In New York, a party alleging that a doctor committed medical malpractice typically must produce an expert report to establish the manner in which the doctor failed to comply with the standard of care and to link the doctor’s acts to the purported harm. Simply producing a report is not sufficient, however, if the report fails to demonstrate that there are disputed issues of fact as to whether the defendant doctor should be held liable for the plaintiff’s losses. The danger of failing to produce an adequate expert report was highlighted in a recent New York case in which the appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against a primary care physician. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of your treating doctor, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Rochester primary care malpractice attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to prove liability.
Facts of the Case
Allegedly, the plaintiff’s wife visited the defendant primary care physician in May 2013, complaining of a recent sudden weight loss, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The defendant ordered numerous diagnostic tests and prescribed the plaintiff antibiotics. The plaintiff’s wife visited the defendant two days later. During the second treatment session, the defendant ordered a pulmonary consultation and directed the plaintiff’s wife to follow up with him in two weeks. The plaintiff’s wife suffered a cardiac arrest the following day, however, and died three weeks later.
It is reported that the CT scan that was conducted prior to the plaintiff’s wife’s death but not reviewed until after she died indicated that she had numerous tumors on her spine, liver, and lungs that were believed to be cancerous. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant for failing to recommend the plaintiff’s wife seek emergency care. The defendant ultimately filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.