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New York Court Discusses Evidence Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice

Accidents that occur in nursing homes unfortunately often cause fatal injuries. People who suffer the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a medical facilities’ staff members have the right to pursue compensation, but if they fail to prove the elements of their claims, they may be dismissed. In a recent New York case, the court issued an opinion discussing what evidence a plaintiff must offer to demonstrate that the defendant violated the standard of care or caused fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because of the carelessness of a healthcare facility, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for protecting your interests.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the decedent, who was a double amputee with end-stage kidney failure, was a resident at the defendant’s nursing home. He was confined to a wheelchair. One afternoon the decedent, who was unsupervised, fell out of his chair. He sustained a fracture of this left shoulder in the fall and two days later passed away.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical malpractice by failing to provide supervision and revise and follow the decedent’s care plan. Following discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment.

Establishing Medical Negligence Caused Fatal Injuries

On appeal, the court agreed with the defendant’s assertion that it met its initial burden of proof by submitting the affidavit of a medical expert who opined that they did not depart from the applicable standard of care when assessing and treating the defendant and that any alleged negligence on the defendant’s part did not cause the decedent’s harm or subsequent death.

The court nonetheless found that the plaintiff demonstrated a triable issue of fact existed via her own expert affidavit in which the expert stated that the defendant deviated from the accepted practice of medicine by not amending the decedent’s care plan to require greater supervision after it was noted he experienced delirium and confusion. Further, the plaintiff’s expert opined that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care caused the decedent’s harm and, ultimately, his death.

The court noted, however, that the plaintiff’s expert did not address the defendant’s claims regarding the adequacy of its staffing and training. As such, the  appellate court found that the trial court should have granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the medical malpractice claims, with the exception of those relating to the plan of care.

Speak to an Experienced Rochester Attorney

Accidents that occur in the context of medical treatment are often caused by negligence, and people hurt by reckless healthcare providers have the right to seek compensation. If you were harmed by an incompetent nurse or doctor, you might be able to pursue medical malpractice claims, and you should speak to an attorney. The experienced Rochester attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and craft persuasive arguments to provide you with a strong chance of a good result. You can contact us through our form online or by calling 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.



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