Malpractice on Video in New York

Medical malpractice lawyers in New York today released incredible surveillance camera video from Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, showing a 49-year-old woman dying on the floor of a psychiatric emergency room while being completely ignored by the hospital staff.

The video shows the woman keeling over and falling out of a chair on June 19, 2008, and lying facedown on the floor, then thrashing wildly before going limp. A full hour passes before anyone bothered to help.

An incredible video that reminds me of the Rodney King incident. If it was not on video, no one would ever believe that it happened as the plaintiffs’ lawyers will argue.

I have no problem with these malpractice lawyers releasing the video of this incident in principle. It may – with the caveat below – enhance the value of this malpractice case from a settlement perspective. Still, I find it disconcerting that a lawsuit gets a lawsuit filed in a malpractice case within two weeks. It is impossible to get a malpractice case ready for filing two weeks after someone’s death. And, frankly, it is a little unseemly to me. I’m not saying this is the case, but the perception left on most medical malpractice lawyers who usually handle these kinds of cases—rightly or wrongly—is that these lawyers sued so quickly because they could not wait to see themselves in the news. Is this a case that could have settled for greater than the value of the case because the hospital wanted to explore quiet settlement alternatives? If so, how could these lawyers have possibly fully explored these avenues in two weeks?

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