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New York Court Affirms Verdict for Defendant in a Medical Malpractice Case Following a Failure to Diagnose

In many cases in which a plaintiff alleges he or she suffered harm due to a delayed diagnosis, whether a defendant is found liable for medical malpractice hinges on the testimony of each party’s expert witness. In most cases, a court will not disturb a jury’s verdict, unless the evidence is overwhelmingly in one party’s favor.

Recently, a court in the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York affirmed a jury verdict in favor of the defendants, finding the evidence presented at trial was not clearly in favor of the plaintiff. If you suffered harm due to a failure to diagnose your injury or illness in a timely manner, you should consult a seasoned Rochester medical malpractice attorney regarding your options for pursuing compensation.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Care

Reportedly, the plaintiff fell, hit his head and lost consciousness on December 22, 2013. He visited his primary care doctor on December 26, 2014, and February 3, 2014, and was treated by a nurse practitioner. Then, a month and a half after his fall, the plaintiff went to the emergency department where he reported a continuing headache and double vision since his fall. He underwent diagnostic imaging which revealed a subdural hematoma. The plaintiff had surgery to remedy the hematoma. The surgery was a success, but the plaintiff suffered brain damage that was permanent.

Allegedly, the defendant subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his primary care doctor and the nurse practitioner that worked for the primary care physician, alleging that the failure to diagnose his hematoma resulted in his brain damage. Following a trial, the jury issued a verdict for the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed.

Verdict Against the Weight of the Evidence

First, the plaintiff argued that the verdict should be set aside because it did not comport with the weight of the evidence. The court noted that a verdict cannot be overturned on this basis absent a showing that the evidence weighs so heavily in the favor of the party seeking relief at the jury could not have reached the verdict based upon any reasonable interpretation of the evidence. The court noted that the plaintiff presented expert testimony that it was highly likely that a subdural hematoma would have been evident on a CT scan on December 26, 2013, and that the plaintiff would not have suffered such severe brain damage if the hematoma had been diagnosed at that time.

Conversely, the defendants presented evidence that the care provided met the applicable standard of care required under the circumstances. The court stated that the evidence each party presented created a question of credibility for the jury. As the court deferred to the jury’s credibility determinations, and found that the evidence was not overwhelmingly in favor of the plaintiff, it declined to disrupt the verdict.

Speak with a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Attorney Regarding Your Case

If you were harmed by your medical care provider’s failure to conduct certain tests which resulted in a delayed diagnosis, you should speak with a trusted Rochester medical malpractice attorney regarding your case. The proficient Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to help you set forth strong arguments in favor of your recovery of damages for your care provider’s failure to diagnose you in a timely manner. You can reach us at 315-479-9000 or through the online form to set up a consultation that is free and confidential.

More Blog Posts:

Anesthesia Error Claim Dismissed on Appeal After Plaintiff Fails to Produce Expert Affidavit, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, October 27, 2017

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