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.