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

In many instances, there are multiple ways to treat an acute injury or chronic condition. As such, simply because a patient does not agree with a doctor’s chosen course of care does not mean the doctor should be deemed liable for medical malpractice. Instead, a plaintiff alleging a physician committed medical malpractice must prove numerous elements, including an element of harm. The plaintiff’s burden of proof in a medical malpractice case was the topic of a recent New York opinion in a matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety. If you were harmed by incompetent medical care, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer about your potential causes of action.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff was living in a state facility, when he received treatment from the defendants. During his stay, he requested a CPAP machine for his sleep apnea and a tens machine for back pain which he stated was caused by scoliosis. He did not receive the items, however. Additionally, he requested that the defendants extract two of his teeth due to infection, but they declined to do that as well.

Reportedly, the plaintiff subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendants alleging, among other things, that they were liable for medical malpractice.  The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, arguing he failed to establish he was entitled to recover damages under any theory of liability. The court ultimately granted the defendants’ motion.

A Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in a Medical Malpractice Case

The court explained that, pursuant to New York law, to set forth a valid medical malpractice claim against a doctor, a plaintiff must show that the doctor departed or deviated from the applicable standard of care. Further the plaintiff has to prove that such a departure proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual injuries.

In the subject case, the court noted that while the plaintiff alleged he was denied certain health care equipment by the defendants, he failed to show that their denial constituted a breach of the standard of care. Similarly, he could not demonstrate that the standard of care required the defendants to pull his teeth. Further, regardless of whether the plaintiff could show the defendants violated the standard, he failed to show that he suffered any harm as a result of their actions. Thus, the court found in favor of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

Consult a Seasoned Rochester Attorney

Doctors are obliged to offer their patients thorough and competent care, and if they fail to do so, they should be held liable for any harm that ensues. If you were hurt by the negligence of a physician, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney about your right to pursue damages. The seasoned Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to prove negligent doctors should be held accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our online form or at 585-653-7343 to set up a consultation.

 

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