On October 28, 2001, plaintiff’s decedent, LM, fell in his apartment, which was located in the Narragansett Hotel, a residential hotel in New York City. A neighbor heard yelling coming from the apartment and called an ambulance. According to the Ambulance Call Report prepared by the EMS workers, he was found “lying in apt, full of feces.” The report indicated that he had fallen down in his apartment and was, inter alia, having difficulty breathing. It was also noted in the report that he had an elevated heart rate of 132 beats per minute, while in the care of the EMS workers. In addition to the information relating to his medical condition, the Ambulance Call Report contained LM’s address, date of birth and social security number. The Ambulance Call Report also listed JT, a close friend of LM, as his next of kin, and contained Ms. JT’s telephone number.
LM was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital at approximately 1:55 p.m. The Ambulance Call Report, prepared by the EMS workers, was received by a staff member at Mount Sinai, who signed the report as the Hospital Receiving Agent. An Emergency Department, Patient Registration Form was prepared, at some point, after LM’s arrival at the hospital, and contained the same pedigree information as the Ambulance Call Report, i.e., address, date of birth and social security number. Mount Sinai’s Patient Registration Form also listed JT as LM’s next of kin, and contained her telephone number. A triage assessment was performed, and the records indicate that, at that time, LM was still experiencing shortness of breath and was noted to, among other things, have an elevated heart rate. The triage records state that LM was disheveled in appearance and full of feces. It appears that no treatment was administered in triage. Notwithstanding, he was given acute priority, and sent to an acute area of the emergency department. It is noted that the triage records also contain LM’s pedigree information.
LM was assessed by Dr. JJB, Jr., an attending physician, in the emergency room at Mount Sinai. He was found to be in respiratory distress, with edema, which is the swelling of the extremities. The emergency room records indicate that LM’s heart rate was a very high 160 beats per minute, at the time. Dr. JJB testified at his deposition that his preliminary diagnosis was congestive heart failure, as a result of, or a cause of, arterial fibrillation. Dr. JJB also entertained the possibility of pneumonia and heart ischemia. He considered LM to be a critically ill patient. Dr. JJB testified that he put a nonrebreather face mask on LM with the highest concentration of oxygen. The use of the nonrebreather face mask was documented in the emergency room records. According to Dr. JJB, he administered Diltiazem to reduce LM’s heart rate and “would typically” administer a dose of Lasix to get rid of extra body fluid. Dr. JJB further testified that he would have probably given LM an antibiotic in case there was pneumonia. Notwithstanding Dr. JJB testimony with respect to the administering of the aforementioned treatments, with the exception of the use of the nonrebreather mask, the emergency room records did not indicate that LM was provided with any of the other treatments discussed by Dr. JJB at his deposition. Additionally, Dr. JJB testified that nurses at Mount Sinai assisted in the emergency room treatment provided to LM, however, it does not appear that any nursing notes were generated in connection with such treatment.