Sunday, December 6, 2015

Judge Pigott on Medical Malpractice

His Positions in Divided Cases
By John J. Phelan
Jack Phelan, a 2014 graduate of Albany Law School, served as an executive editor of the Albany Law Review. His student note was selected for publication: "The Assault Weapons Ban--Politics, the Second Amendment, and the Country’s Continued Willingness to Sacrifice Innocent Lives for 'Freedom'” (77 Alb. L. Rev. 579).
While at Albany Law, Jack also participated in the Senior Prize Trials, his team finishing runner-up, and he served a judicial internship with the Honorable Edward O. Spain of the Appellate Division, Third Department.
As an undergraduate at Hartwick College, Jack was a standout football player making five different All-America teams in his final two seasons.  He is also a member of Hartwick College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jack is currently an associate at Smith Sovik in Syracuse where he had participated in the 2013 Summer Associate program. He focuses on all areas of civil litigation including products liability, professional malpractice, premises liability, trucking and motor vehicle accidents, Labor Law and construction accidents, labor and employment, and the defense of Workers’ Compensation Claims.
He prepared this paper for Prof. Bonventre's Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.

This paper analyzes Judge Eugene Pigott’s voting patterns in divided medical malpractice cases since he has been on the New York Court of Appeals.

Judge Pigott—long before he was appointed to the Court of Appeals in September of 2006—practiced law in Buffalo, New York with the firm Offermann, Fallon, Mahoney & Adner in two separate stints from 1974 to 1982 and 1986 to 1997. Judge Pigott told our Court of Appeals Seminar class, in a session with us during the semester, that he handled all kinds of personal injury cases for the plaintiff’s side during his time working at Offerman. This included medical malpractice actions.

Before I read a single Court of Appeals case, my initial thought was that Judge Pigott would be sympathetic to the plaintiff in close medical malpractice cases. As it turns out, I was right.

From the time Judge Pigott joined the Court of Appeals in 2006 until this study was prepared, he voted in nine divided cases involving medical malpractice. Not entirely surprisingly, Judge Pigott voted with the plaintiff in all but one of those cases.
To read the paper, open HERE.