ADAMS v. JAMAICA HOSPITAL

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Priscilla ADAMS, respondent, v. JAMAICA HOSPITAL, et al., appellants.

Decided: February 22, 1999

SONDRA MILLER, J.P., THOMAS R. SULLIVAN, WILLIAM D. FRIEDMANN and DANIEL F. LUCIANO, JJ. Breitner & Hoffman, P.C., New York, N.Y. (Jeffrey R. Nichols of counsel), for appellant Jamaica Hospital. O'Leary & O'Leary, Jamaica, N.Y. (Joseph D. Furlong of counsel), for appellant Maurice M. Abitbol. Eisenberg Margolis & Friedman, New York, N.Y. (Gerald Eisenberg of counsel), for respondent.

In an action to recover damages for medical malpractice, the defendants separately appeal, as limited by their briefs, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Goldstein, J.), dated April 13, 1998, as granted that branch of the plaintiff's motion which was for leave to amend her bill of particulars.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with one bill of costs.

The plaintiff sought leave to amend her bill of particulars to further allege that the defendants had been negligent in “placing a stitch in [her] sigmoid colon during a surgical procedure” and that as a result of the defendants' malpractice she sustained “severe emotional problems manifesting themselves in depressive symptomatology and suicide ideation”.

 It is well settled that leave to amend or supplement pleadings should be freely granted unless the amendment sought is palpably improper or insufficient as a matter of law, or unless prejudice and surprise directly result from the delay in seeking the amendment (see, McCaskey, Davies & Assocs. v. New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 59 N.Y.2d 755, 463 N.Y.S.2d 434, 450 N.E.2d 240;  East Patchogue Contr. Co. v. Magesty Sec. Corp., 181 A.D.2d 714, 581 N.Y.S.2d 365;  Nissenbaum v. Ferazzoli, 171 A.D.2d 654, 567 N.Y.S.2d 135).   The Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in permitting the plaintiff to amend her bill of particulars to allege negligent placement of the stitch.   The medical information which serves as the basis for that allegation has been freely available to the defendants since the time of discovery, and there can be no real claim of prejudice or surprise (see, Drechsel v. Loblaw, Inc., 64 A.D.2d 1022, 409 N.Y.S.2d 467).   Furthermore, the plaintiff was properly permitted to amend her bill of particulars to allege more specifically the precise nature of her claimed emotional pain, suffering, and distress (see, Scheuerman v. Health & Hosps. Corp. of City of N.Y., 243 A.D.2d 553, 663 N.Y.S.2d 123;  Fick v. LaGuardia Med. Group, 208 A.D.2d 800, 618 N.Y.S.2d 72).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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