ER Doctor/Hospital Must Stand Trial Even Though Patient Left Hospital Against Medical Advice

On December 23, 2016, an upstate intermediate Appellate Court held that just because a patient leaves the hospital against the advice of the ER physician doesn't mean the hospital is immune from suit. The plaintiff sought compensation for the partial amputation of two frostbitten fingers which happened shortly after he left the hospital. The plaintiff had signed a form releasing the hospital from liability because the patient was leaving the hospital against medical advice. Two hours later the police found the plaintiff outdoors, freezing and disoriented.  The Court reasoned that since the claim was that the hospital and ER doctor had allegedly committed malpractice in the assessment of his condition before the plaintiff signed the form and left--a jury should decide this case. Ingutti v Rochester General Hospital (2016)

New York's highest level appellate court, the Court of Appeals has recently held that patient's who come to the hospital voluntarily may not be involuntarily restrained just because they are intoxicated. Nor can a patient be involuntarily "confined simply because he was having suicidal thoughts a month ago." As such when a hospital lacks the statutory authority under Mental Hygiene Law Section 22.09 to involuntarily detain a patient, there can be no such duty or obligation owed by the hospital to the patient. Kowalsi v St. Francis Hosp. (2013)

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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