Anesthesiologist Ordered To Be Retried On Wrongful Death Malpractice Suit

Though a Nassau County jury had exonerated an anesthesiologist sued for malpractice and the wrongful death of his patient, yesterday an Appellate Court threw out the defense verdict and gave the patient's family a new trial. The reason the family was entitled to a new trial was because of an error by the trial judge in advising the jury that since the doctor was faced with an emergency situation, he should not be faulted "if it later appears that he did not make the safest choice or exercise the best judgment." The trial judge told the jury just before they decided the case that: " A mistake in judgment or wrong choice of action is not negligence if the person is required to act quickly because of danger." The Appellate Court explained that this instruction to the jury was unfair because the anesthesiologist "was trained and prepared for the specific emergency."

Prior to her death, the patient had a breathing tube placed thru her windpipe that became clogged with secretions. Once the patient's oxygen saturation levels dropped to the low 60's the anesthesiologist was called in who conferred with the ENT who performed the tracheotomy. The ENT advised the anesthesiologist to remove the breathing tube and replace it with a new one. The anesthesiologist delayed and attempted other conservative measures before he successfully removed and replaced the clogged tube within 30 seconds. Unfortunately, the patient passed away shortly thereafter due to the delay. The "emergency situation" principle of law was inapplicable according to the Appellate Division, Second Department, since the anesthesiologist had admitted at trial that "creating airways for patient's is what anesthesiologists do." Crayton v. Sher, 2018 WL 6519352, December 12, 2018

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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