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Proving an OB-GYN’s Liability in a New York Medical Malpractice Case

Thorough and attentive care is vital during pregnancy. Unfortunately, oversights made by careless OB-GYNs are common and often lead to adverse consequences for both expectant mothers and their unborn children. Families harmed by medical negligence can pursue claims against the parties responsible for their losses, but providers will often try to evade liability, and the matter will ultimately become a battle of the experts. Recently, a New York court explained the burden of proof imposed on each party in an OB-GYN malpractice case in which it ultimately determined the plaintiff set forth sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. If you or your child were harmed by incompetent care during your pregnancy, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should contact a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was referred to the defendant for care during her pregnancy due to the fact that she was of advanced maternal age and suffered from chronic hypertension and was therefore deemed to be high risk. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to control her blood pressure during her pregnancy despite knowing her pre-existing conditions.

Allegedly, the defendant also neglected to admit the plaintiff to the hospital when she showed signs of pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension, which ultimately resulted in a premature birth and harm to her child. As such, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims through summary judgment, but the court denied her motion. She then appealed.

Proving an OB-GYN Committed Malpractice

On appeal, the appellate court explained that a defendant moving for summary judgment in an OB-GYN malpractice case must show that no material issues of fact exist with at least one of the elements of a claim for medical malpractice: the deviation from the standard of care that is accepted in the relevant community, or the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant produces such evidence, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff, who must show a  triable issue of fact exists as to the elements on which the defendant met its burden of proof; otherwise, the plaintiff’s claims will be dismissed.

Summary judgment is not suitable in a medical malpractice case where the parties produce conflicting expert reports. In the subject case, the appellate court noted that the defendant met her burden of proof via an expert affirmation opining that she did not deviate from the standard of care. In response, however, the plaintiff produced her own expert affirmation supporting the argument that the defendant was negligent. Thus, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Trusted Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Many women have high-risk pregnancies that require specialized care, and if their attending OB-GYNs fail to observe concerning symptoms, they may suffer devastating losses. If you were hurt by OB-GYN malpractice, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights. The trusted Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at proving negligent care providers should be held accountable, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.  You can reach us by calling 833-200-2000 or using our online form to set up a meeting.




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