Wrongful-Death Claims in New York City Hospitals (HHC)

Medical misconduct has killed 468 people in New York City’s 11 public hospitals in the past five years, their shattered families allege in wrongful-death claims.

The city has paid out $34 million to 56 families since 2014, according to a recent New York Post analysis of city comptroller data. More than 400 cases are pending and active against New York City.

Kings County (Brooklyn) had the highest number of wrongful-death claims of any Health and Hospital Corporation’s (“HHC”) hospitals, with 91 filed from 2014 through 2018 — far more than the 54 cases logged against No. 2, the much larger Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

The vast majority of wrongful-death cases filed against the HHC in the last five years — 88 percent — remain open, leaving hundreds of bereaved families in financial limbo for years on end.

Of the 106 wrongful-death suits filed against HHC hospitals in 2014, 72 percent of them are still dragging through the courts.

Ten out of the eleven HHC hospitals have been given one-star ratings — the lowest on a five-star scale — by the federal government’s Hospital Compare service, an evaluation based on up to 57 quality measures. Only one, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, can boast two stars.

The HHC is the nation’s largest public hospital system, with more than 70 locations, including its 11 acute-care hospitals. More than 1 million people a year are treated in the system, the primary health safety net for city’s neediest.

Ana Marengo, a spokeswoman for the HHC, branded as NYC Health + Hospitals, said the system is improving “the quality of care delivered to our patients.”

“Today, our hospitals are doing much better in areas that are correlated to malpractice risk… These initiatives have resulted in a steady reduction in claims, including a $10 million drop in annual malpractice payouts in the last two years,” she said. But the chronically underfunded network has been grappling with a fiscal crisis in recent years, having cut almost 5,000 jobs since 2015.

Medical malpractice is a serious concern for any patient whether in a hospital setting or at a private physician’s office. Often, those suffering from medical ailments and illness cannot be their own advocates, making them even more susceptible to medical errors and bad judgement.

If you or your loved ones feel that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, call The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, PC at 212-964-5777.  We can evaluate your potential case and do not charge a consultation fee for the evaluation. We have successfully litigated medical malpractice cases against hospitals, medical facilities and private medical practices.