Few medical malpractice cases are actually tried to a verdict. Some settle before they reach the trial stage, while others are decided via summary judgment. In other words, parties will often try to get the court to rule in their favor as a matter of law once discovery is complete. Obtaining a summary judgment ruling can be difficult, however, as often the evidence demonstrates that there are factual disputes. Recently, a New York court set forth a ruling describing the grounds for granting summary judgment in a malpractice case, in a matter in which the plaintiff filed claims against his cardiologist. If you were hurt by a negligent heart doctor, it is prudent to meet with a Rochester cardiology malpractice lawyer to evaluate your possible claims.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he committed medical malpractice by failing to diagnose his infectious endocarditis, which in turn allowed vegetation to develop on his aortic valve, leading to an embolism and stroke. After discovery was completed, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he departed from the standard of care or that any departure caused the plaintiff’s harm. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Claims
In order to demonstrate that a physician should be held liable for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must show that the physician departed from the standard of care imposed on providers in the community and that such a departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. As such, a defendant moving for dismissal via summary judgment must show that there are no material factual disputes. Continue reading