If a person suffers injuries in a hospital, the hospital may be liable for the person’s harm. The standard for imposing liability against a hospital in a medical malpractice case is the same as the standard from proving the liability of an individual defendant, in that a plaintiff must show a deviation from the standard of care caused his or her harm. The failure to establish proximate cause can be fatal to a plaintiff’s claims, as illustrated in a recent hospital malpractice case decided by the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York. If you sustained injuries in a hospital due to inadequate care, it is important to meet with a zealous Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney to discuss whether you may be able to recover damages.
It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was 87-years-old, visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital due to an infection in her foot. The defendant’s staff assessed the plaintiff as being at risk for falling and placed the plaintiff on fall protocol. The following morning, however, the plaintiff fell from her bed and fractured her hip. She required surgery to treat her fracture. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish liability. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Proving a Hospital’s Liability
A defendant hospital seeking to have a case dismissed via summary judgment bears the burden of proving either that there was no deviation from the applicable standard of care or that any deviation was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s alleged harm. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must produce evidence of a triable issue of fact in response to the defendant.