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Anesthesia Error Claim Dismissed on Appeal After Plaintiff Fails to Produce Expert Affidavit

Anesthesia AdministrationNew York anesthesia error cases are disconcertingly common. They arise from a variety of fact patterns, including the administration of too much or too little of an anesthetic, a delay in delivering anesthesia, or a failure to provide proper instructions to a patient before administering anesthesia. The effect on a patient of an anesthesia error could be discomfort, injury, or death.

When a woman died after experiencing heart problems following treatment in a hospital, her husband filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. Prior to commencing the lawsuit, the husband requested medical records related to his wife’s procedure. The doctors and hospital allegedly complied with some of the requests, but other doctors, including the anesthesiologist, required that the husband submit an affidavit to obtain the records.

Her husband wanted to begin depositions in order to make findings as to his wife’s heart rate and oxygen saturation levels before bradycardia occurred. The husband served a notice to the anesthesiologist for a deposition, but the anesthesiologist and his counsel requested that it be postponed. Instead of rescheduling, the husband filed a motion to compel the deposition. The husband argued that the anesthesiologist’s tactics obstructed the deposition. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit against the anesthesiologist because the husband had failed to provide an expert’s statement justifying his claims, known as an affidavit of merit in that jurisdiction, finding that he didn’t make a required written request for the medical records he needed from the anesthesiologist.

Although the affidavit of merit is specific to New Jersey law, New York anesthesia error cases also require that the plaintiff provide expert statements as to an anesthesiologist’s alleged malpractice. New York anesthesia error cases require evidence that the anesthesiologist’s actions deviated from the standard of care for the community of anesthesiologists and that such a deviation caused an injury to the plaintiff. Courts require that plaintiffs produce medical expert testimony in order to establish a deviation from the standard of care and to show proximate cause.

The appeals court heard the case as a three-judge panel and affirmed the Superior Court judge’s ruling, finding that a deposition notice the husband served on the anesthesiologist didn’t satisfy the records request attempt requirement to allow a statement in lieu of the affidavit.

If you are harmed or a loved one dies because of a physician’s anesthesia error, DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers may be able to seek compensation from the responsible parties. Our firm has experienced Rochester anesthesia error attorneys to represent your interests against physicians, medical groups, and hospitals. If you would like to speak to an attorney about your anesthesia error case, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. We offer evening and weekend appointments, as well as home and hospital visits.

More Blog Posts:

Complaint Dismissed in New York Against Dermal Filler Medical Device Manufacturer, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, October 16, 2017

Medical Group Ordered to Release Anesthesiologist Contracts by New York Appeals Court, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, September 28, 2017

Expert Witness Fails to Properly Review Medical Evidence, Sinking Plaintiff’s New York Medical Malpractice Case, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, October 2, 2017

Photo Credit: Stefan_Schranz, [CC0 Creative Commons], via Pixabay

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