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New York Court Affirms Verdict in Favor of Plaintiff for Injuries Caused by Method of Delivery During Birth

To successfully prove medical malpractice under New York law, an injured party must show that his or her medical provider deviated from the accepted standard of care, and the deviation was the cause of any harm alleged. In almost all medical malpractice cases, the opinion of one or more experts is needed to show the standard of care, whether there was any deviation from the standard, and whether the deviation was the cause of the injured party’s harm. In cases where both the injured party and medical provider introduce expert testimony supporting their position, it is up to the jury to assess which evidence is more compelling.

As recently illustrated in a case decided by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, a court will not overturn the jury’s findings absent clear evidence to the contrary. If you or a loved one was injured due to insufficient medical care, you should consult a skilled Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss whether you may be able to recover compensation from the negligent providers.

Procedural Background

Reportedly, the infant plaintiff’s mother, on behalf of the plaintiff and herself, instituted a case against the defendant obstetrician alleging that negligent care provided during the infant plaintiff’s birth caused brain injuries and permanent neurocognitive damage. Specifically, it was alleged that the defendant obstetrician improperly used a vacuum extraction method to deliver the infant plaintiff. Following a trial, a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendant appealed, arguing the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. On appeal, the court affirmed.

Evidence Regarding the Acceptable Standard of Care

To prove a doctor should be liable for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must show that the doctor deviated from the accepted standard of practice within the community and that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. Typically, an expert opinion is required to establish the accepted standard of care and whether the doctor in question adhered to the standard of care. Expert opinions are also necessary to show that any deviation caused the harm alleged.

Here, the plaintiffs’ provided ample evidence of the deviation from the standard of care. Specifically, the plaintiffs’ expert stated that the physician departed from the standard of care by making multiple attempts to deliver the infant plaintiff with a vacuum extractor and using the vacuum to rotate the infant plaintiff’s position. After his birth, the infant plaintiff had several head injuries including bleeding between his scalp and skull, and results of his neurocognitive examination were abnormal. Additionally, the expert opined that the use of the vacuum extractor was the cause of his injuries. While the defendant provided conflicting medical expert testimony, the court noted it was up to the jury to assess the testimony of both experts and determine which one was more credible. Thus, the court affirmed the jury’s verdict.

Consult a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Inadequate care during birth can result in devastating lifelong injuries. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to insufficient medical care you should meet with a knowledgeable Rochester medical malpractice attorney to analyze your options for pursuing damages from the negligent parties. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Rochester medical malpractice attorneys will work aggressively to help you seek any compensation you may be owed. Contact us at 315-479-9000 or through our online form to schedule a free and confidential conference.

More Blog Posts:

Wrongful Birth Cases in New York,  Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, August 7, 2018

Neonatal Seizure Injuries in New York, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, June 1, 2018

Couples Sue New York Fertility Clinic Over Eggs With Genetic Defect, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, November 22, 2017

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