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New York Court Discusses Conflicting Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases

Parents often rely on medical professionals to diagnose and treat their children if they become ill. While many children receive competent care, some are tragically offered substandard treatment, and the results of such incompetence frequently cause devastating injuries. Doctors accused of malpractice will often proffer affidavits stating that they complied with the standard of care in order to avoid liability. If the plaintiff submits a contradictory affidavit, however, the courts will likely determine that the disputed issues must be determined by a jury, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case. If you or your child were harmed by negligent medical care, it is smart to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Case Setting

It is reported that the plaintiffs initiated a case seeking damages for medical malpractice against multiple defendants, including healthcare professionals and medical institutions. The complaint alleged negligence in the care and treatment of the plaintiff’s minor child, who suffered from viral encephalitis.

Allegedly, the complaint further asserted that the defendants’ incompetence resulted in the minor child suffering incapacitating injuries that rendered them dependent on others for daily activities. The defendants collectively filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the claims against them, which the trial court denied. Both sets of defendants separately appealed the denial of their summary judgment motions.

Conflicting Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases

In reviewing the case, the court cited the legal standard for summary judgment in medical malpractice actions, where the defendant must first demonstrate the absence of departure from accepted medical practice or that any departure did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries. The burden then shifts to the plaintiff to present a triable issue of fact on these elements.

In the subject case, the court found that the provided expert affirmations and affidavits asserting that they did not deviate from the standard of care and that their actions were not the proximate cause of the child’s injuries, meeting their burden of proof. The plaintiffs, however, through their own expert affirmation, contested these claims, thereby raising genuine issues of material fact regarding the defendants’ alleged deviations from the standard of care and whether these deviations caused the child’s injuries.

Given the conflicting opinions of the medical experts, the court determined that a credibility question existed, which should be resolved by a jury. Consequently, the court affirmed the denial of summary judgment, as the conflicting expert opinions precluded a definitive ruling in favor of either party.

Meet with a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Delayed diagnoses and treatment can cause serious harm, and people hurt by such negligence may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have questions about your options with regard to pursuing a medical malpractice claim, it is advisable to meet with an attorney. The Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can inform you of your rights and help you to seek any compensation available. You can contact us by calling 833-200-2000 or using our online form to arrange a conference.

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