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New York Court Discusses Expert Reports in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice lawsuits often are reduced to a battle between the experts. In other words, whether a defendant is deemed liable for medical negligence typically depends on which expert’s testimony the judge or jury finds more compelling. In some instances, however, the parties are denied the chance to present their expert opinions to the jury, as their cases are dismissed via summary judgment.

As a persuasive expert report is necessary to obtain a favorable outcome, it is also required to survive a defendant’s motion for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, and where a plaintiff’s expert report demonstrates there are factual issues that must be resolved via a trial a court will deny a motion for summary judgment. This was explained in a recent New York opinion in a case arising out of hospital malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to negligent care rendered in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to determine what damages you may be able to recover.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent underwent surgery at the defendant hospital. During the procedure, a doctor that worked for the defendant catheterized the decedent. At some point during his admission, a nurse employed an improper method to change the catheter, causing the decedent to suffer harm to his prostate and urethra, which led to hemorrhaging and other damages.

It is alleged that the decedent ultimately died from his injuries, after which the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of medical negligence. At the close of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed. After reviewing the evidence of record, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Surviving Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Cases

The appellate court explained that, contrary to the defendant’s assertions, the plaintiff demonstrated that there were triable issues of fact as to whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care, and if so, whether such a departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm, as required to recover damages for medical malpractice under New York law.

Specifically, the plaintiff submitted an expert affirmation in which the expert stated the manner in which the defendant’s employee changed the decedent’s catheter constituted a deviation from the standard of care. Further, the affirmation stated that the defendant’s employee’s acts directly led to the decedent’s harm. In sum, the court found that the plaintiff’s expert report directly contradicted that of the defendant’s expert. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Rochester

Hospitals are expected to provide people suffering from acute and chronic conditions with competent and thorough care, and if they fail to do so, they should be held accountable for any losses that arise. If you were injured by hospital malpractice, it is prudent to meet with an attorney to discuss your options. The experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and help you to seek any damages recoverable under the law. You can contact us via our form online or at 585-653-7343 to set up a conference.

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