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January, 2017 | New Jersey Medical Malpractice Blog Archive

Settling Defendant Charge Need Not Always Be Given – Hernandez v. Chekenian, No. L-11038 14, 2016 WL 6024008, (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. July 15, 2016).

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on January 18, 2017

In a recently published decision a Trial Court addressed whether it is appropriate to give a settling defendant charge to a jury when the party in question settled prior to trial, and, was present during trial.

The matter involved a three car motor vehicle accident, in which all cars were one behind the other, in the same lane. Plaintiff was the passenger of the second (middle) car. Defendant driver of the second (middle) car settled for his policy limits prior to trial. Counsel for defendant requested that the court give the jury the settling co-defendant charge(s) regarding “Settling Defendants” and “Instructions to Jury In Cases In Which One Or More Defendants Have Settled With The Plaintiff.” Plaintiff opposed this request, the Court agreed, and no such instruction was given.

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Posted in: Medical Malpractice


Vascular Surgeon Not Qualified to Testify Against Family Practitioner Who Performed a Vascular Procedure – Afonso v. Bejjani – A-1623-15T4

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on January 13, 2017

In this matter, decided on November 29, 2016, the Appellate Division ruled on yet another malpractice case involving the application of the New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First Act (“Patients First Act”), set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-41, and, held that the plaintiff’s proposed expert testimony was correctly excluded because said expert was not a family medicine specialist like the defendant. The case arises when two family practitioners, Drs. Ricci and Bejjani, both co-defendants, performed a phlebectomy upon plaintiff. A phlebectomy is the removal of varicose veins through small puncture sited in the skin using a surgical hook. The phlebectomy was performed on both of the plaintiff’s leg, each physician taking one leg. The result included an emergency room visit by the patient, with multiple infected wounds.

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Posted in: Medical Malpractice


Federally Qualified Health Center entitled to New Jersey’s to Cap on Charitable Immunity for Hospitals – S.M. v. United States of America – CA No. 13-5702, USDC – DNJ

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on January 12, 2017

This is a medical malpractice case where the plaintiff alleged that employees of CompleteCare Health Network dba Vineland Women’s Health Center, a federally qualified health center, deviated from the standard of care when they failed to timely offer plaintiff proper prenatal screening for Down Syndrome, thereby depriving plaintiff of necessary information to make a fully informed decision as to whether or not to continue her pregnancy. S.M. was born with Down Syndrome.

One of the issues before the Court was whether CompleteCare qualified as a charitable organization under the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act (“NJCIA”), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:53A-7(a), and, was, therefore, absolutely or partially immune from liability.

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Posted in: Medical Malpractice


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