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New York Court Discusses a Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in a Hospital Malpractice Case

When a person dies after receiving medical care, their loved ones may assert that their death was the result of medical malpractice. While sudden death following a health issue is undoubtedly tragic, it is not always the result of the negligence of the healthcare provider that provided the treatment. Thus, if a court finds that a plaintiff has not met their burden of proof, it may deny their efforts to have their claims against the defendant resolved in their favor as a matter of law. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case. If you lost a loved one due to incompetent care in a medical facility, it is advisable to consult a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent visited the defendant hospital to treat an unspecified issue. The decedent subsequently developed complications and ultimately passed away. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it negligently caused the decedent harm and was responsible for her death. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, but the court denied his motion.

Reportedly, the case proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then moved to set aside the jury verdict as against the weight of the evidence, but the court denied that motion as well. The plaintiff subsequently filed an appeal.

The Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in a Hospital Malpractice Case

The appellate court agreed with the trial court’s finding that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof with regard to either motion and affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The appellate court explained that a party moving for summary judgment must show, prima facie, they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law by offering evidence sufficient to establish that no material factual dispute exists.

The appellate court stated that as the parties submitted competing expert reports in the subject case, the plaintiff failed to show that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Similarly, the appellate court noted that a jury’s verdict should only be set aside as against the weight of the evidence if the evidence weighed so heavily in the moving party’s favor that no reasonable interpretation of it could have resulted in the verdict. In cases where the parties offered conflicting expert testimony, as they did here, the jury is permitted to adopt one party’s expert opinion over the other’s. Thus, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People often rely on hospitals to provide them with care for acute issues, but if the care they receive causes them harm instead of helping them, it may constitute hospital malpractice. If you or your loved one suffered injuries due to negligent care received in a hospital, you may be owed compensation, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and gather the evidence needed to help you in your pursuit of damages.  You can reach us by calling 833-200-2000 or using our online form to set up a meeting.





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