Articles Posted in Lumbar Spinal Injury

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In this case, plaintiffs filed an action to recover damages against the defendants for the injuries allegedly sustained by the plaintiff in a car accident on February 16, 2009, on Motor Parkway at or near its intersection with Express Drive North, County of Suffolk, State of New York, when Plaintiff was operating his vehicle and it was struck by the vehicle owned by defendants.

Plaintiff alleged that he sustained injuries consisting of, inter alia, lumbar disc herniation at L4-5 impinging on the anterior aspect of the spinal canal and the nerve roots bilaterally; lumbar sprain and strain with muscle spasms, severe pain, tenderness, swelling, and permanent and significant restriction and limitation of motion; posterior disc herniation at C5-6 and C6-7 abutting the anterior aspect of the spinal cord; possible cervical radiculopathy; cervical sprain, strain, with muscle spasms, severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and permanent and/or significant restriction and limitation of motion; right knee sprain, strain, contusion; peripatellar bursitis; severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and permanent and/or significant restriction and limitation of motion.

The defendants sought summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the basis that the injuries claimed failed to meet the threshold imposed by Insurance Law § 5102 (d).

Jurisprudence dictates that It is for the court to determine in the first instance whether a prima facie showing of “serious injury” has been made out. The initial burden is on the defendant “to present evidence, in competent form, showing that the plaintiff has no cause of action.”

Defendants submitted, inter alia, the sworn report their orthopedist; the sworn report of their neurologist; and the sworn report of Plaintiff’s orthopedist.

Plaintiff’s orthopedist reported, inter alia, that the range of motion examination is a subjective test under the voluntary control of the individual being tested, thus raising credibility issues which are to be determined by the trier of fact. The court’s function is not to resolve issues of fact or to determine matters of credibility but rather to determine whether issues of fact exist precluding summary judgment.

Plaintiff’s orthopedist also submitted admissible evidence to demonstrate findings of a herniated lumbar disc and a deficit in the lumbar flexion range of motion. While such injuries may constitute evidence of serious injury based upon objective findings, the defendants’ expert does not comment on the cause of the cervical disc herniations and does not rule out that the cervical herniated discs were not caused by the subject accident.

Defendant’s orthopedist reported, inter alia, that the plaintiff did not show clinical findings consistent with radiculopathy on the date of the examination, thus raising factual issue with the EMG findings and determinations made relative to that test. He also does not believe that further intervention is needed and that the plaintiff has sustained full and maximal recovery.
Defendant’s orthopedist does not address the issue of proximate cause of the injuries and does not rule out that the herniated discs were not caused by the subject accident, nor does he dispute that the plaintiff sustained such injuries. Thus, Defendant’s orthopedist has not established prima facie that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury based upon the diagnosis of both cervical and lumbar herniated discs. The two opposing orthopedist have set forth differing normal range of motion values for lumbar extension and lateral rotation, and for cervical flexion and rotation. Defendant’s orthopedist did not state a measurement for cervical rotation. Thus, this Court is left to speculate as to what the normal ranges of motion are, and what the range of motion for cervical rotation finding was upon Defendant’s orthopedist examination. Defendant’s orthopedist has also failed to set forth the objective method employed to obtain the range of motion measurements he reported for the plaintiff’s cervical and lumbar spine, such as the goniometer, inclinometer or arthroidal protractor, leaving it to the court to speculate as to how he determined such ranges of motions when examining the plaintiff.

Defendant’s neurologist reported, inter alia, that Nassau Plaintiff presents with ongoing subjective post-traumatic symptoms of intermittent pain in his posterior neck and low back regions.

Additionally, the defendants’ examining physicians did not examine the plaintiff during the statutory period of 180 days following the accident, thus rendering defendants physician’s affidavit insufficient to demonstrate entitlement to summary judgment on the issue of whether the plaintiff was unable to substantially perform all of the material acts which constituted his usual and customary daily activities for a period in excess of 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident, and defendants’ experts do not comment on the same.

Based upon the foregoing, the defendants have not established prima facie that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury within the meaning of Insurance law § 5102 (d) or 5104. The court had no other recourse but to deny the motion.
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A man working as a millwright for a saw mill in Florida had been working at the same saw mill for the past twenty-four years. His job required him to do heavy manual labor consisting of bending from the waist to lift heavy objects and carrying the heavy objects. As time went on, the millwright gradually experienced pain in his right leg and hip. There was no specific incident that caused any spinal injury to the millwright during the course of his employment. The pain soon interfered with his duties at the saw mill and this prompted him to consult an orthopedic surgeon who immediately placed him on no-work status and referred him to a neurologist for testing.

The Long Island neurologist ran medical tests and scans on the man’s spine. The tests showed that the man had stenosis or a narrowing or choking of the spinal nerve roots in his neck and lower back. The compression of the spinal nerve roots cause the shooting pain in his hip and right leg. Spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease that occurs from repetitive bending and lifting of heavy objects.

The neurologist and the orthopedic surgeon both found that the man suffered from a degenerative disk disease and L3-4 herniated disk. They advised the millwright to take medication, sufficient rest and physical therapy to stop the pain and to arrest the further damage to his spine. The employer refused to pay the millwright’s claim for compensation and filed a complaint with the Compensation Commission.

The Judge of Compensation Claims found that stenosis is compensable because it is subsumed under “repetitive trauma theory.” He based his findings on the testimony of both the neurosurgeon and the orthopedic surgeon that the twenty-four years of consistent and repetitive lifting and bending while he worked as a millwright caused the disease. Repetitive trauma to the man’s spine caused his spinal injury.

The employer appealed the decision of the judge of compensation claims. In his appeal he claims that it was error to find that the stenosis was compensable. He posits that there was no injury or any specific event that can be pointed to as the proximate cause of the stenosis. He also claims that the stenosis was a preexisting condition which is not compensable.
The only question before the Court is whether or not the spinal injury of the millwright is compensable injury.

The Court held that the stenosis was not a preexisting condition or a preexisting disease. A preexisting condition is something personal to the employee, a medical condition that the employee brought to the workplace and exists independent of any contribution from any work-related injury and which may be aggravated by employment. If the stenosis of the millwright were a pre-existing condition then it is not compensable. In this case, the millwright did not have stenosis when he began working at the saw mill. The stenosis gradually developed over time because he over-used his back and his leg when he repeatedly bended over to lift heavy loads in the course of his employment.

The millwright and his Manhattan doctors all testified that he suffered prolonged exposure to the bending and lifting activities in the regular discharge of his duties at the saw mill. The doctors also testified that the prolonged repetition of bending and lifting has the cumulative effect of injuring or aggravating the spinal injury of the millwright. His work at the saw mill exposed him to a hazard for stenosis that is greater than the usual hazards that the general public is exposed to.

Under the repetitive trauma theory of compensability, there is no need to prove one specific instance of injury. Instead, the millwright need only show that each bump, strain and sprain which he routinely experienced in the long years at the same job is regarded as an accidental occurrence which led to his disability and need for treatment.

The Court found that the spinal injury suffered by the millwright is compensable.
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This medical malpractice action commenced on behalf of the plaintiff is premised upon the alleged negligence of defendants in the placement of spinal cordstimulator leads, and the alleged departures from good and accepted standards of care relative thereto, causing plaintiff to suffer a spinal injury, loss of motor function bilaterally, the inability to walk requiring the use of a wheelchair, loss of sensation and reflexes, hypersensitivity, incontinence of bowel and bladder, exacerbation of prior conditions, diminution of a chance of recovery, inability to work, conscious pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is undisputed that on January 26, 2007, the plaintiff came under the care and treatment of an anesthesiologist, the defendant, for pain management relative to a history of leg pain and pain in her right upper extremity. Implantation of a spinal cord stimulator was recommended for which she was admitted to the Hospital at Syosset on February 27, 2007.

A Lawyer said that, the Long Islanddefendants seek summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the bases that they fully complied with the standard of care during the care and treatment of plaintiff and that they did not cause or contribute to the plaintiff’s spinal injuries. The Hospital further contends that it is not responsible for the actions of the private attending physicians rendering care to plaintiff.

The issue in this case is whether defendants are guilty of medical malpractice, and thus, liable for the spinal injuries sustained by the plaintiff.

The Court said that proponent of a summary judgment motion must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to eliminate any material issues of fact from the case. To grant summary judgment it must clearly appear that no material and triable issue of fact is presented. The movant has the initial burden of proving entitlement to summary judgment. Failure to make such a showing requires denial of the motion, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers. Once such proof has been offered, the burden then shifts to the opposing party, who, in order to defeat the motion for summary judgment, must proffer evidence in admissible form and must “show facts sufficient to require a trial of any issue of fact”. The opposing party must present facts sufficient to require a trial of any issue of fact by producing evidentiary proof in admissible form and must assemble, lay bare and reveal his proof in order to establish that the matters set forth in his pleadings are real and capable of being established. Summary judgment shall only be granted when there are no issues of material fact and the evidence requires the court to direct a judgment in favor of the movant as a matter of law.

The requisite elements of proof in a medical malpractice action are (1) a deviation or departure from accepted practice, and (2) evidence that such departure was a proximate cause of injury or damage. To prove a prima facie case of medical malpractice, a plaintiff must establish that defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in producing the alleged injury. Except as to matters within the ordinary experience and knowledge of laymen, expert medical opinion is necessary to prove a deviation or departure from accepted standards of medical care and that such departure was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

To rebut a prima facie showing of entitlement to an order granting summary judgment by the defendant, the plaintiff must demonstrate the existence of a triable issue of fact by submitting an expert’s affidavit of merit attesting to a deviation or departure from accepted practice, and containing an opinion that the defendant’s acts or omissions were a competent-producing cause of the injuries of the plaintiff. “Summary judgment is not appropriate in a medical malpractice action where the parties adduce conflicting medical expert opinions. Such credibility issues can only be resolved by a jury”.

In support of motion for summary judgment, the doctor has submitted an attorney’s affidavit, copies of the summons and complaint, his answer and the plaintiff’s verified bill of particulars; certified copy of the plaintiff’s medical records; the unnotarized affidavit of the defendant’s expert; and the unsigned transcripts of the examinations before trial of defendant. The unsigned copies of the transcripts of the examinations before trial are not in admissible form as required by CPLR 3212, nor are they accompanied by an affidavit pursuant to CPLR 3116, and, therefore, are not considered on this motion. The affidavit of the Manahattan doctor is not notarized and therefore is not in admissible form to be considered on a motion for summary judgment.
In cross motion, the Hospital has submitted, an attorney’s affirmation; the expert affirmation of the doctor; the affidavit dated October 29, 2010; the moving defendants’ answers, plaintiff’s verified bill of particulars; a partial and uncertified copy of the plaintiff’s hospital record which is not in admissible form to be considered on a motion for summary judgment; unsigned copies of the transcripts of the examinations before trial of defendant dated March 5, 2010 and the doctor dated May 25, 2010 which are not in admissible form as required by CPLR 3212 nor are they accompanied by an affidavit pursuant to CPLR 3116, and, therefore, are not considered on this motion. An expert’s opinion must be based on facts in.

Here, the evidentiary submissions establish that the doctor provided care and treatment to plaintiff and monitored her condition during insertion of the spinal cord stimulator leads and prior to her discharge. The doctor opined that discharging the plaintiff was not done on the authority of the hospital staff and that the doctor testified that the decision to discharge a patient is made by the covering anesthesiologist and surgeon. There is no admissible evidentiary proof that the doctor consulted with the attending physician about plaintiff’s severe pain and otherwise considered having her seen by a neurologist and neurosurgeon prior to discharge. Based upon the foregoing, motion of the doctor for dismissal of the complaint as asserted against him is denied.

A hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for the malpractice of a treating physician who is not an employee of the hospital. Here, the unrefuted admissible evidence establishes that the defendant physicians were private attending physicians who were not employees of the Hospital; and, therefore, the Hospital is not vicariously liable for their actions or omissions. The unrefuted admissible evidence does not establish that employees of defendant Hospital departed from good and accepted standards of care in their care and treatment of plaintiff. Based upon the foregoing, the Hospital has demonstrated prima facie entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint as asserted against it, and the plaintiff has not raised a factual issue to preclude summary judgment being granted to the Hospital.

Accordingly, the Court held that the motion for summary judgment is granted and the complaint of this action as asserted against the Hospital is dismissed with prejudice.
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The Bronx complaint of this action sets forth causes of action sounding in medical malpractice, lack of informed consent asserted on behalf of the complainant woman and a derivative claim asserted on behalf of her spouse. It is claimed that the accused parties negligently departed from good and accepted standards of medical/surgical/anesthesia care and treatment when the complainant woman was admitted to the hospital for a scheduled right total hip replacement due to osteoarthritis and lack of blood flow on the right hip, and failed to inform her of the risks and complications associated with the surgery, anesthesia, and treatment with an anti-coagulant drug. It is claimed that due to the negligence of the orthopedic surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the hospital, the woman was caused to suffer extensive bleeding in the area of the lumbar plexus and to sustain serious injury and nerve damage resulting in right lower extremity weakness, foot drop, and numbness due to the failure of the accused parties to properly and timely treat her condition. It is further claimed that the accused doctors and hospital failed to properly provide information concerning the risks, benefits and complications to her to enable her to give an informed consent. The orthopedic surgeon performed the hip replacement, the anesthesiologist administered the spinal anesthesia for the surgery, and postoperative placed a lumbar plexus block and peripheral nerve block.

The moving doctors and hospital seek an order granting summary judgment dismissing the complaint asserted against them on the basis they did not deviate from good and accepted standards of care during the care and treatment and admission of the woman which proximately caused the claimed injuries she suffered.

The accused orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist individually submitted their attorney’s affirmation; the affidavit, copies of the summons and complaint, answer, amended answer; the complainants’ verified bill of particulars; and copies of the transcripts of the examinations before trial It is noted that the deposition transcripts of the two doctors are not in admissible form and are not accompanied by an affidavit pursuant to the Civil Practice Laws and Rules, and therefore, are not considered.

The accused Brooklyn hospital also submitted an attorney’s affirmation; copies of the pleadings and the woman’s verified bill of particulars; certified copy of the woman’s hospital record; expert affirmation of the anesthesiologist and copies of the transcripts of the examinations before trial of the orthopedic surgeon. It is noted that the deposition transcripts of the orthopedic surgeon and the anesthesiologist are not in admissible form and therefore, are not considered.

The orthopedic surgeon opines with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that his care and treatment of the woman was well within the standard of care. He states he took a proper history during a telephone call with her, ascertained that she had hypertension for which she was taking medication, she had a previous knee surgery, she had no allergies, and he advised her that she would have to obtain medical clearance with her internist and have preoperative testing at the hospital. He dictated a history and physical note and indicated she was taking medications for her blood pressure. He states all of his actions demonstrate that he took a proper pre-surgical medical history. He further avers that he is not an anesthesiologist, and did not direct the anesthesiologist to place the psoas block, he did not have a role in the placement of the needle either for spinal anesthesia or the catheter for the psoas block. He states that it is the standard of care to place all patients undergoing a total hip replacement on anticoagulation therapy postoperatively to prevent the possibility of deep vein blood clot, and the anesthesiologist was aware of that. He further states it is the standard of care to place a psoas block for post-operation pain management in a patient receiving postoperative anticoagulation therapy. He discussed the risks of surgery with the woman as is his custom and practice, and advised of the risks of blood clot, lung artery blockage, death, infection, dislocation, and fracture, forming of bone tissues outside the skeleton, leg length inequalities, alignment issues, neurovascular injury, pain and stiffness. The orthopedic surgeon states he saw the woman every day in the hospital and her first complaint that she was unable to move her right lower extremity. He states his treatment was appropriate as he reviewed x-rays of the hip and a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, ordered pain medication and physical therapy. As an orthopedist, he states, he does not treat neurological problems such as foot drop, and the next day, called in a neurologist to evaluate her. He states he timely addressed the neurological complaint and did not fail to institute emergency measures, did not take improper corrective measures; and called in a specialist.

Based upon the foregoing, it is determined that the orthopedic doctor has not demonstrated legitimate entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint. He does not state that he advised the woman of the possibility of bleeding from the therapy and thus that she received proper informed consent concerning the use of anticoagulant therapy. He opines that he timely and properly addressed the neurological complaint and did not fail to institute emergency measures, but does not state what the proper standard of care is for the neurological problem which the woman was experiencing and the time frame for such treatment, nor what his emergency measures were. Nor has he submitted the affirmation from an expert neurologist in support of his claim that his treatment of the woman’s neurological condition was timely and appropriate and the proper emergency measures to be taken. Further, he does not set forth the standard of care for a patient taking anticoagulation therapy and whether this standard was followed and the results of such treatment and testing. He does not state the proximate cause of the patient’s neurological injury and does not rule out that such injury was not caused by the surgery he performed, or that it was caused by any acts or omissions on behalf of the anesthesiologist.

The anesthesiologist has submitted the affirmation of his expert anesthesiologist who sets forth that he is a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York and is board certified in Anesthesiology. Based upon his review of the relevant pleadings and bill of particulars, it is his opinion that he has become fully conversant with the allegations and opines with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the care and treatment rendered by the accused anesthesiologist at all times comported with good and accepted medical practice without any deviation or departures there from, and that none of the care provided by the accused anesthesiologist contributed in any manner to the woman’s alleged personal injuries.
Based upon the foregoing, it is determined that the accused anesthesiologist has not demonstrated legitimate entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint against him on the issue of liability and proximate cause as he has not addressed the issue of lack of informed consent and has not opined whether or not informed consent was provided to the woman concerning her anesthesia choices, risks, benefits and complications.

The hospital has submitted the affirmation of a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York, board certified in neurology. It is his opinion with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the care and treatment rendered at the hospital by its employees did not depart from good and accepted standards of medical care and treatment and there is no action, treatment, diagnosis, finding, study, recommendation, or care provided, or omission, which was the cause of, or a significant contributing factor to, any injury alleged to have been sustained by the woman.

It is hospital neurologist’s opinion with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the staff of the hospital carried out all physician orders in a timely and appropriate manner; none of the orders made by the woman’s physicians were contraindicated by normal practice; the woman was appropriately monitored and observed; the chart is thorough and well-documented; the woman’s symptoms and complaints were timely and appropriately heeded and were relayed to her physicians in a timely manner and responded to timely and appropriately by the hospital; a neurologist was appropriately called and appropriate diagnostic studies were performed; and that none of the alleged acts or omissions of the hospital proximately caused or contributed to the woman’s injuries.

Based upon the foregoing, it is determined that the hospital has demonstrated a legitimate entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint as asserted against it based upon the neurologist’s opinion.

There has been no affidavit submitted by the complainants to rebut the neurologist’s opinion demonstrating legitimate entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint as asserted against the hospital on the basis that the hospital and its employees did not depart from accepted standards of care and that none of the alleged acts or omissions proximately caused or contributed to the woman’s injuries. Accordingly, the motion by the hospital for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice as asserted against the hospital.

A doctor states he is a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York and is a diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology and board certified by the American Academy of Pain. It is his opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that during the hip replacement procedure, there were complications as a result of the negligence of the accused doctors which caused a bleed around the lumbar plexus which caused the woman to sustain a nerve root injury causing a foot drop, and there were numerous medical malpractice which caused the devastating injuries to the woman.

Based upon the foregoing, it is determined that the anesthesiology diplomat has raised factual issues concerning whether the woman was on an anticoagulant drug prior to surgery creating factual issues with regard to both accused doctors’ care and treatment, and whether she was taking the anticoagulant drug and when it was started. The anesthesiology diplomat further opines that the accused orthopedic doctor, as leader of the surgical team, deviated from the standard of care concerning positioning of the woman, proximately causing her injuries. Although a further affirmation has been submitted in the Reply papers in an attempt to counter some of the anesthesiology diplomat’s opinions, summary judgment may not be awarded where the parties adduce conflicting opinions of medical experts; when experts offer conflicting opinions, a credibility question is presented requiring a jury’s resolution. Additionally, an affirmation received in a Reply deprives the woman from responding to such affirmation, and all arguments in support of the doctors’ motion should have been made in the moving papers to establish legitimate entitlement to summary judgment. There are further factual issues concerning whether the level of the placement of the catheter could in fact proximately cause the injuries claimed. Accordingly, the motion by the orthopedic doctor, and cross motion by the anesthesiologist for an order granting summary judgment dismissing the complaint as asserted against them are denied.
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The Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) appeals the trial court’s final judgment against DCF finding DCF negligent and awarding the complainants as guardians and adoptive parents of a child, the sum of $26,849,849.06. DCF raises several issues on appeal that the Appellate Court affirms without comment. The Court of Appeals addresses only DCF’s argument that the complainants failed to prove a legitimate case of negligence. It affirmed the final judgment because the complainants presented competent substantial evidence that DCF was negligent and that the negligence was the proximate cause of the spinal injuries sustained by two-year-old child.

The vast majority of the material facts in this case are undisputed. DCF first became involved in this case when representatives at the Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) called the DCF hotline because the child’s biological mother failed to come to the hospital on December 8, 2000, the date of the child’s discharge. A Suffolk woman, who is the DCF protective investigator assigned to the case, began her formal investigation on December 9, 2000. She testified that she was concerned that the mother did not show up to the hospital on the date of the child’s discharge because she was more interested in getting her boyfriend out of jail, that the mother hardly ever visited or called the hospital while the child was hospitalized for a month, that the hospital had difficulty getting the mother to come to the hospital and sign consents, that when the mother did come to the hospital the child would cry and the mother spanked the child in her hospital bed while the child cried, and that the hospital informed the investigator that the child did not appear very bonded to the mother. In her testimony, the investigator expressed concern because the child’s x-ray results showed a fractured clavicle, for which the mother had no explanation. The investigator also testified that the mother’s boyfriend was living with the mother and the child, and in her training and experience as a DCF protective investigator, boyfriends who live in the home with the child and are not related by blood or marriage to the child are a safety risk to the child because they are not the child’s natural father and have been responsible for abuse situations.

Due to concerns that the mother was not going to be able to provide the necessary follow-up care for her child, the investigator, the mother, and the head of the child advocacy team (CAT) at the hospital met at the hospital on December 11, 2000. The head of CAT testified that clavicle fractures are usually low risk and not of great concern; however, he was concerned because it was an unexplained injury. Although the CAT head testified that he had no recollection or notes of CAT reporting a concern of physical abuse to DCF, he wrote in his CAT consult that the child is a high risk child who should not be released to home until we can more fully insure that the environment is safe and nurturing. The Westchester investigator admitted in her testimony that the CAT head advised her that a home study should be completed first before the child was returned to her home. The investigator also testified that after meeting with the CAT head, she suspected physical abuse.

The investigator then met with her DCF supervisor in Miami because she wanted to share with him her concerns about the child. They agreed that the Miami DCF office could not place a hold on the child because the Miami office lacked jurisdiction as the child was a resident of Lake Worth. They agreed that an out of town inquiry (OTI) was necessary and that the case should be transferred to the Lake Worth DCF office. The following day, the investigator received a phone call from a social worker at MCH. The investigator informed the social worker that the Miami DCF office would not place a hold on the child, that the child could be released to the mother, and that the Lake Worth DCF office would follow up. However, according to the investigator’s testimony, the social worker informed her that a hold was appropriate at that time because of all of the concerns regarding the child’s safety. The investigator testified that she shared these concerns with the social worker.

The investigator testified that the social worker then consulted with her supervisor at MCH, and both the social worker and her supervisor called the investigator again on December 12, 2000, which was the second phone call that day from the social worker to the investigator. The investigator testified that the social worker and her supervisor were very concerned with the child being released and that they would feel much more comfortable if they had the name and number of the protective investigator who would be following up on the case so that they could speak with that person. Ten minutes later, the investigator called the DCF office and was informed that before the case could be reassigned to another investigator, she would have to update the computer with all of the information concerning the case. While updating the computer, she received a third phone call from the social worker, who again sounded concerned. She testified that she had nothing new to tell the social worker because she was still in the process of updating the computer and that no investigator had been assigned to the case at that point. After completing the update, she called DCF in Lake Worth, informing them that the update had been completed, and she was given the name of the protective investigator in Lake Worth assigned to do the OTI. The investigator testified that she told the Lake Worth office that the case was urgent because there were many concerns about the mother’s ability to care for the child. She also testified that she then called the social worker and informed her that the case had been reassigned and gave her the name of the DCF protective investigator.

Thereafter, a DCF attorney advised the investigator that DCF must contact the father of the child’s half-sister in New Jersey, run criminal checks on the mother and boyfriend, staff the case with the Child Protection Team (CPT), and complete a home study before the child is sent home. The investigator testified that as of December 20, 2000, she did not contact the father in New Jersey nor did any other witness testify that this task was completed. The DCF investigator in the Lake Worth office testified that she conducted criminal background checks on the mother and boyfriend, which revealed no criminal records for either the mother or her boyfriend.

As for the CPT review, which is the process of reviewing records and assessing the child by medical professionals to determine abuse, the testimony at trial was that none was completed. The DCF supervisor testified that CPT did not do a complete investigation and that the child should not have gone home until CPT did their work. The CAT head also testified that he was not serving in any official capacity as part of a CPT. A DCF’s own retained expert testified that there was no CPT or equivalent review of the child’s medical records to look into the issue of abuse either before she left the hospital on December 15, 2000 or before the child sustained massive brain injuries on January 11, 2001. The DCF expert agreed that a CPT review of the child’s available charts and medical history would have shown that the child more likely than not was the victim of abusively-inflicted injuries. Furthermore, the expert agreed that medical information was available before December 15, 2000 that could have allowed the health care professionals to determine that the child had suffered physical injuries of a fractured left clavicle and left scapula due to abuse.

As for the home study, which is the review of the child’s living situation, the DCF investigator testified that she was never requested to do a home study nor was she told by DCF in Miami that a home study or CPT was required before the child could be sent home. She did go to the mother’s apartment on December 13, 2000 and noticed that there was no crib, toys, baby clothes, or any evidence of a child living there. However, she admitted that had she completed a home study, she would have spoken with people who were allegedly responsible for watching the child and most certainly the live-in boyfriend, but she never did.

Despite DCF’s failure to contact the father, to staff the case with a CPT team, and to conduct a home study, the child was released from the hospital on December 15, 2000. It is undisputed that on January 11, 2001, the mother’s boyfriend physically abused the child and caused her permanent and serious injuries. She sustained traumatic brain and spinal injury. Her brain damage prevents her from swallowing properly, and she has weakness in all of her extremities as well as a significant degree of cognitive delay. Furthermore, it is improbable that she will ever be able to walk independently, she will most likely need a feeding tube, and in one doctor’s opinion, she will never have the ability to have a meaningful two-way conversation due to the impact on her speech. The child also takes numerous medications and requires speech, occupational, and physical therapy five days a week. Her injuries will require her dependency on caregivers for the rest of her life.

The couple who adopted the child near the end of 2001, sued for negligence, alleging, that DCF negligently failed to adequately and reasonably investigate the matter involving the child and that DCF’s negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries sustained by the child. The jury reached a verdict for the couple and found DCF 75% responsible for causing the child’s catastrophic injuries, MCH 20% responsible, and the mother 5% responsible. Final judgment was entered against DCF for $26,849,849.06.

On appeal, DCF argues that the trial court erred in denying its motion for directed verdict because the couple failed to show that the alleged negligence of DCF was the legal cause of the injuries sustained by the child, and that any finding of causation could be based only on a stacking of inferences. According to DCF, the inferences that would need to be stacked to reach a finding of causation are that had DCF completed its investigations, DCF would have uncovered the boyfriend’s abuse of the child, that the discovery of abuse would have led to the child’s removal from the mother’s custody, and thus, prevented the abuse perpetrated by the boyfriend on January 11, 2001.

Concerning DCF’s argument that the complainants failed to establish that the alleged negligence was the legal or proximate cause of the child’s injuries, the issue of proximate cause is generally a question of fact concerned with whether and to what extent the accused party’s conduct foreseeably and substantially caused the specific injury that actually occurred.
After reviewing the record in a light most favorable to the complainant couple, the case was properly submitted to the jury as there is competent substantial evidence in the record to support a finding that DCF’s failure to adequately and reasonably investigate the matters involving the child foreseeably and substantially caused the injuries sustained by her.

Under the facts of the case, the jury could conclude that DCF’s inaction unreasonably exposed the child to physical abuse leading to traumatic brain and spinal injury requiring dependency on caregivers for the rest of her life. Furthermore, The DCF expert agreed that medical information was available before December 15, 2000 that could have allowed the health care professionals to determine that the child had suffered physical injuries of a fractured left clavicle and left scapula due to abuse. The evidence could lead a jury to reasonably conclude that it was foreseeable to DCF that if the child was released to her mother without further investigation, she could sustain more abuse.

The trial court did not err in denying DCF’s motion for directed verdict. The complainant couple made a legitimate case on the issue of legal causation, which issue was properly submitted to the jury. As the Supreme Court declared DCF is not a mere police agency and its relationship with an abused child is far more than that of a police agency to the victim of a crime. The primary duty of DCF is to immediately prevent any further harm to the child and that the relationship established between DCF and the abused child is a very special one.
Children are supposed to be protected from all forms of harm.
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Claimant is a young woman who studied dancing most of her life. She was employed as a dancer at a famous theme park owned by the appellant Company, for several years. She first injured her back during a dance routine on January 11, 1981. After a spinal injury operation, she went home to recuperate and eventually returned to work. She neither requested nor received any attendant care benefits while recuperating at home on this occasion.

An source said that, claimant sustained a second back spine injury when she was dropped by a fellow dancer. As a result of this spine injury, claimant underwent a low back spinal fusion operation, by an

Queens orthopedic surgeon approved by the appellant Company to provide medical treatment to claimant. Thereafter, claimant was discharged from the hospital to return home and recuperate. She was instructed to wear a full body cast, which greatly restricted her body movement, for one and one-half months following her discharge from the hospital. The cast, although described as “removable,” was to be worn at all times except while bathing and taking care of personal hygiene. Claimant was not advised that her worker’s compensation benefits would cover necessary attendant care during this period. Claimant normally lived alone in her own home, but she had made arrangements to temporarily reside with a friend who agreed to provide her care and assistance with such things as going to the bathroom, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, changing her bed, and other necessary daily functions that claimant was unable to perform for herself while in the cast.

Unfortunately, several days after claimant’s arrival at this temporary residence, her friend was injured in an automobile accident and rendered incapable of providing any assistance to claimant. Because of her lack of financial ability, claimant did not hire anyone to provide her with needed care. Instead, claimant did what she could to care for herself. Claimant’s mother, who lived in the Orlando area and held a full-time job, and another friend of the claimant, came over as frequently as they could to provide assistance to claimant. Before claimant fully recovered, however, her mother became seriously ill and died. Claimant’s emotional and psychological status deteriorated substantially during this period.

In a letter dated January 13, 1982, the orthopedic surgeon advised the appellant Company that the claimant would be undergoing a back fusion operation. Appellant Company, however, contends that it had no knowledge of claimant’s need for attendant care until it received the orthopedic surgeon letter dated March 1, 1982, wherein he explicitly advised appellant Company of claimant’s need for such care during the period from February 12 through at least March 11, 1982. A Lawyer said that, claimant’s attorney filed a claim for attendant care benefits for that entire four-week period, plus costs, interest, penalties, and attorney’s fees. Appellant Company declined to pay, and a hearing was held. The deputy commissioner entered an order directing appellant Company to pay attendant care benefits to claimant for the described four-week period, calculated on the basis of four dollars per hour for sixteen hours each day (these being the estimated hours claimant was awake each day).

The Attorney said that appellant Company appeals a worker’s compensation order awarding appellee attendant care benefits for the month immediately following her release from the hospital after a spinal fusion operation. Appellant Company contends that (1) no attendant care benefits were due because claimant actually took care of herself; (2) the amount of benefits awarded was not supported by competent, substantial evidence; and (3) in any event, no remedial care benefits should be payable prior to March 1, 1982, the date of a letter to the company from claimant’s attending physician indicating the need for such care.

The issue in this case is whether appellant Company is entitled to give appellee attendant and remedial care benefits for the injuries she sustained.

The Court said that, claimant argues, and the deputy agreed, that the award of attendant care benefits should be made on the basis of demonstrated need, without regard to whether such services were actually received and paid for by claimant. Appellant Company counters that the deputy erred as a matter of law in awarding any benefits because “the claimant cared for herself and actually never used the services.” Therefore, appellant Company argues, the award to claimant is a prohibited windfall because the act only reimburses a claimant for the economic loss suffered.

The Court finds appellant Company’s “windfall” argument to be absolutely frivolous. There is more than sufficient competent substantial medical and lay evidence in the record to support the deputy’s finding that claimant’s immobility, because of her spinal injuries and the body cast, required that she have non-skilled attendant care during this period. Although claimant was unfortunately left on her own much of the time, the evidence also establishes that some attendant care and services were provided by claimant’s friends and mother. Claimant, therefore, was entitled to recover attendant care benefits under section 440.13(1), Florida Statutes (1981).

On the other hand, we are unable to agree with the deputy’s method for estimating the value of attendant care benefits that should be allowed. Section 440.13(1) does not permit recovery of compensation for nursing or attendant care services claimant performed for herself, no matter how great the need for assistance from others may have been. The burden is on the claimant to prove by competent, substantial evidence the quantity, quality, and duration of the attendant services claimed. It was improper for the deputy to allow compensation for attendant care services for every hour he estimated the claimant to have been awake without regard to the actual performance of services by persons other than claimant. Since there was no competent, substantial evidence to support the award on the basis of sixteen hours per day, the amount of that award must be vacated.

Claimant is, however, entitled to receive compensation for attendant care services provided by the friend with whom she temporarily lived and by her mother and other friend who came by from time to time to care for her needs. In the usual case, time spent for shopping, cooking, and performing other ordinary household services by a spouse or other family member is considered gratuitous and cannot form the basis for an award for attendant care services. But when a spouse or family member provides services that go beyond those which would normally be provided on a gratuitous basis, compensation for nursing or attendant care services may be awarded. The gratuitous services contemplated by this general rule are those which would normally be provided by family members who live with the claimant and usually perform like services for the benefit of the household. It is not the purpose of section 440.13 to burden family members with medically required nursing services and unskilled attendant care when claimant leaves the hospital and returns home.

The Staten Island Court does not believe that the care and services provided by claimant’s mother and friends fall within the above rule excluding gratuitous family services, even though such services involved shopping for food, cooking, doing laundry, and similar household services. Claimant ordinarily lived alone in her own home, and both her mother and friends substantially departed from their usual daily routine to visit her and provide special care and services required during claimant’s post-operation recovery. On remand, the deputy commissioner should determine the quantity, quality, and duration of the care and services provided by these individuals, determine the appropriate value thereof, and make a commensurate award for attendant care benefits. The deputy may take additional evidence on this issue if deemed necessary.

Finally, appellant’s contention that benefits should not be allowed prior to the orthopedic surgeon March 1 letter formally requesting attendant care is without merit. Claimant argues that appellant Company was informed by the orthopedic surgeon January 13 letter that she was to have a spinal fusion operation; thus appellant Company either knew of her need for attendant care or knew of the nature of her injury and treatment so that knowledge of her need for attendant care should be imputed to them. Appellant Company replies that the January 13 letter was not adequate notice of the prospective need for attendant care services because it did not advise them that claimant would be discharged in a body cast. They also points to the fact that claimant had previously undergone back surgery and did not request or receive such care on that occasion.

Ordinarily, a claimant should know whether she needs attendant care, and section 440.13(1) explicitly requires that the employer pay the employee for such services, if actually needed, when requested by the employee. Here, claimant made no such request. No section of the act explicitly directs an employer to inform a claimant of the employee’s rights, benefits, and obligations under the workers’ compensation act in the manner section 440.185(4) requires the Division to so inform an employee when notice of a claim is received. Nevertheless, an employer must offer or furnish benefits when the employer knows, or should know from facts properly and diligently investigated, that such benefits are due. An employer is under a continuing obligation, once it has knowledge of an employee’s injury, to place needed benefits in the hands of the injured worker. This obligation cannot be met unless the employer informs the injured worker of the benefits to which he or she is entitled. Section 440.13(1) requires the employer to pay the claimant for attendant care services obtained by her, even though not first requested, if the nature of the injury requires such nursing services and if the employer, having knowledge of the injury, failed to provide such services. The nature of the claimant’s injury and necessary treatment may be such as to impute knowledge of claimant’s need for attendant care services to the employer. There was no error in the deputy’s finding that benefits were due from February 12, 1982.

There is also another and equally important ground for sustaining the award of benefits from February 12, 1982. The record does not show that appellant Company’s alleged failure to receive notice before the March 1 letter actually prejudiced its ability to investigate and determine the validity of claimant’s need for attendant care services. Nor has appellant Company asserted that it has been so prejudiced by claimant’s understandable failure to request care immediately upon her discharge from the hospital. Appellant Company was notified by the March 1 letter of claimant’s need for care before that need had ended, and prompt investigation by them would have readily revealed the sufficiency of the claim. In the absence of demonstrated prejudice to appellant Company, claimant’s attendant care benefits should be paid from February 12, 1982, even though not formally requested until March 1.
In view of the foregoing, the Court vacates the amount of benefits and remand for redetermination of the proper amount due consistent with this opinion. Appellee concedes, and the Court agrees, that no penalties should be assessed on this re-determined amount. In all other respects, the order is affirmed.
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There are several different laws in New York City which govern the litigation practices involved in personal injury lawsuits. In order for a person to proceed with an action to sue in reference to a serious bodily injury that was the result of a traffic accident, they must prove that the injury is serious in accordance with the law. The statute CPLR § 3212 and Article 51 of the New York State insurance law specify the guidelines that are used to determine if an injury is considered serious.

There are several different categories that are used to determine serious injury under these statutes. Some of these involve brain injury, loss of an appendage, loss of use of an appendage, loss of a fetus, some brain injuries, and some spinal injury. In order for an injury to be considered serious, it must be pervasive enough to interfere with the person’s ability to function normally on a daily basis. This type of injury is usually one that is permanent in nature. Although, some brain injuries and spinal injuries may not be lifelong disability type injuries.

On June 10, 2007, a woman was driving her 2005 Nissan on East Shore Drive, Massapequa, New York in Nassau County. She was hit in the back end of her vehicle by a 1994 BMW. She received injuries in the accident that she felt met the criteria to be considered serious under the statutes of New York. She filed a personal injury lawsuit based on these injuries. The injuries that she claims to have suffered involved annular tear at L4-5 vertebrae, disc herniations at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1. She claims to have been diagnosed with a disc bulge at L2-3 which caused a constriction on the spinal cord. She also sustained an internal derangement of the lumbar spine with a severe strain or sprain of the lumbar spine. She gave a sworn statement to the court that after the accident, she had to stay in bed for a full two weeks. She also claims that after she was able to get out of her bed, she had to stay at home for another four weeks recovering. She stated that at the time of the accident, she was unemployed. However, she claimed that she can no longer take part in many of the activities that she enjoyed such as playing volleyball, gardening, cooking, or driving somewhere that is more than thirty minutes away. She stated that she cannot lift heavy objects or wash dishes. She stated that she joined a local gym and that she uses the recumbent bicycle several times a week to try to stay in shape. In her statement, she did not detail the specific compensable serious injury categories that she contends that her injuries fall under.

The driver of the BMW claims that the woman did not incur a serious injury as spelled out in the law. He applied to the court to provide him with a summary judgment dismissing the woman’s complaint against him because she did not have a serious personal injury in accordance with the legal definition. Since the doctors in her case specifically stated that she had reduced range of motion in her spine, the court determined that her claim would apply to a permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member which would fall under Category 7 of the law. Additionally, they determined that she could apply under Category 8 of a significant limitation of use of a body function or system.

The court evaluated the claims of the woman. In this evaluation, they took into account that she was only in bed for two weeks and that it was only an additional four weeks after that before she was able to conduct her normal activities. The request for summary judgment was granted.
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Claimant, employed as a policeman by the Nassau County Police Department, was accidently shot in the abdomen on November 8, 1953 as he was removing a shotgun from a police car. Compensation in the form of reimbursement to the employer was paid for intermittent periods of lost time, and the case was closed upon finding of no further disability. On November 1, 1962 claimant was in an automobile accident while on police duty and sustained injuries to his neck and back. Compensation in the 1962 case was paid for several weeks, and the case was eventually closed pending the outcome of a third-party action which was later settled without the consent of the employer. Thereafter, claimant was relieved of all police duties and went on sick leave and performed no work thereafter.

A Lawyer said that, Dr. Masoff, claimant’s physician, reported to the employer that he had examined claimant, that claimant had pain in his right side for about four months with no relief; and that claimant had pain in his right side radiating to his lower back and down his life lower extremity, and requested authorization by the employer to hospitalize claimant for x-rays and further treatment. Upon a C–4 medical reports by Dr. Masoff filed which indicated recurrent back pain necessitating x-rays and hospitalization, the Workmen’s Compensation Board on reopened the 1953 case upon the report of changed condition and directed that the Special Fund be placed on notice.

A Long Island source said that, claimant was admitted to the Smithtown General Hospital and placed in pelvic traction and bed rest. After consultation with Dr. Levitan and Dr. Stein, an operative procedure was done by Dr. Levitan and Dr. Stein to probe the 1953 shotgun wound. Claimant was fitted with a Knight Spinal Brace and was discharged from the hospital on August 17, 1965.

On February 13, 1968 the board determined that claimant was receiving full pay for his disability in accordance with rule 11 of article 7 of the County Police for a spinal injury on police duty; that claimant applied for and has been doing clerical work since February, 1964 ‘as he could not stand the cold weather’; that his assignment to light work in February, 1964 at full wages with knowledge that his disability was due to compensable spinal injury constituted advance payment of compensation by the employer within three years from the application for reopening; and that claimant’s disability is causally related to the 1953 accident. The board made a finding that the testimony of Dr. Levitan related ‘only to the disability due to the 1953 accident’; denied the request of the employer that the Referee’s decision relieving the Special Fund be reversed, and reaffirmed its decision of February 13, 1968.

On this appeal the employer contends that claimant’s disability is causally related to both accidents; that advance compensation was not paid the claimant, and the Special Fund should not have been relieved from liability. Respondent Special Fund contends that its discharge is supported by the facts and the law and that in any event, there is no substantial evidence to support the board’s finding that claimant’s disability is attributable solely to the 1953 accident.
The issue in this case is whether the Workmen’s Compensation Board erred in discharging the Special Fund for Reopened Cases from liability under section 25(a) of the Workmen’s Compensation Law.

The Court said that, at the hearings the Special Fund attempted to establish advance payments of compensation by the employer by reason of payments made to claimant after June 16, 1965 in accordance with rule 11 of article 7 governing the Nassau County Police Department and by reason of the claimant’s assignment to clerical duty in the month of February, 1964 asserting that this was an assignment to light duty. The determination of the board clearly rejected the contention that the payments pursuant to article 7 after June 16, 1965 were advance payments of compensation.

The board’s determination that the payment of full salary to claimant after assignment to clerical duty in February, 1964 constituted advance compensation is not supported by the evidence or by the law. There is no evidence here that only disabled police officers were assigned to clerical duty, or that the claimant did not earn his wages and that the salary paid was actually a gratuity. Compensation does not include wages paid for value received. If any part of wages is to be deemed an advance payment such part must necessarily be found gratuitous. If an injured employee returns to work and fully earns his hire there is nothing gratuitous in such an arrangement. In that case the employer gives him nothing; he merely pays for the worth of services performed. Of course an employer may furnish work to an injured employee in the nature of a sinecure at full wages, and doubtless in such a case the board may, within the range of its fact finding power, find the element of gratuity. The test is whether the employer paid for something he did not get in the way of service.

The Court held that, in this record there is nothing of substance which indicates that the employer did not receive full value for claimant’s wages, and the board’s finding of advance payment of compensation must be reversed. The board’s determination that claimant’s disability is causally related only to the 1953 accident also finds no support in the record. The conclusion of the board that Drs. Levitan and Tolmach testified that claimant’s disability was due to the 1953 accident finds no support in the record. Dr. Levitan limited his testimony to the treatment rendered claimant by reason of the 1953 accident and, although he stated that claimant would have pain due to the 1953 accident, he further testified that at the time he treated the claimant, he was also being treated for complaints in connection with his back spine injury on November 1, 1962, but that he treated claimant only for the shotgun injury and did not go into the back complaints. Dr. Levitan also testified that a spinal brace given claimant upon discharge from the hospital was for a low back spine injury and not by reason of the shotgun injury. While Dr. Tolmach testified that if claimant had an operation by reason of the gunshot wound, he would be disabled at that time, and this because of the 1953 accident, he also testified that if the claimant had left lower extremity pain, it would be from low back disability and apparently limited his testimony to the 1953 accident alone. The testimony of Drs. Levitan and Tolmach from Manhattan then are consistent with the testimony of Dr. Masoff to the effect that claimant’s complaints of pain in the left lower extremity were due to the low back injury of 1962 and had nothing to do with the shotgun injury of 1953, and that the complaints were due to both accidents. He further testified that any pain from the shotgun wound would be local to the right side and would not radiate to the left lower extremity. Thus, there was no basis upon which the board could conclude that claimant’s disability was due to the 1953 accident alone.
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The Tennessee Consumer Protection is under assault, some say. Its advocates claim that this act protects the consumer from businesses and products that produce goods or services that can harm, even to the point of maiming and killing victims, through negligence or unscrupulous manufacturing and selling tactics.

A new bill has been introduced in Tennessee that would make it more difficult to litigate against companies on the grounds of injury and wrongful death caused by negligence or wrongful actions. The proponents of the bill claim it would make the state more business-friendly. The former senator from Tennessee, Fred Thompson, among others has shown opposition to the bill. They have seen instances of what can happen when a company acts without seeming regard for human life. Many of those who advocate against this bill also believe the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act will also be compromised to the point of uselessness should this bill pass. They tell Lawyers that victims would have no legal recourse to pursue the means to gain compensation for their injuries and losses.

Tort reformers are very interested in seeing this bill pass. According to them, “lawsuit abuse” and “jackpot justice” are very common in Tennessee. They fear businesses will not come and invest in Tennessee due to the stifling environment created by easy lawsuits which could very well ruin a small business. A group in Tennessee and others in The Bronx and Brooklyn offered a study that stated the bill would create more than 100,00 jobs and $16.2 billion in “additional economic output” in the state over the next ten year.

Tennessee and Kentucky currently have no limit on noneconomic damages or punitive damages. The bill would put limits upon pain and suffering damages at $750,000 per occurrence and punitive damages would be the greater of two times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. However, in the case of “instances of spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia, hemiplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, substantial burns and the death of a parent leaving minor children,” the cap could be as high as $1.25 million. It would also remove all limitation on damages “in instances when the defendant committed an act that would constitute a felony or was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time the injury occurred.”
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The 1978 case of a white-haired man arrived at the Circuit Court one morning. The man entered the courtroom to testify in his $1 million lawsuit he filed against Edward H. White II Memorial Hospital.

He filed the lawsuit because he fell out of bed while admitted in the facility. The 50-year-old man claimed that the hospital staff was negligent when they left the railing down on his hospital bed. When he fell, he suffered a spinal injury.

The hospital refuted those claims and said that the patient had raised such a ruckus about having it up that they lowered it – against hospital policy – in order to hopefully prevent another coronary episode in the gentleman.

According to a source who has researched the case, the courtroom allowed special privileges to the injured man. For example, the Circuit Court Judge told the plaintiff that it was not necessary to raise his right hand when he was sworn in, because of his condition. The man was also allowed to sit in a chair in front of the jury to help him avoid the two small stairs into the testimony box.

While on the stand (in the chair), the plaintiff’s hands continually moved “as if he was trying to wake them up or remove something from their tips,” a report of the trial stated.
The 50-year-old man has told his attorney that he does not remember much of what happened to him in the hospital. He also explained his hands’ movements near the end of his testimony. He said that he thinks the movements go on when he’s not aware as his body’s way of attempting to ease the pain and discomfort which enveloped his entire body and was not helped by medicine. He said, “There is a burning, prickling sensation of the skin. It is like my body or skin is on fire, particularly in my hands. They almost constantly feel like they are going to burst open or burn up.”

The hospital tried to settle for $150,000, but the plaintiff wanted at least $400,000 and was expected to ask for upwards of $1 million dollars if the trial eventually went to trial. Hospitals in NYC and Westchester County have watched this case carefully.
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