New York Jury Awards $1.5 Million To Family For Doctor’s Negligence In Failing To Treat The Decedent’s Emotional Condition


In a shocking and tragic case, a Syracuse jury has awarded $1.5 million to the family of a man in a New York medical malpractice case that is very difficult to prove. In fact, these cases almost always come out for the defense and for a jury to not only find the doctor liable but also award a significant amount of money to the family, really highlights the lack of oversight and negligence committed here.

The victim was the father of the family, and tragically took his own life. He had been diagnosed as depressed and required medication to treat his symptoms. His physician has initially diagnosed him and provided those prescriptions for years. The victim’s condition was well-maintained and kept stable.

However, he began to have problems with his emotions and required new medications and/or stronger doses. His family physician—for ten years—did not see him, evaluate him,or ask him to come in to the office. Instead, the physician prescribed what he thought was adequate to treat the man. It was not.

Most juries refuse to award a plaintiff’s self-destructive behavior. However, this theory has been used before and has been successful—even though it is rare. This case was just so egregious, that it was easy for the jury here to find liability.

What is even worse is that this physician was actually fined by the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct and placed on probation because he had been prescribing medications for patients without seeing them first. Of course, this amounts to a mere slap on the risk. Deeper inspection probably would not have unveiled the extent of the doctor’s negligence prescriptions. However, there is always the chance it may have.

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