Typically, whether a medical provider is guilty of malpractice is an issue that is presented to the jury at trial. In cases in which liability, or the lack thereof, is clear, though, either party may ask the court for a directed verdict, to avoid the risk of the jury ruling improperly. A trial court judge, like a juror, is human, however, and can make errors in judgment, such as granting a directed verdict when the evidence does not clearly resolve disputed issues. This was illustrated in a recent emergency room malpractice case in New York in which the trial court’s directed verdict was overturned on appeal. If you were harmed by incompetent care rendered in an emergency room, it is advisable to meet with a trusted Rochester emergency room malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.
Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment
It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the emergency room of the defendant hospital complaining of difficulty hearing and dizziness. He was examined and discharged without a diagnosis. He later suffered profound hearing loss in his right ear. He then commenced a medical malpractice case against the defendant, arguing the failure of the emergency room doctors to recognize and diagnose his inner ear infection led to significant harm.
Allegedly, during the trial, the plaintiff set forth expert testimony stating that the emergency room doctors breached the standard of care by failing to realize that the plaintiff was suffering from a serious infection, and the breach led to the plaintiff’s harm. Following the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the defendant moved for a directed verdict. The court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint, after which the plaintiff appealed.