Simcuski v. Saelill – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Simcuski v. Saelill, 44 NY2d 442, 377 N.E.2d 713, 406 N.Y.S.2d 259, (C.A. 1978), the defendant doctor performed a surgical excision of a node from plaintiff's neck and allegedly injured a spinal accessory nerve on her neck and of her cervical plexus.

When plaintiff complained to her doctor of numbness in the right side of her face and neck and difficulty with her right arm, the physician, allegedly aware of the negligent manner in which he had performed the surgery and that plaintiff had suffered a potentially permanent injury, willfully and falsely told her that her problems were transient and would disappear if she continued physiotherapy.

The complaint alleged that the doctor intentionally withheld information from plaintiff as to the true nature of her injury and deprived her of the opportunity for a cure.

The Court found that the complaint set forth a cause of action based on intentional fraud as well as a cause of action for negligence for medical malpractice.