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New York Court Discusses Evidence Sufficient to Avoid Dismissal of Malpractice Claims

In any New York medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must not only show that the defendant health care provider failed to provide care that met the applicable standard, but also that the failure caused the plaintiff’s harm, which generally requires expert testimony. Thus, in most cases, whether a plaintiff’s claims will proceed to trial largely depends on the strength and sufficiency of each party’s experts, as discussed in a recent New York medical malpractice case against a primary care physician in which the court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. If you were injured by an incompetent primary care physician, it is in your best interest to meet with a skillful Rochester primary care malpractice attorney regarding your right to seek compensation.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant primary care facility with complaints of leg pain. He was seen by the defendant physician who ordered tests to rule out deep venous thrombosis. The tests came back negative, after which the defendant physician prescribed the plaintiff painkillers and ordered the plaintiff to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon. Approximately two weeks later, an angiogram showed that the plaintiff had complete blockage in two arteries in his leg. He underwent surgery, after which he developed additional symptoms. He ultimately had to undergo an amputation of his leg below the knee.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that their failure to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s condition in a timely manner caused him to lose his leg. Following discovery, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court dismissed. The defendants appealed the dismissal, but on appeal, the appellate court affirmed.

Evidence Sufficient to Avoid Dismissal of Malpractice Claims

It is well established that under New York law, a plaintiff seeking to hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice must show that the doctor deviated from the accepted standard of care, thereby harming the plaintiff. Thus, a defendant in a medical malpractice case that seeks to have a plaintiff’s claims dismissed must either show that he or she did not depart from the standard of care, or that any alleged departure did not proximately harm the plaintiff. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must then produce evidence sufficient to rebut the defendant’s evidence. Generally, both parties must adduce expert testimony to meet their burden of proof.

In the subject case, the appellate court explained that while the defendants met their burden of proof, the plaintiff produced expert testimony sufficient to establish that a material question of fact existed regarding whether the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm, necessitating a trial. As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with an Experienced Rochester Attorney

If you sustained injuries due to negligent treatment provided by a primary care physician, it is wise to meet with an experienced Rochester primary care malpractice attorney to discuss your options for seeking recourse for your harm. The attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and assist you in setting forth compelling arguments in favor of your recovery of damages. We can be reached via our online form or at 585-653-7343 to set up a free and confidential meeting.

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