On July 16, 2021, an appellate court that hears appeals from Oneida County Supreme Court, ruled that there was a narrow exception to the general rule adopted by the New York Court of Appeals in 1889 that, “no one shall be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong” using the Courts. In January 2015 a 21 year old Utica resident was taken to Faxton St.Luke's Hospital by the police for a psychiatric evaluation after family members reported he had threatened them and killed a dog. Within a few hours after Paul Bumbolo was evaluated and discharged by St. Luke's Hospital, he went home and stabbed to death his adoptive mother/aunt, uncle and sister.
Bumbolo's criminal defense team successfully convinced the District Attorney and criminal court to accept his “plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.” He was then remanded to a state psychiatric institution for an indefinite time. Based on these facts the Oneida County Supreme Court denied the hospital's motion to dismiss Bumbolo's medical malpractice suit against Faxton St.Luke's Hospital. As affirmed by the appellate court last week, the general rule precluding claims by wrongdoer's was not applicable where “the record establishes that the wrongdoer is not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.” Bumbolo v Faxton St. Luke's Hospital, 2021 NY Slip Op 04429