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Medical and Professional Malpractice Defense
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B.A., State University of New York College at Geneseo,
J.D., University at Buffalo School of Law, 2006.
Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers; Bar Association of Erie County; Bar Association of Erie County – Chair, Young Lawyers Committee (2012-2015); Defense Trial Lawyers of WNY, 2013-2015 Director, Elected Vice President/President-Elect for 2015, to become President for 2016; Bar Association of Erie County Judiciary Committee Member 2013-2015; Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court; New York State Bar Association; University at Buffalo School of Law Mentoring Program for First Year Law Students; Making a Difference Dinner 2014 Committee Member; appointed by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to the Grievance Committee of the Eighth Judicial District for 2015-2018; SUNY Geneseo Buffalo Regional Committee member; and elected District Representative for the 8th District of the New York State Bar Association’s Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section.
Elizabeth M. Midgley is a partner at our firm’s Buffalo, New York office. Ms. Midgley is an experienced trial attorney with success defending matters involving medical malpractice, dental malpractice, long term care facilities, professional malpractice defense, legal professionalism and ethics, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, railroad law, and general negligence litigation. Ms. Midgley regularly counsels and advises attorneys, hospitals, physicians, long term care facilities, businesses, and other medical professionals.
Ms. Midgley has been successful in defending, obtaining voluntary discontinuances for, and resolving numerous claims for our clients. Ms. Midgley has tried or assisted in nearly three dozen trials in a variety of fields including medical malpractice, hospital negligence, dental malpractice, premises liability, legal malpractice, general liability, motor vehicle accidents, and railroad law.
In May 2015, she successfully obtained pre-discovery dismissal of a medical malpractice action on behalf of a hospital. Ms. Midgley moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for failure to file within the appropriate medical malpractice statute of limitations. Plaintiff opposed, claiming that the action was one for general negligence, not for medical malpractice, and that a longer statute of limitations applied. The Court agreed with Ms. Midgley, finding that that the action should have been filed as one for medical malpractice, and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety.
Ms. Midgley was also successful in obtaining a complete pre-discovery dismissal of a claim against a health care institution. The plaintiffs filed suit alleging general negligence claims against the institution. Ms. Midgley moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the suit was properly a lawsuit in malpractice, not general negligence and, as such, plaintiffs had filed the lawsuit outside of the applicable statute of limitations. The Court again agreed, and dismissed plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety.
Attorney Midgley also won a premises liability case she defended at trial for a commercial landlord in New York State Supreme Court, Cattaraugus County. Plaintiff alleged that her slip-and-fall in a parking lot was due to the landlord's negligence with respect to a sunken manhole cover. Midgley demonstrated that the valve cover was reasonably located and that it was proper for it to be slightly recessed to avoid buckling about grade level during freeze-thaw cycles. The jury agreed, finding the defendant was free from negligence.
She lectures on a variety of topics at CLEs and seminars, including the basics of civil trial, legal professionalism and ethics, the discoverability of social networking, ethical electronic discovery, jury selection, and on Medicare Set-Asides. Ms. Midgley has also been asked to present nationally at a number of seminars and conferences, including those held by the National Business Institute, the Association of Professional Responsibly Lawyers, the Conference of Metropolitan Bar Associations, and at the Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP annual meeting. She has authored and contributed to multiple articles for the Bar Association of Erie County’s Bar Bulletin, as well as other local publications.
Ms. Midgley has been elected President of the Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York (“DTLA”) for 2016. She had previously served as Vice-President and was elected as Director of DTLA from 2013-2015. Liz has also been elected to Director of the Bar Association of Erie County for a three year term running from 2015-2018. The Bar Association of Erie County has one of the only contested elections for its Board of Directors in the State of New York, with 8 candidates running for 4 Director seats. Previously, Liz had been appointed as Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County for the 2012-2013 year, after having being appointed Co-Chair for 2011-2012. Her appointment as Chair was confirmed again for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 terms. Liz has also been nominated and appointed as a member of the Bar Association of Erie County's Judiciary Committee for 2013-2014 and for 2014-2015.
Liz has been appointed by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial Department, as a member of the Grievance Committee of the Eighth Judicial District for a three year term running from April 2015 to March 2018. She was elected District Representative for the 8th District of the New York State Bar Association’s Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section. She also was appointed as the Education Chair for the Charles Desmond Inn of Court. Liz is also active in the Mentoring Program for First Year Law Students through the University of Buffalo Law School, and was a 2014 Committee Member for the Making a Difference Dinner.
Ms. Midgley was selected to the Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars list for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. For the Rising Stars list, practicing lawyers are asked to nominate the best attorneys who are 40 or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less. The Rising Star candidates are nominated based on other attorneys’ personal observation in the courtroom, and they then undergo a review process that thoroughly considers their credentials and standing. The candidates are ranked by point totals and those with the highest point totals are named to the Rising Stars list, with no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state being named to the list.
Ms. Midgley is a 2006 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law where she was Managing Editor of the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal and President of the Buffalo Criminal Law Society, and President of the Herbert J. Wechsler Moot Court Board. Liz is licensed to practice in New York and the U.S. District Court, W.D.N.Y.