New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Gets Losing Verdict Overturned

Staff Writer | June 6th, 2013

New York Medical Malpractice Attorney On May 15th, 2013, a New York medical malpractice attorney won an appeal to have a verdict against his client, Teresa Porcelli, overturned due to improper conduct by the judge trying the case. The judgment, entered on November 29th, 2011 by Westchester County Supreme Court judge Mary Smith, indicated that a jury found the defendant not liable for injuries caused to the plaintiff’s child during delivery and neonatal care.

According to an order issued by the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, the judgment was reversed as a matter of law and the case was sent back to Westchester for a new trial before a different judge. The appeals court also reversed a January 2012 judgment dismissing a vicarious liability complaint against the hospital where the injuries occurred.

Plaintiff alleges doctor negligence and flawed hospital policy

On November 14th, 2000, Teresa Porcelli gave birth to a daughter at the Northern Westchester Hospital Center. The doctors observed that thin meconium, a sticky waste product found in the infant GI system that is usually expelled shortly after birth, was present upon delivery, and the infant’s nose and mouth were suctioned to remove the fluid in order to prevent respiratory distress and infection. After delivery, the physician Melissa Tsai intubated the infant in order to check for meconium in the trachea.

Porcelli alleges that this medical procedure was unnecessary and that it resulted in severe injuries to her daughter, including a pharyngeal tear which caused infection and permanent injuries. The baby suffered from severe respiratory problems and had to undergo several surgical procedures, including a major chest surgery called a thoracotomy. Porcelli’s lawsuit accuses Tsai of doctor negligence and also holds the hospital liable for her actions and for setting a general policy that was likely to cause harm.

NY medical malpractice attorney appeals decision

Porcelli’s lawsuit did not go in her favor, and the jury found that Dr. Tsai did not depart from accepted medical practice. Her attorney filed an appeal, alleging that Justice Smith had made several errors during the trial that merited a reversal of the verdict and a second trial. The Appellate Division agreed, citing “injudicious remarks” and “a propensity to interrupt, patronize, and admonish the plaintiff’s counsel” on the part of the judge. As a result of the cumulative effect of the judge’s conduct, the Appellate Division concluded, the plaintiff was deprived of a fair trial, and the jury was not able to weigh the issues at hand in a “fair, calm, and unprejudiced manner.”

Talk to a lawyer about a medical malpractice lawsuit

If doctor negligence has harmed or injured you or someone you love, you have the legal right to seek compensation at a fair trial before an impartial judge. An experienced New York medical malpractice attorney can defend that right and help you and your family recover damages to the fullest extent of the law. The attorneys at The Sanders Firm have the expertise needed to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.