Anesthesiology is a complicated practice area, and an anesthesiologist that does not properly perform his or her duties can cause a patient grave harm. Simply because an individual suffers harm while undergoing anesthesia prior to a procedure, however, it does not necessarily mean that the person will be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice case. This was demonstrated in a recent New York case in which the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed due to a lack of evidence that the defendant breached the standard of care. If you were hurt by a careless anesthetist, it prudent to meet with a skillful Rochester anesthesia error attorney to assess whether you may have a viable claim for damages.
Factual History of the Case
It is reported the plaintiff presented to a hospital to give birth to her child. During labor, the defendant placed an epidural catheter in the plaintiff’s lumbar spine, through which he administered anesthesia. Following the plaintiff’s child’s birth, the plaintiff experienced foot drop and numbness and weakness in her left leg and foot.
Allegedly, the plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he improperly positioned the catheter, thereby causing her to suffer harm. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.
Dismissal of Medical Malpractice Claims Due to Lack of Evidence
The appellate court explained the long-standing rule that in a medical malpractice case, a defendant doctor asking for dismissal via summary judgment must show that there was either no departure from the applicable standard of care or that any departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. If a defendant makes such a showing, the plaintiff then has the burden of rebutting the defendant’s prima facie showing via evidentiary materials or facts.
In the subject case, the appellate court found that the defendant demonstrated he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, in part due to the submission of an expert report that stated that the defendant did not depart from the standard of care and that any alleged deviation did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. The appellate court was not persuaded by the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant’s expert’s affidavit was vague and conclusory, noting it was supported by facts. The court found, however, that the plaintiff’s expert affidavit in opposition to the defendant’s motion was conclusory and speculative and relied on unverified facts. As such, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case.
Speak with a Trusted Rochester Attorney
Anesthesia can ease patients through surgical procedures and provide them with pain relief, but when it is improperly administered, it can cause lasting detriments. If you were hurt by a health care provider that was reckless in the administration of anesthesia, you may be owed compensation and should speak to an attorney. The trusted Rochester anesthesia error attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping people injured in a medical setting seek damages and we will fight tirelessly to help you pursue the best outcome available under the facts of your case. We can be contacted via our online form or at 585-653-7343 to set up a conference.