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Beyond Doctors: Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in NYC?

Beyond Doctors: Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in NYC?

Medical mistakes cause serious harm to patients every year. When substandard medical care results in injuries or death, victims have the right to hold the responsible parties accountable. But who exactly can be sued for medical malpractice? While physicians are the most obvious defendants, others can also be legally liable under certain circumstances in New York City.

Medical Malpractice Basics in NYC

To successfully win a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, the patient must prove:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed, creating a duty of care
  • The medical provider breached their duty through an act of negligence or error
  • The breach directly caused quantifiable injury or harm
  • Damages resulted, such as additional medical costs, lost wages, or pain and suffering

Per New York statute §214-a, the patient has 2.5 years from the date of malpractice to file the lawsuit. Experienced NYC medical malpractice attorneys can determine if a case meets these criteria.

Parties Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice

While physicians are most commonly sued, other parties involved in patient care can also be named in New York medical malpractice suits.


Any licensed medical doctor, including:

  • Attending physicians overseeing care
  • Specialists like surgeons, OBGYNs, and radiologists
  • Residents and interns if care delegated
  • On-call or covering physicians

Liability depends on whether acceptable standards of care were breached.

Nurses and Other Medical Staff

If injury is caused by the negligence of:

  • Registered nurses (RNs)
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs)
  • Physician assistants (PAs)
  • Phlebotomists, technicians, or other ancillary staff

They can also be sued for malpractice in NYC. Like doctors, they have a duty of care.


Hospitals may be sued if injury is linked to:

  • Negligent hiring, training, or supervision of staff
  • Providing outdated or faulty equipment
  • Poor policy implementation
  • They can also face vicarious liability for negligence by personnel.

Medical Corporations and Groups

Larger entities like medical groups and corporations can be sued for malpractice committed by member doctors during business operations, depending on employer-contractor status. Independent contractors may limit liability.

There are also other more unique scenarios in which non-medical individuals or entities could potentially be sued, such as:

  • Medical equipment manufacturers
  • Pharmacists who improperly fill prescriptions
  • Laboratory technicians who mix up testing orders
  • Admins responsible for obtaining consent forms
  • Referring physicians who recommend unqualified specialists

The common thread is that medical malpractice lawsuits aim to hold all responsible parties legally accountable for preventable patient harm. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys can advise on viable defendants. With thorough investigation and representation, patients or surviving families in NYC can pursue rightful compensation through the courts.

Common Medical Malpractice Claims in NYC

Certain types of errors arise frequently in NYC medical malpractice litigation:

  • Surgical mistakes – This includes errors like operating on the wrong site, leaving foreign objects inside patients after surgery, or botching procedures.
  • Failure to diagnose – Not ordering proper tests or incorrectly interpreting test results can allow diseases like cancer to progress untreated.
  • Medication errors – Prescribing the wrong drug or dose leads to many adverse events. Giving medications that interact dangerously or ignoring allergies are common errors.
  • Childbirth injuries – Improper use of medications or force, failure to perform C-sections when needed, and other mistakes can harm mothers and babies during childbirth.
  • Nursing home abuse – Neglecting to provide basic care or safety results in many lawsuits against NYC elder care facilities.

Identifying the specific breach in the duty of care is key in proving valid malpractice claims.

Damages Available in NYC Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

If malpractice plaintiffs prove their case in court, damages available under New York law include:

  • Economic damages – Reimbursement for quantifiable monetary losses like past and future medical costs, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, lost wages, and other healthcare expenses.
  • Non-economic damages – Compensation for more intangible losses like pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other hardships stemming from malpractice injuries.
  • Punitive damages – In cases of gross negligence or egregious misconduct, additional punitive damages may be awarded as punishment. NYC caps these at $250,000 or double the compensation award.

Economic damages must be proven through evidence, while non-economic damages are subjective based on impact to quality of life.

Special Issues in NY Medical Malpractice Law

Certain laws in New York affect malpractice litigation and outcomes:

  • Expert testimony requirement – To establish proper standards of care were breached, NY malpractice suits require an expert witness. This is usually another physician who can objectively assess treatment and opine on negligence.
  • Caps on non-economic damages – Non-economic damages in malpractice cases are capped based on the plaintiff's life expectancy, up to $500,000.
  • Collateral source rule - This allows plaintiffs to collect economic damages separately even if compensated by insurance. Lost wages, for example, can still be collected if partly covered.

These and other regulations can significantly impact outcomes. Experienced local counsel will account for these rules. With strong representation fighting for maximum compensation, victims can work to recover damages critical to their care and recovery after medical negligence in New York City.

Were You Harmed By Negligent Medical Care in NYC?

Doctors are not the only medical professionals who can be held liable for medical malpractice. Nurses, technicians, and hospitals also have a duty to provide competent care.

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent medical treatment in NYC, the attorneys at Chianese & Reilly Law can help. We have 50+ years of experience holding all parties accountable in legal cases.

For a free consultation regarding your medical malpractice case in NYC, Contact us today at 516-614-6516. The first step towards justice is a phone call.