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Articles Posted in Cardiovascular Surgery Malpractice

Tragically, many people suffer devastating complications following routine surgical procedures. In some instances, the complications are the result of medical malpractice and could have been avoided by the exercise of due care, but in others, they are merely unfortunate and unexpected side effects. Recently, a New York court discussed the burden of proof imposed on a plaintiff in an opinion delivered in a cardiology malpractice case where the plaintiff’s decedent died following a routine eye procedure. If you suffered harm due to a careless cardiologist, you might be owed damages, and it would benefit you to meet with a trusted Syracuse cardiology malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

The Plaintiff’s Losses and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent eye surgery, which was performed at the defendant outpatient facility. Prior to the procedure, he underwent a physical examination with the defendant primary care physician. Sadly, the decedent suffered unexpected complications and died shortly after the procedure. The plaintiff then commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant facility and primary care physician, as well as the decedent’s cardiologist. The defendants moved to have the claims against them dismissed via summary judgment, but the court denied their motions. They then appealed.

Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court rulings. The court noted that to prove the liability of a doctor, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor departed from the accepted standard of practice and that the departure directly caused the plaintiff’s losses. A defendant that wishes to have medical malpractice claims dismissed via summary judgment must produce prima facie evidence that he or she did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine or that the departure did not proximately lead to the plaintiff’s harm.

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Typically, in a medical malpractice case, the injured party will rely on medical records and testimony to establish that the defendant’s behavior led to the patient’s harm. In some instances, however, in a case where there is a lack of concrete evidence, a defendant may try to avoid liability by presenting evidence regarding regular practices or procedures that demonstrate compliance with the standard of care. Recently, a New York court discussed when evidence of habit might be relevant and admissible in a case in which the plaintiff suffered harm due to a negligent cardiovascular surgeon. If you suffered injuries due to the carelessness of a heart doctor, it is wise to speak to a trusted Syracuse cardiovascular surgery malpractice attorney regarding your possible causes of action.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent multiple cardiac surgeries, which were performed by the defendant cardiovascular surgeon. Following his procedures, he was placed on medications that reduced the likelihood of blood clots and he was directed to remain on the drugs indefinitely. Seven years later, he was ordered to undergo a colonoscopy and was directed to stop taking the medication prior to the procedure.

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s wife spoke to the defendant, who approved of the plaintiff stopping the medication. The plaintiff ceased taking the prescriptions and underwent the procedure. Five days later, he suffered a heart attack. The plaintiff then sued the defendant alleging, in part, that he was negligent in approving the stoppage of the medication. The case proceeded to trial, and a jury found in favor of the defendant, after which the plaintiff appealed.

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