Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court

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Plaintiffs, Erik and Carrie Pin, brought a medical malpractice action against Defendants, orthopedic surgeon David Kramer and Danbury Orthopedic Associates, seeking, inter alia, compensatory damages for Kramer's negligence in his surgical treatment of a spinal tumor suffered by Erik. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants. The appellate court reversed, holding that a new trial was required because the trial court had failed to grant Plaintiffs' request for a curative instruction following remarks by Defendants' expert witness, during his direct examination testimony, concerning increased health care costs caused by defensive medicine practices arising from the proliferation of medical malpractice claims in Connecticut. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appellate court court did not err in its judgment. View "Pin v. Kramer" on Justia Law

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The substitute Plaintiff, the successor administrator of the estate of Decedent, brought a medical malpractice action against Defendants, Physician and Medical Center, claiming, inter alia, that Physician had failed adequately to warn Decedent of certain risks associated with the use of birth control pills and the symptoms of those risks. The trial court directed a verdict in favor of Defendants and rendered judgment accordingly. The appellate court reversed and remanded the case for a new trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appellate court properly determined that Plaintiff produced sufficient evidence to present the case to the jury and correctly reversed the trial court's ruling granting a directed verdict in favor of Defendants. View "Curran v. Kroll" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, Kristy and Timothy Wilcox, brought a medical malpractice action against Defendants, a general surgeon (Doctor) and his employer, alleging that Doctor negligently performed laparoscopic gallbladder surgery on Kristy. The trial court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, concluding that the written opinion of a similar health care provider that accompanied the certificate of good faith, as mandated by Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-190a(a), did not satisfy the "detailed basis" requirement of the statute because it failed to explain the particular manner in which Doctor had breached the standard of care. The appellate court reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a written opinion satisfies the "detailed basis" requirement of section 52-190a(a) if it states the similar health care provider's opinion as to the applicable standard of care, the fact that the standard of care was breached, and the factual basis of the similar health care provider's conclusion concerning the breach of the standard of care; and (2) the written opinion in the present case was sufficiently detailed to satisfy section 52-190a(a).

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Defendant in this case issued health care insurance policies to provide coverage for medical services and entered into contracts with practitioners of the healing arts to provide those services. Plaintiffs, three individual podiatrists and the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association, brought an action against Defendant, alleging that Defendant's practice of reimbursing individual podiatrists at a lower rate than medical doctors for the same service constituted unfair discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA) and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that CUIPA, by prohibiting unfair discrimination, bars the denial of reimbursement on the basis of the particular license held by a practitioner of the healing arts, but does not preclude setting different reimbursement rates on the basis of the particular license held by a practitioner of the healing arts.

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Plaintiffs, the administrators of Decedent's estate, brought a medical malpractice action against Defendants, a thoracic surgeon and the surgeon's employer. Plaintiffs attached to their original complaint an opinion letter from a physician who was board certified in internal medicine with a subspecialty in cardiovascular disease. Plaintiffs subsequently filed an amended complaint. Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' original complaint on the grounds that Plaintiffs failed to comply with the requirements of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit mandated by Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-109a(a) as a result of their failure to attach to their complaint an opinion letter from a similar health care provider. The trial court granted the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that Defendants waived their right to challenge the sufficiency of the original complaint and its attachment by failing to timely file a motion to dismiss. Remanded.