Chua v. Chassin

Citation627 N.Y.S.2d 152,215 A.D.2d 953
PartiesIn the Matter of Maximo C. CHUA, Petitioner, v. Mark R. CHASSIN, as Commissioner of Health of the State of New York, et al., Respondents.
Decision Date25 May 1995
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

Robert C. Gottlieb (Nathan Z. Dershowitz of Dershowitz & Eiger P.C., New York City, of counsel), Commack, for petitioner.

Dennis C. Vacco, Atty. Gen. (Barbara K. Hathaway, of counsel), New York City, for respondents.

Before MIKOLL, J.P., and MERCURE, WHITE, YESAWICH and PETERS, JJ.

WHITE, Justice.

Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 (initiated in this court pursuant to Public Health Law § 230-c[5] to review a determination of respondent Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct which revoked petitioner's license to practice medicine in New York.

In November 1993, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter OPMC) filed charges of professional misconduct against petitioner, a licensed physician who practiced acupuncture and homeopathic medicine. 1 Following an evidentiary hearing focusing on petitioner's treatment of three patients (hereinafter patients A, B and C), a Hearing Committee of the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter the Committee) found petitioner guilty of negligence on more than one occasion in the treatment of patients A, B and C, gross negligence and gross incompetence in the treatment of patient A, and incompetence on more than one occasion with respect to patients A and B. The Committee voted to restrict petitioner's license to the practice of acupuncture and ordered him to undergo evaluation and retraining. The Committee further provided that, if petitioner successfully completed retraining, he would be on probation for two years.

Thereafter, due to the parties' conflicting interpretations of the Committee's order, OPMC sought a review of the order by the Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter the ARB). The ARB sustained the Committee's findings of misconduct but overruled the penalty it had levied, imposing instead the penalty of revocation of petitioner's license. Petitioner then commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding.

At oral argument, petitioner raised the issue of whether OPMC's appeal to the ARB was timely. Inasmuch as this issue was not raised at the administrative level, we deem it waived (see, Matter of Colella v. New York State Dept. of Envtl. Conservation, 196 A.D.2d 162, 168, 608 N.Y.S.2d 361). Were we to consider it, we would find the appeal timely since the record shows that OPMC sought review within 14 days of the service upon it of the Committee's determination (see, Public Health Law § 230-c[4][a].

Petitioner next argues that the Committee's findings are not supported by substantial evidence. Because the Committee's determination was reviewed by the ARB, the proper standard for review is whether the ARB's determination was arbitrary and capricious, affected by error of law or an abuse of discretion (see, Matter of Finelli v. Chassin, 206 A.D.2d 717, 718-719, 614 N.Y.S.2d 634; Matter of Rudell v. Commissioner of Health of State of N.Y., 194 A.D.2d 48, 50, 604 N.Y.S.2d 646, lv. denied 83 N.Y.2d 754, 612 N.Y.S.2d 108, 634 N.E.2d 604). Under this test, the inquiry is whether the administrative determination has a rational basis supported by fact (see, Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ., 34 N.Y.2d 222, 231, 356 N.Y.S.2d 833, 313 N.E.2d 321). In making this inquiry, we do not resolve credibility issues or weigh the testimony of expert witnesses for those issues are solely within the province of the administrative factfinder (see, Matter of Moss v. Chassin, 209 A.D.2d 889, 618 N.Y.S.2d 931; Matter of Santasiero v. Sobol, 199 A.D.2d 835, 607 N.Y.S.2d 142, lv. denied 83 N.Y.2d 754, 612 N.Y.S.2d 109, 634 N.E.2d 605).

The record shows that on July 29, 1993, while petitioner was administering an intravenous mixture of vitamins and minerals to patient A, a 14-year-old girl suffering from asthma, she developed a severe allergic reaction, suffered respiratory arrest and died shortly thereafter. OPMC's expert witness testified that there was no indication that patient A required any of these vitamins and minerals and that they should not have been administered to her intravenously considering the elevated risk posed by her asthmatic condition. He further opined that a reasonably prudent physician would not, as petitioner did, administer drugs with lapsed expiration dates or administer them intravenously where the instructions stated they should not be so administered. The record further shows that when patient A experienced an anaphylactic reaction, petitioner failed to administer oxygen properly and failed to give her epinephrine which would have reversed the anaphylactic process.

Petitioner's treatment of patients B and C also fell below the standards of a reasonably prudent physician in that, even though there was no medical necessity, he administered streptomycin and gentamicin to both of them. In the case of patient B, petitioner also failed to perform audiometry studies to determine if her hearing was being damaged by these drugs. He also administered intravenous mixtures of vitamins and minerals to these patients with no indication they required such medications.

In our view this record provides ample support for the ARB's findings since petitioner's conscious disregard of the tenets of good medicine was egregious and fell well below the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
37 cases
  • In the Matter of Nessim Roumi v. State Bd. For Prof'l Med. Conduct
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 3, 2011
    ...980, 984, 854 N.Y.S.2d 551 [2008], appeal dismissed 10 N.Y.3d 950, 862 N.Y.S.2d 463, 892 N.E.2d 856 [2008]; Matter of Chua v. Chassin, 215 A.D.2d 953, 954–955, 627 N.Y.S.2d 152 [1995], lv. denied 86 N.Y.2d 708, 634 N.Y.S.2d 441, 658 N.E.2d 219 [1995] ). The testimony of BPMC's expert establ......
  • Schoenbach v. De Buono
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • June 17, 1999
    ...inquiry, therefore, focuses on whether the ARB's determination had a "rational basis supported by fact" (Matter of Chua v. Chassin, 215 A.D.2d 953, 954-955, 627 N.Y.S.2d 152, lv. denied 86 N.Y.2d 708, 634 N.Y.S.2d 441, 658 N.E.2d 219). Credibility issues and the weight accorded to expert te......
  • Gonzalez v. New York State Dept. of Health
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • October 31, 1996
    ...v. Chassin, 214 A.D.2d 854, 856, 625 N.Y.S.2d 351). The standard of review in such cases is stringent (see, Matter of Chua v. Chassin, 215 A.D.2d 953, 953, 627 N.Y.S.2d 152, lv. denied 86 N.Y.2d 708, 634 N.Y.S.2d 441, 658 N.E.2d 219; Matter of Nieves v. Chassin, 214 A.D.2d 843, 844, 625 N.Y......
  • Binenfeld v. New York State Dept. of Health
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • April 18, 1996
    ...now examine the record to ascertain if the ARB's determination has a rational basis supported by facts (see, Matter of Chua v. Chassin, 215 A.D.2d 953, 954-955, 627 N.Y.S.2d 152, lv. denied 86 N.Y.2d 708, 634 N.Y.S.2d 441, 658 N.E.2d 219). The record shows that petitioner treated patients A......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT