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Medical Malpractice Law

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.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3825

AC39564 - Barnes v. Connecticut Podiatry Group, P.C. (Medical malpractice; motion to preclude expert testimony; motion for summary judgment; "In this medical malpractice action, the substitute plaintiff, Sherry West Barnes, administratrix of the estate of Kenneth Barnes (administratrix), appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Connecticut Podiatry Group, P.C., and Marc Daddio, a doctor of podiatric medicine. On appeal, the administratrix claims that (1) the court, A. Robinson, J., erred in precluding Barnes from disclosing additional experts, and (2) the court, Lager, J., erred in (a) adhering to Judge Robinson's order precluding Barnes from disclosing additional experts, (b) precluding the expert opinions of Barnes' disclosed expert, and (c) rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the summary judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3632

SC19977 - Traylor v. State ("This appeal arises from the most recent in a series of civil actions that the plaintiff, Sylvester Traylor, has brought in state and federal court relating to the suicide of his wife, Roberta Mae Traylor (Roberta). The plaintiff, who is self-represented, brought the present case against the defendants, who are (1) the state of Connecticut, numerous current and former Superior Court judges, and the Appellate Court (state defendants); (2) Roberta's treating psychiatrist, Bassam Awwa, and his employer, Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates, P.C. (Awwa defendants); and (3) Robert Knowles and Neil Knowles, and their business, Advanced Telemessaging (Knowles defendants). The plaintiff now appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Moll, J., rendered in accordance with its granting of the defendants' motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that General Statutes § 52-190a, which requires a plaintiff to append a good faith certificate and supporting opinion letter to the complaint in cases of medical negligence, is unconstitutional. Although the plaintiff fully briefed his attack on the constitutionality of § 52-190a, we cannot reach the merits of that claim because of his failure to challenge the trial court's threshold conclusions that his claims against all of the defendants are barred by, inter alia, the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Accordingly, 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=3568

AC40716 - Scott v. CCMC Faculty Practice Plan, Inc. (Medical malpractice; "The plaintiff, Brandon Scott, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a jury trial, in favor of the defendants, Paul Kanev, a neurosurgeon, and CCMC Faculty Practice Plan, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) improperly permitted the defendants to introduce evidence that the plaintiff's pain substantially resolved due to a syrinx that had developed within his spinal cord to establish a reduction in damages (syrinx evidence), and (2) erred when it failed to instruct the jury with respect to such evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3507

SC20052 - Ashmore v. Hartford Hospital ("In this wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice, the named defendant, Hartford Hospital, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, which denied a motion for remittitur after a jury awarded $1.2 million in noneconomic damages to the named plaintiff, Marjorie Ashmore, as the administratrix of the estate of the decedent, her late husband William Ashmore, and $4.5 million to the plaintiff for her own loss of spousal consortium. The defendant contends that, in the absence of exceptional or unusual circumstances that are not applicable in this case, a loss of consortium award ordinarily should not substantially exceed the corresponding wrongful death award to the directly injured spouse. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3340

AC40462 - Caron v. Connecticut Pathology Group, P.C. ("This appeal arises out of a medical malpractice action brought by the plaintiffs . . . against the defendant . . . after a false positive cancer diagnosis. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their complaint against the defendant for failure to attach to their complaint a legally sufficient opinion letter authored by a similar health care provider as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a). On appeal, the plaintiffs, who attached to their complaint an opinion letter authored by a board certified clinical pathologist, claim that the court found that anatomic pathology is a medical specialty distinct from clinical pathology and, on the basis of that finding and the allegations in the complaint, improperly determined that the plaintiffs were required to submit an opinion letter authored by a board certified anatomic pathologist. We disagree and conclude that the court properly granted the defendant's motion to dismiss. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3309

AC40142 - Wood v. Rutherford (Battery; "This case concerns the conduct of a physician who discovered a complication during a postoperative examination. The plaintiff, Lauren Wood, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of her August 25, 2015 amended complaint, which alleged one count of battery and one count of negligent infliction of emotional distress against the defendant, Thomas J. Rutherford, M.D. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that those counts sounded in medical malpractice and, thus, required compliance with General Statutes § 52-190a. The plaintiff also challenges the propriety of the summary judgment rendered by the court on her February 8, 2016 revised complaint, which alleged that the defendant failed to obtain her informed consent before embarking on a course of treatment for a complication discovered during a postoperative examination. We agree with the plaintiff that the court improperly dismissed the battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress counts of her August 25, 2015 amended complaint, as those counts were predicated on an alleged lack of informed consent. We further conclude that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether a substantial change in circumstances occurred during the course of medical treatment that necessitated a further informed consent discussion between the parties, rendering summary judgment inappropriate. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3189

SC19619, SC19749 - Angersola v. Radiologic Associates of Middletown, P.C. ("The plaintiffs in this wrongful death action, Susan Angersola and Kathleen Thurz, coexecutors of the estate of the decedent, Patricia Sienkiewicz, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, which granted the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants, Radiologic Associates of Middletown, P.C. (Radiologic Associates), Robert Wolek, Middlesex Hospital, Shoreline Surgical Associates, P.C. (Shoreline), and Eileen Tobin, on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to commence their action within the five year repose period of General Statutes § 52-555, this state's wrongful death statute. The plaintiffs first claim that the trial court incorrectly concluded that compliance with that repose provision is a prerequisite to the court's jurisdiction over the action. They further claim that the trial court improperly resolved disputed jurisdictional facts without affording them an opportunity either to engage in limited discovery or to present evidence in connection with their contention that the repose period had been tolled by the continuing course of conduct doctrine or the continuing course of treatment doctrine. Although we reject the plaintiffs' jurisdictional claim, we agree with their second claim insofar as the continuing course of conduct doctrine is concerned. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's judgment.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3129

SC19804 - Gagliano v. Advanced Specialty Care, P.C. ("The primary issue in this medical malpractice action is whether there was sufficient evidence from which the jury reasonably could have found that the defendant surgical resident, Venkata Bodavula, was an actual agent of the defendant hospital, Danbury Hospital, when he negligently performed a surgical procedure under the supervision of a member of the hospital's clinical faculty who was also the plaintiff's private physician. Upon our grant of certification, Vivian Gagliano (plaintiff) and her husband, Philip Gagliano (collectively, plaintiffs), appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the trial court's judgment, in part, as to the hospital's vicarious liability for Bodavula's negligence. We conclude that the trial court properly determined that there was sufficient evidence to establish such an agency relationship, and that imposing vicarious liability on the hospital for Bodavula's actions was not improper.")


Medical Malpractice Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3122

SC19935 - Levin v. State (Motion to strike; notice of claim to claims commissioner for permission to file action against state for medical malpractice pursuant to statute (§ 4-160 [b]); sovereign immunity; "The sole question presented in this appeal is whether an action authorized by the claims commissioner, limited to medical malpractice, may survive a motion to strike where the plaintiff was not a patient of the defendant, as required by Jarmie v. Troncale, 306 Conn. 578, 587, 50 A.3d 802 (2012). The plaintiff, Jill K. Levin, administratrix of the estate of Margaret Rohner (decedent), appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, the state of Connecticut, after the trial court granted the defendant's motion to strike.The plaintiff argues that Jarmie does not control in the present case because she is not alleging medical malpractice but, rather, "medical negligence," resulting from the care, treatment, and custody of a patient, and from a failure to warn the decedent of the patient's dangerous propensities. Simultaneously, the plaintiff asserts that there is no meaningful difference between her negligence claim and the medical malpractice claim presented to, and authorized by, the claims commissioner. The defendant counters that the trial court properly struck the plaintiff's claim under Jarmie, because it is a medical malpractice action filed by a nonpatient plaintiff. Alternatively, the defendant contends that, even if the plaintiff's claim is one sounding in negligence, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the claims commissioner granted permission to bring an action only for medical malpractice. We agree with the defendant and affirm the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant rendered following the granting of the defendant's motion to strike.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3045

AC39559 - Peters v. United Community & Family Services, Inc. (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; sufficiency of opinion letter authored by similar health care provider; "With the intent to deter the filing of frivolous medical malpractice actions, our legislature in 1986 adopted General Statutes § 52-190a, which makes malpractice actions subject to dismissal unless the plaintiff obtains and attaches to the complaint an opinion letter written and signed by a similar health care provider indicating that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence. The meaning and application of this requirement itself has spawned extensive litigation since its enactment. This appeal is the latest iteration of this judicial journey.

The plaintiff, Steven V. Peters, Jr., commenced the underlying action for monetary damages arising out of the alleged negligent performance of maxillofacial surgery. He appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing, pursuant to § 52-190a (c), count three of his action directed against the defendant, Edward Reynolds, Jr., DDS, because the opinion letter that the plaintiff attached to the complaint failed to provide that its author is board certified by the appropriate American board in the same specialty as the defendant. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the trial court improperly relied on this court's decision in Gonzales v. Langdon, 161 Conn. App. 497, 128 A.3d 562 (2015), as the basis for its decision to reject the affidavit that he attached to his response to the motion to dismiss, in which he sought to clarify the credentials of the opinion letter's author. We conclude that, because the plaintiff's attempt to cure the defect in the opinion letter came after the relevant statute of limitations had run, the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss on the basis of an inadequate opinion letter. Accordingly, 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=3025

AC39681 - Labissoniere v. Gaylord Hospital, Inc. (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; sufficiency of opinion letter authored by similar health care provider; "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, physicians Moe Kyaw, Madhuri Gadiyaram, and Eileen Ramos (physicians), and their employer, Gaylord Hospital, Inc. (hospital). The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred by (1) failing to apply the appropriate legal standard for a motion to dismiss, and (2) determining that the author of the plaintiffs' opinion letter was not a similar health care provider on the basis of their related claim that they had alleged that the defendants were acting outside of their medical specialty such that their conduct should be judged against the standard of care applicable to that specialty. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=2997

AC39343 - Ugalde v. Saint Mary's Hospital, Inc. (Medical malpractice; "In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff, Maria Ugalde, administratrix of the estate of Richard Ugalde (decedent), appeals from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Saint Mary's Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Shady Macaron, M.D. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred (1) in dismissing her claim against the hospital for failure to file a legally sufficient opinion letter authored by a similar health care provider, as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a); and (2) in denying her motion to reargue the denial of her motion to set aside the judgment of nonsuit that had been rendered against her in favor of Macaron for her failure to comply with discovery requests. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=860

AC39325 - Doyle v. Aspen Dental of Southern CT, PC (Dental malpractice; motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction; "This appeal arises out of a dental malpractice action brought by the plaintiffs, Kate L. Doyle and Brendan Doyle, against the defendants, Aspen Dental of Southern CT, PC, and Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (Aspen Dental), and Brandon Kang, DDS, in connection with a dental implant procedure performed by Kang. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court dismissing her action against the defendant on the basis of her failure to comply with General Statutes § 52-190a (a), which required the plaintiff to attach to her complaint an opinion letter authored by a "similar health care provider," as defined in General Statutes § 52-184c (c). On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court erred in concluding that the opinion letter written by a general dentist was not authored by a "similar health care provider" and that an opinion letter from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon was required instead. In support of this claim, the plaintiff alleges that she had no method of discovering or verifying that the defendant was an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in addition to being a licensed general dentist because there was no authentic public record from which the plaintiff could have determined that the defendant had training and experience as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. We conclude that the court properly determined that because the defendant did, in fact, have training and experience in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery, the opinion letter submitted by the plaintiff was not authored by a "similar health care provider." Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Attorney Misconduct Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=761

AC39856 - Picard v. Guilford House, LLC ("This matter comes before this court on a writ of error brought by the plaintiff in error, Linda Lehmann, former attorney for the plaintiff in the underlying action, Angela Picard. The plaintiff in error challenges the order of the trial court, Miller, J. imposing financial sanctions upon her for misconduct while conducting an out-of-state deposition in the underlying action. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the challenged sanctions. Accordingly, we dismiss the writ of error.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=666

AC38224 - Wilkins v. Connecticut Child Birth & Women’s Center (Medical malpractice; "In this medical negligence action, the plaintiff Kristin Wilkins appeals from judgments in two cases, which were consolidated for trial, in favor of the defendant Women's Health Associates, P.C. On appeal, she argues that the court abused its discretion in submitting a threshold jury interrogatory and in framing its answer to a question from the jury regarding that interrogatory, and, therefore, the jury verdict, returned in the defendant's favor, should be set aside and a new trial should be ordered. We disagree and, accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


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