Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recusal motion filed

Judge in hospital's lawsuit
is asked to remove himself

By David Baker
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A formal request has been made for the judge in Samaritan Hospital’s lawsuit against a web page listing medical negligence lawsuits to remove himself after it was discovered that the judge previously was employed at the law firm that defended the hospital in Lisa Baker’s wrongful-death claim.

The judge, Andrew G. Ceresia, was assigned to Samaritan’s lawsuit last month. But between 2000 and 2005 he worked at Carter, Conboy, Case, Blackmore, Maloney & Laird, where he represented insurance companies and in at least one case defended St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A motion asking Ceresia to recuse himself was filed this week.

The management of Samaritan and its parent company, Northeast Health, Inc., filed a lawsuit last year against the web page. They are seeking an injunction and money damages for ‘reputational damage’ they allege has been caused by the site’s Internet domain name, ‘northeast health claims,’ and the use on the site of a logo.

The lawsuit was filed in July but then not served. In September an answer was served activating the claim, along with a counterclaim for medical records allegedly withheld by Ceresia’s former employer during the earlier wrongful-death lawsuit against the hospital.

Meanwhile, a motion filed by the hospital last month asks Ceresia to throw out the counterclaims. The judge must now decide whether to remove himself from the case or continue to preside over a claim involving the actions of his former employer.