Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Secret resolution

Judge: Samaritan negligent-credentialing
lawsuit settlement terms kept confidential

By David Baker
Posted Thursday Dec. 10, 2013

A lawsuit in which Samaritan Hospital in Troy was alleged to have been negligent in granting and repeatedly renewing privileges to a gynecologist whose allegedly unauthorized and unnecessary surgery left a woman disfigured was settled on undisclosed terms just before the start of a trial, according to the judge in the case.

Justice Stephen A. Ferradino of state Supreme Court in Saratoga County was writing in response to a letter sent last month to the state’s chief administrative judge about legal papers in Stalker vs. Akiva Abraham and Samaritan Hospital that have not been filed in the office of the county clerk, as is required by the rules of the court.

In the week before the scheduled trial at least two motions and responses to them had been submitted.  The day after the case settled, an entry on the court system’s web page indicated  that a third motion was pending.  But four months later, no decisions on any of these motions were in the public file in the clerk’s office.

“The parties settled all outstanding matters prior to the start of trial,” Ferradino writes. “All motions pending at the time of settlement were deemed moot and no decisions were rendered and/or necessary.”

Ferradino said a letter decision on an earlier motion requesting “certain subpoenas” had been granted.  As was reported here in July, that request was for the testimony of two physicians, for certified copies of three other lawsuits that named Abraham and Samaritan Hospital, and for records from the state Health Department.  As of last week, that decision also was not in the public record.

“This court has requested that the plaintiff’s attorney file said letter decision,”  Ferradino wrote in his letter.

“Finally, please note that no post-trial motions were filed.  This court has not signed a protective order.  It is this court’s understanding that the parties entered into an agreement by which the terms of their settlement are to remain confidential.”

The letter to the chief administrative judge, Gail Prudenti, was sent after Ferradino did not respond to a letter sent to him in November.

Stalker’s lawsuit was filed in 2006.  It has been reported in numerous stories here and, initially on this blog’s sister web page,   but has never been mentioned by any of the area’s newspapers.