Settlement of 2009 Malpractice Claim Does Not Include Incident Suffered 4 Years Later At Same Hospital

On August 1, 2018, the appellate court covering Queens County ruled that a general release signed in 2014 to settle a malpractice suit arising out of an incident in 2009, does not effectuate a release to the same hospital for a second incident of malpractice occurring in 2013. In October 2009 the plaintiff underwent an endoscopic procedure at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) and suffered a perforated duodenum. Suit was filed in July 2010. In July 2013 (while the first malpractice suit was still pending) the plaintiff suffered a seizure while admitted to NSUH again for cardiac complaints causing him to fall out of the hospital bed fracturing his hip.

In June 2014, the first action was settled with the standard general release stating that all claims against NSUH that he may have "from the beginning of the world to the day of the date of this RELEASE" -- were released. The release did not state whether it included or excluded the 2013 incident. Obviously, the best practice is to be specific and avoid the uncertainty that followed.

When the second action was filed in 2016for the incident in July 2013, NSUH successfully persuaded Justice O'Donoghue to dismiss the malpractice action on the ground that the settlement of June 2014 necessarily included the incident of July 2013 when plaintiff fractured his hip due to a fall. The Second Department reversed the lower court finding that: "While a broad general release will be given effect regardless of the parties' unexpressed intentions, such release may not be read to cover matters which the parties did not intend to cover." Chiappone v NSUH, 2018 WL 3638922

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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