Published on:

New York Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Claims Arising Out of the Failure to Conduct a Sufficient Examination

Generally, a physician must conduct a thorough and complete examination of a patient in order to provide the patient with an accurate diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment. Whether an examination was sufficient is generally a fact-specific question and varies from case to case. Recently, though, a New York court ruled that a plaintiff could proceed to trial on a medical malpractice claim arising out of the failure to conduct an adequate examination. If you suffered harm following an insufficient examination by your medical care provider, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorney to assess what claims you may be able to assert in pursuit of damages.

Factual Background

It is reported that over a series of weeks, the plaintiff alleged he received threatening phone calls. He subsequently contacted the police, and during the police investigation, the officers and a mobile crisis team found the plaintiff to be uncooperative and suspicious. Ultimately, the plaintiff was transferred to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Following an examination, he was deemed a danger to himself and others and involuntarily admitted. He was confined in two different hospitals for approximately a month. Following his discharge, he filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants that set forth numerous claims, including a medical malpractice claim against the physician that conducted his psychiatric evaluation. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment.

Medical Malpractice Claims Arising Out of the Failure to Conduct a Sufficient Examination

As to the medical malpractice claim, the court explained that a plaintiff alleging medical malpractice must prove that the defendant breached the standard of care that applies to his or her medical community and that the breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. The court further noted that a plaintiff pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New York must present testimony from an expert to support his or her claims to demonstrate a prima facie malpractice claim.

In the subject case, the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim arose out of the psychiatric evaluation he underwent prior to his involuntary admission. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that the evaluation was only five minutes long and therefore was insufficient to allow the physician to obtain enough information to make an informed decision regarding the plaintiff’s care. Further, the plaintiff produced an expert affirmation in support of his allegations, that stated that the doctor’s acts constituted a significant departure from the standard of care, which led to the defendant’s lengthy confinement. Thus, the court found that a genuine issue of fact existed as to whether the doctor committed malpractice by conducting an inadequate evaluation and denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the medical malpractice claim.

Meet with a Dedicated Rochester Attorney

If you suffered injuries due to inadequate medical treatment, it is prudent to meet with a dedicated Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss what damages you may be able to recover from the party that caused your harm. The medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers possess the skills and experience needed to help you strive for the best result available under the facts of your case, and we will work diligently on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or at 585-653-7343 to set up a conference.

Justia Lawyer Rating