Dismissal of Wrongful Life Case in Bronx County

Michael J. Morris recently succeeded in obtaining a dismissal with prejudice on a challenging case, involving a claim that our client suffered wrongful prolongation of life. Based upon our arguments and motion papers, we convinced the Court over the vigorous opposition of plaintiff’s counsel that this claim did not have sufficient legal merit to warrant continued prosecution in this matter. Our client’s dismissal occurred early in the litigation, before any depositions were conducted, and was venued in the Bronx, a jurisdiction notoriously difficult for defending medical malpractice claims. Below is an excerpt from Judge John R. Higgit, Jr.’s Decision of February 16, 2021:
In this action, sounding in medical malpractice and negligence, plaintiff seeks to recover damages for the pain and suffering experienced by his decedent during the period of approximately 20 days that decedent lived after being administered certain life-sustaining medical treatment by defendants. Plaintiff asserts that the life-sustaining treatment was administered in contravention of both the terms of decedent’s living will, and the directives of decedent’s duly-appointed health care agent. Plaintiff’s claim is, in effect, one for wrongful prolongation of life. Such a claim is neither cognizable under New York’s common law nor recognized by statute. Thus, the moving defendant’s motion for summary judgment must be granted.