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Lawsuit claiming doctor errors wins appeal

For many people in New York and across the country, the knowledge that they have a tumor creates turmoil and stress. They rely on their doctors and other medical care providers to help them understand their treatment options. Most expect that doctors will pursue the most effective, but least invasive forms of treatment. However, a lawsuit filed in another state claims that doctor errors resulted in an unnecessary surgery that caused brain damage due to a stroke.

The incident happened in 2011 when the plaintiff was only 15 years old. His lawsuit claims that he suffered from a tumor on his pituitary gland. While he argues that a simple blood test would have revealed that his tumor could have been treated without surgery, the doctor treating him allegedly failed to conduct the test; however, the test was administered after surgery and indicated that other treatment methods would have been appropriate. The surgery reportedly resulted in a stroke that the plaintiff claims caused permanent and debilitating injuries, including blindness. The defendants argue that the patient was appropriately informed about the surgery and agreed to it.

The defendants -- the doctor who treated him and the hospital -- claim that the lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations expired. While the lawsuit argues that the plaintiff is incompetent, a doctor who examined him on behalf of the defendants disagrees, prompting an argument that the statute of limitations expired either three years after treatment or when the plaintiff turned 19. Representatives for the injured patient argue that he is, in fact, incompetent, and, as a result, the statute of limitations has not expired because a a guardian was not appointed until Dec. 2015. A Court of Appeals has recently ruled that additional evidence needs to be gathered to determine the actual date, reversing a lower court judge's decisions that it had.

Unfortunately, victims of doctor errors that result in brain damage can face lifelong consequences. Because of their injuries, they often require extensive care and are unable to work. To help ensure that they receive proper care, many in New York choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the parties deemed responsible.

Source: fayobserver.com, "Patient granted hearing in brain-damage lawsuit", Paul Woolverton, Jan. 2, 2018

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