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Friday, April 3, 2020

New Jersey courts don't have jurisdiction over New York physician in widower's medical malpractice suit

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Jan 16, 2020


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) – A New Jersey court has ruled that it doesn’t have jurisdiction in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a New York doctor who performed a medical service in New York.

On Dec. 9, the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of Henry Pullen’s case against New York University Medical Center, Dr. Aubrey Galloway, Louis Stein, Robert M. Applebaum, Edwin Blumberg, and Mark S. Lifshitz in Henry Pullen’s claims, as executor of the deceased, Jeanne Pullen’s estate. Jeanne Pullen died in March 2016 after an aortic value replacement and her husband filed the suit in March 2018.

Pullen later dismissed his claims against Drs. Louis Stein, Mark Lifshitz and Edwin Blumberg. The lower court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction against Galloway and Applebaum, and the Superior Court affirmed.

“Initially, we note that on this appeal plaintiff has focused all of his arguments on the dismissal of his claims against Dr. Galloway,” wrote Judge Robert Gilson. 

Pullen also acknowledged that Applebaum filed the motion to dismiss within 90 days of filing his answer. Pullen didn’t raise any personal jurisdiction disputes for Applebaum or NYU Medical Center, but instead stated that the medical facility would solely be responsible for Galloway’s alleged conduct. 

Considering this, Pullen forfeited the chance to appeal the lower court’s ruling that dismissed the claims against Applebaum and NYU Medical Center.

Gilson also determined Galloway isn’t subject to New Jersey jurisdiction. 

“Dr. Galloway does not have the continuous and substantial contacts that would subject him to general jurisdiction in New Jersey,” wrote Gilson, noting Galloway resides and works in New York. While Galloway had a license to practice in New Jersey between 2004 and 2009, he never did.

Pullen's argument that Galloway advertised in New Jersey isn’t enough to prove general jurisdiction, the judge ruled, and he also failed to point out the advertising on the New Jersey stations.

While the court dismissed the case, it did so without prejudice, giving Pullen the opportunity to amend his complaint.

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Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Divison