thus denying Defendants’ request that the Court adopt the narrower approach used by the trial court. View "Briere v. Greater Hartford Orthopedic Group, P.C." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs filed suit against Jonathan S. Aranow, Shoreline, and Middlesex, alleging that Aranow had left a surgical sponge in plaintiff’s abdominal cavity during gastric bypass surgery. She further alleged that Middlesex was both directly liable for its own negligence and vicariously liable for Aranow’s negligence, and Shoreline was vicariously liable for Aranow’s negligence. At issue is whether plaintiff’s medical malpractice action is barred by the statute of limitations or, instead, the statute of limitations was tolled under the continuing course of treatment doctrine. The court concluded that, to establish that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the continuing course of treatment doctrine tolled the statute of limitations, plaintiff was required only to present evidence that her abdominal discomfort was caused by the sponge and that she sought continuing treatment for her discomfort from Aranow. In this case, the court concluded that plaintiff has established that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the doctrine applies. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court that plaintiff’s action was barred by the statute of limitations. View "Cefaratti v. Aranow" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff brought this medical malpractice action against Dennis Rodin and Waterbury Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., alleging that Rodin negligently failed to timely diagnose Plaintiff’s compartment syndrome, resulting in severe injuries to Plaintiff’s lower left leg. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants, and the trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the jury verdict. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in restricting Plaintiff’s use of an article from a medical journal to impeach certain witnesses; (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in precluding Plaintiff from questioning Defendants’ expert witness about his previous experience as an expert on behalf of Rodin; and (3) although the trial court should have allowed Plaintiff to make an offer of proof and mark a document for identification in connection with the proffered questioning of Defendants’ expert witness, the improprieties were not harmful to Plaintiff. View "Filippelli v. Saint Mary's Hosp." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff, individually and as the administrator of the estate of his son, Jonathan Radzik, sued Francisco Sylvester, a board certified specialist in pediatrics, and related healthcare entities (collectively, Defendants), alleging that Sylvester had negligently prescribed Remicade for Jonathan, which led to Jonathan’s death. At issue here was the trial court’s grant of Plaintiff’s motion to compel electronic discovery of the hard drives of certain computers used by Sylvester. Defendants filed an interlocutory appeal of the discovery order. The Appellate Court dismissed the appeal for lack of a final judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the discovery order did not constitute a final judgment. View "Radzick v. Conn. Children's Med. Ctr." on Justia Law

by
The named plaintiff in this case (Plaintiff) obtained a judgment in her favor against Defendants arising out of their medical malpractice. The Supreme Court concluded that the trial court had applied the wrong legal standard in concluding that Plaintiff was not entitled to postjudgment interest and remanded the case to the trial court for consideration of Plaintiff’s request for postjudgment interest under the correct legal standard. Thereafter, the trial court awarded Plaintiff postjudgment interest in the amount of $3,178,696. The Supreme Court reversed in part the order of the trial court, holding (1) the trial court, in awarding eight percent interest on the underlying judgment, did not err in considering the rate of return on certain investments Plaintiff claimed she would have earned if the judgment had been satisfied in a timely manner; but (2) the trial court improperly awarded such interest from October 28, 2010, the date on which the judgment was satisfied, rather than from November 5, 2013, the date on which the trial court awarded postjudgment interest. View "DiLieto v. County Obstetrics & Gynecology Group, P.C." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs brought this action against a hospital and a registered nurse, alleging that Defendants negligently discharged Plaintiffs’ suicidal son and that they suffered severe emotional distress when they discovered that their son had hung himself only thirty-five minutes after his discharge. The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendants with respect to Plaintiffs’ bystander emotional distress claim. The Supreme Court affirmed the summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress, holding that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Plaintiffs suffered severe and debilitating emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ alleged negligence. View "Squeo v. Norwalk Hosp. Ass’n" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action alleging negligence on the part of employees or agents of Defendants, Connecticut Childbirth & Women’s Center and Women’s Health Associates, P.C., during the delivery of her child and at postpartum office visits. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-190a(c) on the ground that the physician opinion letter submitted by Plaintiff failed to satisfy the requirements of section 52-190a(1) because the letter was not authored by a similar health care provider, as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-184c(c). Specifically, because Plaintiff brought this action principally on the basis of vicarious liability for the alleged negligence of certain certified midwives, Defendants argued that Plaintiff was required to submit an opinion letter authored by a certified nurse-midwife or registered nurse. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Plaintiff provided an opinion letter of a physician who is board certified in obstetrics, which is the same specialty practiced by the nurse-midwives, Plaintiff fulfilled the requirements of section 52-184c(c) and 52-190a. Remanded. View "Wilkins v. Conn. Childbirth & Women's Ctr." on Justia Law