Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snapshot of a life

A story that describes the
person behind the lawsuit

By David Baker
Posted Wednesday Nov. 28, 2012

Most of the stories on this blog are about allegations made in lawsuits.  Sometimes these stories will also contain a little information about the person, usually from an obituary notice, but even that can tell only so much about the person who died.

But occasionally more information is available that paints a broader picture of the person.  Such is the case with a story that appeared here in January of this year, that of 31-year-old Tara Palmer, who died at a Midwest airport from a blood clot that entered her lungs, one day after a doctor allegedly told her it was safe to fly following surgery on an ankle.

Tara had been a pre-school and primary school teacher in Troy.  Five months after her death, the Troy Record published an article about some people who had done something in her memory that would benefit some of  those children.

Links to that story and to the earlier post on this page about the lawsuit appear below.

Meanwhile, a year after the lawsuit was filed it has not yet been assigned to a judge.  This happens only when one of the parties files an RJI – a  request for judicial intervention.

The fact that no request has been filed doesn’t necessarily mean that case is being allowed to languish, but it’s unusual for one not to have been filed a year after service.  At last check earlier this month, the only documents on file at the Rensselaer County Clerk’s office were the complaint, an affidavit of service of the complaint, and an amended certificate of merit – a document in which the attorney states that he or she has consulted with at least one doctor who has said there appears to a basis for a claim.

The lawsuit names James A. Slavin, Burdette Orthopedics, Samaritan Hospital and Northeast Health, Inc.  It was filed in November 2011 by Christina Commisso of O’Connell & Aronowitz in Albany.  As was noted in the earlier story, this filing appears to create an ethical conflict; the Albany law firm represented Northeast Health Laboratories in a case against the state Department of Health.

The firm has also represented the Healthcare Association of New York; one of that organization's members is Samaritan Hospital.  And in 2007, the firm announced that six of its attorney would be members of a new ‘healthcare fraud and abuse unit’ which would defend medical providers under government investigation.
The Troy Record story is HERE

The earlier story on this page is HERE