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Double Amputee Can Try Her Case Near Her Brooklyn Home


Posted on Dec 26, 2012

A double-amputee suing a hospital for her injuries has just won the right to bring the case before a local Brooklyn jury, as opposed to a venue more convenient for the defendant hospital.

In 2009, Stacey Galette, 32, the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, entered Winthrop University Medical Center in Mineola, Nassau County, for a  gynecological operation. She claims her intestine was punctured during the procedure, inducing an infection and blood poisoning, also known as sepsis. She developed gangrene in her lower leg, which required the amputation of both legs. She is now suing seven physicians and the hospital.

The hospital's lawyers wanted to move the case to Nassau County, where they say Galette lived when she filed her complaint in November 2010. A judge in the Kings County Supreme Court (in Brooklyn at 360 Adams Street), however, was convinced that she had already moved from Hempstead to live with relatives in Brooklyn by September. The hospital's hired investigator also found that she visited parents in Long Island during the day but certainly slept in Brooklyn at night.

Defense lawyers said the evidence was thin because it was "self serving." On the other hand, they said Nassau County was where the medical care was, where the defendant's place of business is, and where all potential witnesses are.

They are currently reviewing the decision handed down two weeks ago.

THE DEFENSE MAKES A MOTION TO CHANGE VENUE

Venue is the 'place' where you bring your lawsuit.

You, as the injured victim, have the first opportunity to decide where your lawsuit will be held. Most often it is where you live. Other times it is where the people you are suing have their office or primary place of business.

If you choose incorrectly, the defense will then have an opportunity to choose the place where the case will be held. That explains the different arguments being made in this request.

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