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New York Court Discusses Grounds for Reversing Verdicts in Medical Malpractice Cases

People pursuing compensation for harm caused by incompetent medical care will often ask a jury to determine issues such as fault and damages. If a jury rules against a plaintiff, the plaintiff can appeal if they believe that the jury’s verdict does not comport with the evidence. Establishing that a jury’s verdict should be reversed can be challenging, though, as illustrated in a recent New York case. If you were hurt by the carelessness of a doctor, you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, and you should talk to a Rochester medical malpractice attorney.

Factual Background and Procedural History

It is alleged that the decedent was diagnosed with melanoma following a biopsy of a lesion on her right thigh conducted in February 2015 by the defendant, a dermatologist. The decedent passed away in September 2016. The plaintiff, acting individually and as the administrator of the decedent’s estate, initiated a lawsuit seeking damages for medical malpractice and wrongful death. A trial ensued, and the jury concluded that the defendant did not deviate from accepted standards of medical care.

It is reported that post-trial, the plaintiff sought to amend the pleadings to conform to the evidence presented at trial, but the trial court denied this motion. Subsequently, the court clerk issued a judgment based on the jury’s verdict in favor of the defendants, resulting in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s amended complaint. The plaintiff appealed both the order and the judgment.

Grounds for Reversing a Jury Verdict

On appeal, the court reviewed the case to determine whether the jury’s verdict was supported by the evidence and whether the trial court properly denied the plaintiff’s motion to amend the pleadings. In doing so, the court explained that in medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a physician deviated from accepted community standards of practice and that this departure caused the plaintiff’s injuries. A jury’s verdict should only be overturned if the evidence overwhelmingly favors the appellant, suggesting that the jury’s decision could not be reached by any fair interpretation of the evidence. The court emphasized the importance of jury discretion in assessing witness credibility, as the jury directly observed the witnesses’ testimonies.

In this case, the court found that the evidence presented at trial, including expert testimonies from both sides, supported the jury’s finding that the defendant did not depart from accepted medical standards in treating the decedent. Thus, the jury’s verdict was not contrary to the weight of the evidence.

Regarding the plaintiff’s motion to amend the pleadings, the court noted that such motions are subject to the trial court’s discretion and should align with the evidence presented. The trial court’s decision to deny the plaintiff’s motion was deemed appropriate given the circumstances. Consequently, the court dismissed the appeal from the order and affirmed the judgment in favor of the defendants.

Meet with an Experienced Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you suffered harm because of inadequate medical care, you have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against your healthcare provider, and it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney. The experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and aid you in pursuing a just outcome. You can reach us by calling 833-200-2000 or using our form online to arrange a meeting.

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