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August, 2012 | New Jersey Medical Malpractice Blog Archive

Wilson vs. City of Jersey City: (911 Operator Negligence)

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on August 6, 2012

On remand from the NJ Supreme Court, the Appellate Division upheld, in its June 28, 2012 decision, a trial court Order entering summary judgment in favor of the defendant for its negligence in handling a 9-1-1 call. The Court ruled that while the 911 operators were clearly negligent, they are immune from liability pursuant to NJSA 52:17C-10(d) which requires that a plaintiff prove “a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.” That requirement was not met, based upon the evidence in the Wilson case. Going forward, a 911 operator and his/her employer are not liable for mere negligence under the statute, and, can only be responsible if they acted with a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of others.

Murray vs. Plainfield Rescue Squad: (Rescue Squad Negligence)

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on August 3, 2012

Decided by the Supreme Court of New Jersey on July 1, 2012, holds that while NJSA 26:2K-29 immunizes EMTs, officers and members of a first aid, ambulance or rescue liable for civil damages as a result of their negligence in providing intermediate life support services in good faith, the plain language of the statute does not afford such immunity to the rescue squad itself as an entity. Therefore, in this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the dismissal of the rescue squad from the matter on summary judgment was in error, and, that decision was reversed.

Radbill v. Mascolo, A-4658-10T4 – Improper Use of Non-Testifying Physician’s Office Notes

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on August 2, 2012

In a personal injury action where the plaintiff claimed he required surgery for a herniated lumbar disk, defense counsel attempted to use an office note of a physician during cross-examine of a plaintiff’s recollection about prior complaints of lower back pain. The note had L5 circled for nine different office visits. Neither the physician nor anyone from his staff was called to testify about the note. Plaintiff also testified that the notes did not refresh his recollection. In addition, the note did not contain any statements attributable to the plaintiff. Read the rest »

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