Phone: (631) 873-4888
fax: (631) 873-4889
Bill Collins’ practice focuses on civil litigation and appeals, including defense work in medical malpractice, personal injury and general liability cases in Federal and State Courts in New York. Bill has experience in admiralty/maritime law, criminal defense and plaintiffs’ personal injury cases.
Bill is a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law (J.D. 1999) and the State University of New York at Stony Brook (B.A. 1996). He is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, a former Bay Constable with the Town of Huntington, New York and formerly operated a fishing and cruise charter boat business. Additionally, Bill’s work history includes heavy construction equipment operation as a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. His prior work history in law enforcement, construction and as a charter boat captain facilitates his ability to handle litigation in these fields.
Bill recently successfully defended our client, a Vascular Surgeon, at the trial of a medical malpractice and wrongful death action alleging failure to timely diagnose and treat pyoderma gangrenosum. Decedent presented to co-defendant hospital with post-operative complaints of pain and redness surrounding the incisional sites following a femoral-to-femoral bypass graft for decreased circulation performed by co-defendant vascular surgeon. Our client admitted the patient out of concern for post-operative infection. Pyoderma gangrenosum is a diagnosis of exclusion, therefore, other causes of the patient’s symptoms had to be ruled out before the diagnosis was made and treatment started. Six days into the admission infection was ruled out as a cause of the patient’s condition. Our client immediately called for Dermatology to consult on the patient. The consult occurred following day. Dermatology placed allergic reaction and pyoderma gangrenosum in the patient’s differential diagnoses. Allergic reaction testing was commenced but not yet completed. The patient refused biopsy to assist with the diagnosis. Three weeks into the admission the patient left the hospital against medical advice to go to another facility. With the benefit of defendant hospital’s testing, the patient was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum at the subsequent hospital whereat treatment was commenced. The patient ultimately succumbed to pneumonia one month into the admission at the subsequent treating hospital. The defense of our client was predicated on no medical necessity or clinical indication for dermatology or allergy consults until after infection was ruled out as a cause of the patient’s complaints. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for all defendants, finding no deviations from the standards of care.
Bill’s reported cases include Plis v. North Bay Cadillac, 5 A.D.3d 578, 773 N.Y.S.2d 451, 2004 N.Y. Slip Op. 01757, N.Y.A.D. 2d Dep’t, 2004, in which New York's Second Department ruled that an open and obvious condition that is not otherwise inherently dangerous absolves the defendant of its duty to warn. This case is one of the early cases successfully argued after the Second Department ruled that the “open and obvious” defense is no longer a complete defense to liability. Additionally, Bill successfully argued before the Appellate Division Pollack v. Staples, 293 A.D.2d 322, 739 N.Y.S.2d 820 (1st Dep't 2002) in which the First Department ruled that denial of a motion to vacate a default judgment was proper where the plaintiff failed to demonstrate a meritorious claim, notwithstanding the inclusion of a verified complaint in support of motion.
Bill’s other representative cases include Morton v. Carleo, et al., 2007 N.Y. Slip Op. 32948 (N.Y. Misc. 2007), granting summary judgment to defendant emergency medicine physician, Dr. Johnson, in a medical malpractice action alleging failure to diagnose a slipped capital femoral epiphysis, failure to properly immobilize the patient and improperly ordering ambulation with crutches. Additionally, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of our client, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and dismissed plaintiff’s medical malpractice complaint alleging that defendant left a foreign object – pacemaker wires – during a mitral valve replacement surgery in Booles v. Krukenkamp, Index No.: 12756/2002, Short Form Order of Howard Berler, J.S.C., (December 13, 2005) (Sup. Ct., Suffolk Cty). Furthermore, in Hudson v. Krukenkamp, 5 Misc.3d 1029(A), 799 N.Y.S.2d 161, 2004 N.Y. Slip Op. 51610(U) (Sup. Ct., Suffolk Cty) (2004), Bill obtained the court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant cardiothoracic surgeon in a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim alleging defendant’s failure to recognize signs and symptoms of stroke during triple coronary artery bypass surgery and post-operatively. Moreover, in Peterson v. Siegel, et al., Index No.: 27700/2000, by way of the Short Form Order of Bromley Hall, J.S.C., (Sup. Ct., Suffolk Cty)(December 9, 2002), summary judgment was granted to defendant dermatologist and the dermatology group in this medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claim alleging defendants departed from the standards of care in prescribing a contraindicated cream (Efudex 5%) to treat the plaintiff’s actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma. The decision was notable for Bill’s argument that plaintiff’s expert’s affirmation was legally insufficient pursuant to CPLR 2106 insofar as it was not sworn to under penalties of perjury.
While not tending to clients’ needs, Bill and his family enjoy saltwater fishing and boating, camping and watching and participating with his children in their various sports activities. He is an avid fisherman and likes to venture afar for his fare including Montauk, Cape Cod, Florida, Cabo San Lucas and Bermuda.
Medical Malpractice Defense
General Liability Litigation
New York, 2000
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2001
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2001
U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, 2012
Hofstra University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1999
State University of New York, 1996
B.A. Political Science
Honors: Dean’s List
New York State Bar Association