Generally, before a surgical procedure, a physician will explain the risks, benefits, and potential side effects to the patient before obtaining his or her consent to proceed. If a doctor neglects to, though, and the patient subsequently suffers harm, there may be grounds to pursue a claim for lack of informed consent. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion discussing a plaintiff’s burden of proof in a lack of informed consent claim in an orthopedic malpractice case. If you were injured by a doctor’s failure to obtain your informed consent prior to surgery, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
Allegedly, the defendant performed knee surgery on the plaintiff. She subsequently developed drop foot due to a metal fragment that was left by her knee. She filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging lack of informed consent and medical malpractice claims. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, but the court denied his motion. The defendant then appealed.
The Burden of Proof in Lack of Informed Consent Claims
On appeal, the court explained that while the defendant established a prima facie right to judgment as a matter of law on the medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff set forth an expert affidavit in opposition of the defendant’s motion that adequately demonstrated a material dispute of fact existed that required a trial. Thus, the trial court ruling as to the medical malpractice claim was affirmed. Continue reading