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Medical Malpractice Law

Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4950

AC44456 - Gilman v. Shames (Wrongful death; medical malpractice; bystander emotional distress; motion to dismiss; "The defendant state of Connecticut appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to dismiss the action of the plaintiff Glenn Gilman on the ground of sovereign immunity. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined that (1) the Claims Commissioner (commissioner) had waived sovereign immunity with respect to the plaintiff's claims, and (2) the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, exempted the plaintiff from the two year time limit for bringing a wrongful death action under General Statutes § 52-555. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4925

AC44065 - Williams v. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Inc. ("In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff, Christopher Williams, administrator of the estate of John Williams (decedent), appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, Peter Bertolozzi, an emergency medicine physician. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court abused its discretion by declining to admit into evidence certain excerpts from the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines, which the plaintiff argues were admissible under § 8-3 (8) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4843

SC20577 - Caverly v. State ("The decedent, James B. Caverly, died while under the medical care of the employees of the John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut Health Center. The plaintiff, Ronald G. Caverly, administrator of the decedent's estate, subsequently received authorization from the Office of the Claims Commissioner to file a medical malpractice action against the defendant, the state of Connecticut, doing business as UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital, pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 4-160 (b). The plaintiff filed the present medical malpractice action, which the state moved to dismiss on the basis of sovereign immunity. The state argued that, because the plaintiff had received a settlement payment from a joint tortfeasor in connection with the decedent's death, the plaintiff's action was barred by General Statutes § 4-160b (a), which provides that "[t]he Office of the Claims Commissioner shall not accept or pay any subrogated claim or any claim directly or indirectly paid by or assigned to a third party." The trial court denied the state's motion to dismiss on the ground that § 4-160b (a) applies only to subrogated or assigned claims and not to payments made by joint tortfeasors. We affirm the trial court's denial of the state's motion to dismiss."


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4832

AC44241 - Cockayne v. Bristol Hospital, Inc. ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the plaintiffs, Bruce Cockayne and Marion Cockayne, presented sufficient evidence in support of their claim of medical malpractice by employees of the defendant The Bristol Hospital Incorporated. Following the jury's verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendant moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and to set aside the verdict. The trial court denied these motions and rendered judgment in accordance with the jury's verdict. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied (1) its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and (2) its motion to set aside the verdict and order a new trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4830

SC20414 - Peek v. Manchester Memorial Hospital ("The defendants, Manchester Memorial Hospital and Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc., appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court and concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the action of the plaintiff, Delores Peek, was barred by the two year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 52-584. We conclude that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether the plaintiff initiated her action within two years from the date of her injury, as that term is understood in the context of § 52-584. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4802

SC20529 - Riccio v. Bristol Hospital, Inc. ("The appeal in this medical malpractice action requires us to determine whether the trial court correctly concluded that the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, did not save the otherwise time barred action of the plaintiff, Joann Riccio, executrix of the estate of Theresa Riccio, because her first medical malpractice action was dismissed due to her attorney's gross negligence for failing to file with her complaint legally sufficient medical opinion letters, as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a) and two Appellate Court decisions interpreting that statute. Specifically, we must determine whether the plaintiff met her burden of proving that her attorney's admitted failure to know of two Appellate Court decisions, issued six years before she initiated the first action, was a mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect rather than egregious conduct or gross negligence. We agree with the trial court that the plaintiff has not met her burden and, therefore, affirm its judgment.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4755

SC20455 - Fajardo v. Boston Scientific Corp. ("This appeal arises from an action in which the named plaintiff, Lesly Fajardo (Fajardo), suffered injuries related to the implantation of a transvaginal mesh sling, a medical device that is implanted in women to treat stress urinary incontinence. In this action, the plaintiffs alleged that the named defendant, Boston Scientific Corporation (Boston Scientific), defectively designed its Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System (Obtryx), a polypropylene transvaginal mesh sling, and that the product injured her in various ways after Edward Paraiso, a nonparty urologist, implanted it in her. The plaintiffs claimed, as relevant to this appeal, that Boston Scientific's sale of the Obtryx violated the Connecticut Product Liability Act, General Statutes § 52-572m et seq.

The plaintiffs also brought, inter alia, claims of negligence sounding in informed consent and misrepresentation against Fajardo's gynecologist, the defendant Lee D. Jacobs, and Jacobs' medical practice, the defendant OB-GYN of Fairfield County, P.C. (medical defendants).

. . .

On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court (1) incorrectly concluded that Jacobs did not owe a duty to procure Fajardo's informed consent to the sling procedure, (2) improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the medical defendants on the plaintiffs' misrepresentation claims, and (3) improperly failed to instruct the jury that it could find Boston Scientific liable under the Connecticut Product Liability Act if Fajardo's injuries resulted from Boston Scientific's failure to adopt a reasonable alternative design that rendered the Obtryx unreasonably dangerous. We conclude that the trial court properly rendered summary judgment in favor of the medical defendants on the informed consent and misrepresentation claims and that it properly declined to instruct the jury on the reasonable alternative design prong of the risk-utility test. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4635

AC44055 - Barnes v. Greenwich Hospital ("This appeal arises out of a medical malpractice action brought by the plaintiffs, Lori Barnes (Barnes) and Ray Barnes, against the defendants, Felice Zwas, Greenwich Hospital, and the Center for Gastrointestinal Medicine of Fairfield and Westchester, P.C. (Center for Gastrointestinal Medicine), for an injury Barnes sustained during a colonoscopy procedure. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their complaint for failure to attach a written opinion letter authored by a similar health care provider as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly granted the defendants' motions to dismiss for failure to comply with § 52-190a because the amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs as of right pursuant to Practice Book § 10-59, to remedy their prior failure to attach a written opinion letter, was filed after the statute of limitations had expired and sought to attach an opinion letter that did not exist at the time the action was commenced. We disagree with the plaintiffs' claim and affirm the judgment of the court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4574

AC42835 - Guiliano v. Jefferson Radiology, P.C. ("The plaintiff, Ronna-Marie Guiliano, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendants William S. Poole, a physician, and Jefferson Radiology, P.C. (Jefferson Radiology). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court abused its discretion by sustaining the objections of the defendants' counsel to the form of certain questions her counsel had posed to one of her expert witnesses.Additionally, the plaintiff claims that the trial court abused its discretion and violated her constitutional right of access to the courts by placing a time limit on her direct examination of a second expert witness.We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4497

AC42469, AC42493, AC42505 - Kissel v. Center for Women's Health, P.C. ("This trilogy of appeals originated when the plaintiff, Judith Kissel, sustained serious burns to her left foot during the course of an acupuncture treatment. The plaintiff commenced a medical malpractice action against the treating acupuncturist, Reed Wang, and his place of employment, the Center for Women's Health, P.C. (Center).The plaintiff subsequently filed a third-party complaint alleging a product liability claim against Health Body World Supply, Inc., also known as WABBO, the distributor of a device commonly referred to as the Miracle Lamp (heat lamp), which injured her. After a trial on both the medical malpractice and product liability claims, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on all counts, awarding her a total of $1 million in damages. Following the resolution of various postverdict motions, the court rendered judgment in accordance with the jury's verdict.

Wang, the Center, and WABBO each filed a separate appeal, docketed as AC 42469, AC 42493, and AC 42505, respectively. In AC 42469 and AC 42493, Wang and the Center claim that (1) the trial court improperly denied their motions to dismiss the medical malpractice action for failing to comply with General Statutes § 52-190a because the plaintiff failed to attach to her initial complaint an opinion letter from a similar health care provider and her efforts to cure this defect occurred outside of the limitation period, (2) the court improperly denied the request for an evidentiary hearing with respect to the jurisdictional facts related to the opinion letter, (3) the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence with respect to causation, and (4) the court improperly instructed the jury regarding expert testimony and causation. In AC 42505, WABBO claims that the court improperly denied its motions for a directed verdict and to set aside the verdict because the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence as to the element of causation. The plaintiff maintains that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed.

In AC 42469 and AC 42493, we agree with Wang and the Center that the court improperly denied their motions to dismiss the plaintiff's medical malpractice complaint as a result of her failure to attach the requisite opinion letter to the complaint and to cure this defect by the expiration of the statute of limitations. In AC 42505, we conclude that the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence with respect to her product liability complaint. The court, therefore, properly denied WABBO's motions for a directed verdict and to set aside the verdict. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment with respect to Wang and the Center on the medical malpractice claims, and affirm the judgment with respect to the product liability claims.")



Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4263

AC42948 - LaPierre v. Mandell & Blau, M.D.'s, P.C. ("The plaintiff, Joseph H. LaPierre III, successor executor of the estate of Isabella LaPierre (decedent), appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his action against the defendants, Mandell & Blau, M.D.'s, P.C., doing business as Open MRI of Connecticut, and physicians Alisa Siegfeld, Neal D. Barkoff and Richard Glisson, for lack of personal jurisdiction based on his failure to attach to his complaint an opinion letter from a similar health care provider as required by General Statutes § 52-190a. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in its determination because the complaint sounded in ordinary negligence, not medical malpractice, and therefore was outside the scope of § 52-190a.We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4238

AC42951 - Vaccaro v. Loscalzo ("The plaintiffs, Enrico Vaccaro (Attorney Vaccaro), acting as the administrator of the estate of Marie J. Vaccaro (decedent), and Enrico F. Vaccaro, the now deceased husband of Marie J. Vaccaro, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing for failure to prosecute with due diligence their substitute complaint against the defendants, Christopher P. Loscalzo, Cardiology Associates of New Haven, P.C., Yale Medical Group, Yale University School of Medicine, and Yale New Haven Hospital, Inc. The plaintiffs claim that the court abused its discretion in dismissing the substitute complaint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4097

AC42145 - Carpenter v. Daar (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction; "The plaintiff, Shane J. Carpenter, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court dismissing his medical malpractice action against the defendants, Dr. Bradley J. Daar (Daar), a dentist, and his business entity, Shoreline Modern Dental, LLC (Shoreline). The plaintiff claims that the court erred in determining that his certificate of good faith, specifically, the accompanying opinion letter, as supplemented by an affidavit filed with the plaintiff's objection to the motion to dismiss, (supplemental affidavit) failed to meet the requirements of General Statutes § 52-190a because the author of the opinion letter and supplemental affidavit, Dr. Charles S. Solomon (Solomon), was not a "similar health care provider" as defined in General Statutes § 52-184c.

The defendants counter that the certificate of good faith and its accompanying opinion letter did not demonstrate that Solomon was a similar health care provider under the definitions set forth in § 52-184c. They further assert, as alternative grounds for affirmance of the trial court's judgment, that the supplemental affidavit should not have been considered by the trial court because (1) it was procedurally improper for the plaintiff to have attempted to cure a § 52-190a (a) defect in an opinion letter attached to the complaint with information contained in a supplemental affidavit of the author of the opinion without amending the complaint; (2) it was obtained and submitted by the plaintiff after the two year statute of limitations in General Statutes § 52-584 had expired, and the court failed to state a factual basis to support the applicability of the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592, which would have extended the statute of limitations for an additional year from the date the judgment of dismissal was entered in the first action; see General Statutes § 52-190a (a); and (3) without the supplemental affidavit, the opinion letter attached to the complaint did not contain sufficient information to demonstrate that Solomon is a similar health care provider to Daar under either definition of a similar health care provider set forth in § 52-184c. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4076

AC42581 - Labissoniere v. Gaylord Hospital, Inc. (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; subject matter jurisdiction; "This appeal arises out of a medical malpractice action brought by the plaintiffs, George Labissoniere and Helen Civale, coexecutors of the estate of Robert Labissoniere (decedent), against the defendants, internal medicine physicians, Moe Kyaw, Madhuri Gadiyaram, and Eileen Ramos (collectively, physicians), and their employers, Gaylord Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Sound Physicians of Connecticut, LLC (Sound Physicians). The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their claims for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to General Statutes § 52-190a. The plaintiffs' central claim on appeal is that the court erred in concluding that the physicians were internists acting within their specialty when they treated the decedent. The plaintiffs therefore assert that the trial court erred in concluding that the opinion letter attached to their complaint, which was written by a surgeon, failed to meet the personal jurisdictional requirement of § 52-190a and the allegations of the complaint did not satisfy the personal jurisdictional exception provided by General Statutes § 52-184c (c). We reject the plaintiffs' claim. Sound Physicians argues on appeal, as an alternative ground for affirmance, that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claim against it because it was not a legal entity at the time that the decedent was treated at the hospital. We disagree that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. We therefore affirm the judgment dismissing the action for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4012

SC20170 - Georges v. OB-GYN Services, P.C. (Final Judgment; Medical Malpractice; "The defendants, OB-GYN Services, P.C., and Brenda Gilmore, appealed from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff Marie Leoma and the named plaintiff, Jenniyah Georges, Leoma's minor daughter, on certain medical malpractice claims. The Appellate Court, however, granted in part the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely and denied the defendants' motion to suspend the rules of practice to permit a late appeal. On appeal to this court, the defendants claim that the Appellate Court (1) improperly granted the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss the portion of the appeal challenging the jury's verdict as untimely, and (2) abused its discretion in denying their motion to suspend the rules of practice to permit a late appeal. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3952

SC20344 - Wolfork v. Yale Medical Group ("The defendants, Yale Medical Group, Yale School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc., and Yale New Haven Health System, appeal from the order of the trial court granting the motion of the substitute plaintiff, Damian Pisani (Pisani), to open and vacate the trial court's final judgment of dismissal for failure to prosecute the present action with reasonable diligence under Practice Book § 14-3. The defendants contend that the trial court improperly opened the judgment pursuant to General Statutes § 52-212 and Practice Book § 17-43 because (1) Pisani was not a party to the action and, therefore, lacked standing, (2) the motion was not verified by oath, did not demonstrate that a good cause of action existed, and did not establish reasonable cause to excuse the failure to prosecute the action with reasonable diligence, and (3) "there [was] absolutely no claim of fraud on the part of the present defendants." We dismiss the defendants' appeal in part because we conclude that appellate jurisdiction exists only with respect to the defendants' challenge to the subject matter jurisdiction of the trial court to open the judgment on the ground of Pisani's alleged lack of standing. We reject the defendants' standing claim and, therefore, uphold the trial court's determination with respect to the issue of standing.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3941

SC20225 - Farrell v. Johnson & Johnson ("This certified appeal requires us to consider (1) when exhibits that otherwise would constitute inadmissible hearsay may be admitted to prove notice on the part of the defendant, Brian J. Hines, and (2) whether the tort of innocent misrepresentation extends to communications made by a physician during the provision of medical services. The plaintiffs, Mary Beth Farrell and Vincent Farrell, appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendants Hines and Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery, LLC, on numerous tort claims, including informed consent, innocent misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation, following an unsuccessful pelvic mesh surgery on Mary Beth. Farrell v. Johnson & Johnson, 184 Conn. App. 685, 688, 195 A.3d 1152 (2018). On appeal, the plaintiffs challenge the Appellate Court's conclusions that the trial court properly (1) excluded two medical journal articles from evidence as hearsay when they had been offered to prove notice, and (2) directed a verdict for the defendants on their innocent misrepresentation claims. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3894

SC20256 - Kos v. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (Medical malpractice; loss of consortium; "In this medical malpractice case, the plaintiffs, Laura Kos and Michael Kos, appeal following the trial court's denial of their motion to set aside the jury's verdict in favor of the defendants Elisa Marie Girard and Physicians for Women's Health, LLC, on the ground that the trial court improperly instructed the jury by (1) including a charge on the acceptable alternatives doctrine, and (2) limiting their allegations regarding Girard's breach of the standard of care. Alternatively, they request that this court abolish the acceptable alternatives doctrine. Although we agree with the plaintiffs that the trial court improperly instructed the jury on the doctrine of acceptable alternatives, because we find this error harmless and because we decline to take this opportunity to abolish the acceptable alternatives doctrine, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3887

AC41997 - Young v. Hartford Hospital (Medical malpractice; certificate of good faith and opinion required by statute (§ 52-190a) for negligence action against health care provider, discussed; "The plaintiff, Wendy Young, appeals from the trial court's judgment dismissing her complaint against the defendant, Hartford Hospital, for her failure to provide a certificate of good faith pursuant to General Statutes § 52-190a. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in determining that her complaint sounded only in medical malpractice and, consequently, dismissing her complaint for failure to file an accompanying certificate of good faith as required for medical malpractice claims by § 52-190a. We agree.")