Medical malpractice lawsuit reopens against New York hospital

A state appellate panel revived a medical malpractice lawsuit against North Shore University Hospital in New York due to conflicting evidence. According to the four-judge Second Department panel, the trial judge should not have dismissed the case as medical records contradicted the expert witness testimony submitted by the hospital.

Plaintiff Joseph Kleinman sued North Shore University Hospital and surgeon George DeNoto after he developed abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) following a complicated, five-hour hernia operation in 2009. The condition involves the buildup of pressure inside an enclosed muscle space. The plaintiff accused the hospital of failing to make a timely and proper diagnosis of his ACS.

The hospital’s expert witness, a board-certified surgeon, claimed that Kleinman did not have ACS following his surgery. However, medical records indicated otherwise. In addition, the court said DeNoto had electronically signed the patient’s discharge summary, which showed that he had ACS. Due to the contradictory testimony, the appellate panel said the hospital was not entitled to summary judgment in the medical malpractice lawsuit.

Furthermore, Kleinman alleged that he suffered various injuries because DeNoto failed to inform him of the potential risks associated with the surgery he performed. He also claimed the surgeon did not advise him about alternative surgical procedures. However, the court said the hospital’s witness failed to demonstrate that the informed consent DeNoto received from Kleinman met the appropriate standard of care for that particular type of surgery.