NYC Surgeon Must Stand Trial For The Death of 52 Year Old Patient

On July 5, 2023, an appellate court covering appeals from Queens County, Nee York, Supreme Court agreed that a surgeon claimed to have caused the death of his 52 year old patient must present his defenses at a jury trial. The plaintiff's decedent was admitted to the emergency room of the defendant Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ) due to complaints of abdominal pain. The decedent, who was self employed as a mechanic, was diagnosed with a high grade small bowel obstruction and the defendant Stephen Litvak, M.D. performed surgery to treat a hernia. The decedent was discharged from the hospital six days later. The next day after discharge, "the decedent returned to the hospital with a complaint that a suture line from the surgery had opened. Dr. Litvak then performed a second surgery, and during that procedure, the decedent vomited while under general anesthesia, resulting in his death due to pulmonary aspiration."

Suit was filed for medical malpractice and wrongful death. After all parties were deposed, both LIJ and Dr. Litvak moved to dismiss the case to avoid a jury trial. Both defendant's appealed an order denying their motions for summary judgment to dismiss. The plaintiff claimed that the premature discharge and inadequate care during the first admission led to the decedent's deteriorating condition requiring a second surgery during which her husband died. The plaintiff's expert raised questions of fact requiring a jury trial: 1) failing to recognize signs of infection during the first admission (rapid heart rate and high white blood cell count); 2) prematurely discharging the decedent without post-operative instructions to limit his diet - all of which caused the need for the second admission and second surgery resulting in the decedent's premature death. Balgobind v Long Is. Jewish Med. Ctr., 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 03673

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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