Practice Areas

Medical Malpractice

Schiavetti, Corgan, DiEdwards, Weinberg & Nicholson, LLP provides services to its clients in a most cost-effective manner by relying upon its years of experience and expertise in the field of medical malpractice defense. We are acutely aware that every dollar spent on verdicts, settlements or legal fees is a dollar not available for patient care, and view ourselves as part of the team committed to promoting quality health care by providing the best and most cost-effective representation of our clients. We have expert trial attorneys who consistently win cases in the most difficult venues as well as talented attorneys pursuing all avenues to evaluate and resolve matters at the earliest possible juncture. We utilize the latest technology and have adept support personnel assuring that our time is economically spent advancing the client’s defense. Naturally, our attorneys are familiar with the local courts and judges and capable of handling several calendar matters simultaneously, avoiding duplication of travel costs and multiple appearances.

Our trial attorneys are truly talented litigators and experts in the trial of complex medical malpractice matters including hypoxic ischemic brain injury, Erb’s Palsy, paralysis and wrongful death. Our appellate attorneys are highly skilled writers and researchers who handle not only appeals but also trial applications, post-trial motions and complex motion practice. Every one of our files is carefully analyzed to assess its potential for procedural or legal dismissal, so that our clients are effectively counseled regarding their options at the earliest possible stage. We have consistently delivered favorable outcomes to our clients in the form of defense verdicts, summary dismissal upheld on appeal and favorable settlements.

Risk Management

In addition to successfully counseling and defending ongoing matters, we have also played a seminal role in trying to educate hospital personnel with an eye toward reducing the number of future lawsuits or regulatory investigations. In connection with our representation of our clients, we have conducted numerous “in-service” lectures and mock trials. As a part of these services, we meet directly with medical professionals in order to provide hands-on legal advice on how to reduce medical malpractice exposure. For example, we routinely lecture nurses on the importance of clear documentation regarding patient conditions and treatments. Our partners also meet and consult with our risk managers on a frequent basis to discuss issues which should be the focus of future in-service presentations or seminars thereby identifying those areas of practice which are most problematic to defend, and where, with improvement, litigation can be limited or more successfully defended. Beyond addressing the present needs of our clients, our partners routinely publish in risk management journals regarding looming issues in the law, trying to educate the industry about possible changes that could severely impact the administration of healthcare for professionals and hospitals.

Healthcare and Regulatory Law

Our healthcare and regulatory law practice has been on the cutting-edge of providing legal representation to medical professionals when they have become the target of State agencies. As regulatory investigations have become a more frequent occurrence for medical professionals, our partners have developed an unmatched expertise regarding matters before the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) and Department of Health (“DOH”). While many firms can claim familiarity with these kinds of matters, the plethora of cases we routinely handle speaks for itself. Our lawyers have handled accusations of gross negligence that resulted in patient death, surgeries performed on the wrong body part, overdosing of a child during pediatric open heart surgery, inappropriate prescription of controlled substances, infant death caused by an MRI accident, mismanagement of diabetes, inappropriate patient and co-worker contact, inappropriate pelvic examination, and alleged sexual misconduct by chief of department with subordinates just to name a few. Additionally, the firm has handled multiple DOH matters such as inquiries into inappropriate medical coding, inappropriate prescription of controlled substances and alleged Medicaid fraud, and patient complaints of abandonment. We also provide ongoing representation in preparation of responses to DOH statements of deficiencies.

We also have a wealth of experience regarding court orders for treatment over objection. For instance, the firm successfully applied to the Supreme Court, Kings County for an order giving authorization to a hospital administrator to consent on behalf of the patient to undergo surgery to remove a stomach mass that was cancerous. In another matter, we successfully gained consent to artificially feed and hydrate an anorexic 26 year-old woman who was found to be unable to make reasonable decisions regarding her medical care. Additionally, we do frequent applications for Assisted Outpatient Treatment Orders for Psychiatric patients.

We have also successfully represented medical professionals compelled to testify in criminal investigations and family court. For example, we represented psychiatrists subpoenaed by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for an interview regarding diagnosis and prognosis of mentally ill patient arrested for violent assault. In another criminal subpoena matter, we represented physicians being compelled to divulge ex parte discussions regarding their treatment of defendants’ child in a criminal matter where the defendants refused to consent to this breach of the patient-physician privilege. We have also represented our client hospitals in multiple Family Court cases in which the disclosure of confidential drug and alcohol records of patients were improperly sought in violation of federal and state law.

Municipal and Premises Liability

Our firm has represented the City of New York in various capacities for the past 20 years. Our lawyers routinely handle municipal liability cases for the City of New York and all of our lawyers are well-versed in the legal responsibilities and the possible liabilities of New York State municipalities. In addition to medical malpractice we have handled matters ranging from police officer malfeasance cases to premises liability cases at New York City public buildings and hospitals, to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights actions. Additionally, our lawyers routinely conduct preliminary 50H hearings for the City which encompass a wide array of municipal liability issues. We also regularly handle premises liability matters for our non-municipal client hospitals.

Appellate Practice

In addition to our extensive trial experience, our firm boasts a robust appellate practice that has a well-earned reputation in both state and federal appellate litigation. The firm’s appellate group has the relevant experience and resources to conduct thorough legal research, writing, and advocacy. Our partners personally participate in all phases of the drafting of the briefs, and handle most arguments. We have argued cases at every level of the NY State courts as well as federal district courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Knowledge of legal issues and the persuasiveness of our attorneys consistently produce winning arguments in complex litigation matters. We routinely file and defend post-verdict and interlocutory appeals in matters we have litigated as well as writing successful post-trial motions that protect defense verdicts, reduce damages awards, or obtain full dismissals after adverse verdicts. The trial and appellate teams within our firm work seamlessly to provide the best combination of knowledge of the underlying case and knowledge of the type of arguments that sway appellate judges.

Comptroller Hearings (50H)

We have handled 50-h hearings for the City of New York since 1998 and conduct an average of over 600 hearings per year. These hearings involve a variety of cases including slip and fall, motor vehicle accidents, police brutality, premises liability, negligent supervision, and prisoners’ §1983 claims.

Labor Law

Our firm has handled matters for insurance carriers relating to § 200 of the New York Labor Law, which centers on the general duty of employers to protect the health and safety of their employees, § 240 of the New York Labor Law, which relates to the liability for employers related to scaffolding and other dangerous devices, and § 241(6) of the New York labor Law, which relates to adequate precautions taken during construction. We have successfully handled both trials and appeals under these statutes as well as those sounding in common law negligence.

Products Liability

We have the knowledge base and expertise to defend large and small companies in matters related to the alleged misuse of its products and services. Our deep bench of trial attorneys have the requisite skill and courtroom experience to try cases with significant exposure in the some of the nation’s most difficult venues. Our partners have taken to verdict several products liability cases including failure to warn, design defect, and manufacturing defect cases.