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Court Discusses Evidentiary Rulings in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York medical malpractice cases, which party prevails depends in large part on who offers more compelling expert testimony. Thus, it is not uncommon for one party to try to prevent the other from presenting an expert at trial. It is within the trial court’s discretion as to whether to preclude expert testimony, however, and in most instances, such determinations cannot be challenged prior to trial, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you suffered harm because of negligent care provided by a physician, you might be owed compensation, and you should contact a Rochester medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendants provided the plaintiff mother with obstetric care throughout the course of her pregnancy and delivered her child. The child was born prematurely and suffered serious complications, including periventricular leukomalacia and polymicrogyria. The plaintiff mother subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting medical malpractice claims against the defendants individually and on behalf of her son.

Reportedly, the defendants subsequently moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from offering certain medical opinions at trial. The court granted the motion, but only in part. Specifically, the orders granted the portion of the defendants’ motion in which they requested that the court preclude the plaintiff’s expert from opining that polymicrogyria can be caused by post-delivery events but declined to preclude the expert from offering an opinion that polymicrogyria could be caused by prematurity, extreme prematurity, intraventricular hemorrhage, or periventricular leukomalacia. As such, the defendants appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in issuing its ruling.

Evidentiary Rulings in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

The court dismissed the defendants’ appeal on the grounds that the order in question was not appealable. Specifically, the court explained that the trial court ruling, in which it dictated that the plaintiff’s expert was prohibited from offering certain medical opinions at trial but declined to bar the expert from testifying on other issues, constituted an evidentiary ruling. Under New York law, such rulings are considered, at most, advisory opinions, even when they are issued in response to a motion pursued prior to trial. As advisory opinions are not appealable, either by permission or by right, the court found that it was required to dismiss the appeal.

Confer with a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When doctors fail to provide expectant mothers with appropriate care before the birth of their children, it can lead to grave consequences and, in many instances, constitutes medical malpractice. If you or your child suffered losses because of a doctor’s carelessness, it is smart to confer with an attorney to assess your options for seeking damages. The trusted Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the facts of your case and gather any evidence in your favor to provide you with a good chance of obtaining a favorable outcome. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 585-653-7343 to set up a conference.

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