Irving B. Hirsch Partner




Irving Hirsch is an accomplished litigator in the area of medical malpractice defense, having tried more than 50 cases and won verdicts for clients in high-exposure claims.

Supervising a team of Wilson Elser attorneys, Irv represents several major hospitals and their physicians and nurses in malpractice lawsuits arising from all types of medical and surgical procedures. His experience also includes the representation of ambulance personnel, dentists, physical therapists, nursing homes and diagnostic laboratories. On a regular basis, Irv meets with experts, represents clients at their depositions, presents complex cases to various claims committees, and tries cases. He also has represented numerous physicians in proceedings before the Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

Responsibility and availability are the hallmarks of Irv’s client service philosophy. At each hospital he represents, Irv and his team members develop a rapport with the individual physicians and administrators, acclimate themselves to their facilities, and become familiar with their charts and policies. This dedicated team approach ensures that his clients can count on a trusted advisor to call upon rapid, thoughtful responses to their legal needs.

Irv began his legal career in 1978 as an assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and rose to the level of deputy bureau chief of a trial bureau and chief of the Special Project Bureau and the Narcotics Eviction Program. Through this experience, Irv grew adept at simplifying fact-intensive information, evaluating a person’s credibility, and effectively communicating to a jury.

Professional Activities 
Irv frequently speaks to the medical staffs at his hospital clients and presents mock trials to teach physicians and nurses how to appropriately answer questions in depositions and at trial, with an emphasis on the importance of documentation and medical records in the defense of medical malpractice claims. In addition, Irv created and ran a trial advocacy program in the firm’s New York office for junior associates who handle medical malpractice cases.

Representative Matters

Won a motion to dismiss a case brought against the firm’s clients, a neurosurgeon and a hospital, by a plaintiff who alleged failure to properly resect an acoustic neuroma and lack of informed consent. Wilson Elser moved to dismiss because the plaintiff served two improper expert disclosures, as well as advanced several arguments in support of the position that informed consent was properly obtained. The Supreme Court, Queens County granted Wilson Elser’s motion for summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s failure to disclose an expert witness.

Won a defense verdict in favor of a nurse and anesthesiologist co-defendant at the end of a three-week trial of a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit arising from a facial plastic surgery procedure. During jury deliberations, plaintiff accepted a settlement offer on behalf of our client; however, the trial judge did not inform the jurors of the settlement because they had already commenced deliberations. Plaintiff’s counsel was a well-known New York medical malpractice lawyer.

Won a defense verdict in a brain-damaged baby case in which the plaintiff sought $50 million in damages. Plaintiff’s counsel had previously obtained the highest jury verdict ever awarded in New York State.

Won a defense verdict in a case alleging failure to timely diagnose recurrent nasal cancer in which the plaintiff sought $5 million in damages. At the end of a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for 20 minutes and returned a unanimous verdict for the defendant.

Won a jury verdict on behalf of a college and affiliated hospital in an uninsured breach of an employment retention contract claim. Plaintiff alleged that changes to his title, rank and responsibilities triggered the duty to pay under the retention agreement. The jury rendered its verdict in less than an hour and also granted our client’s cross-claim requiring the plaintiff to refund tuition payments.