Articles Posted in Neurology Malpractice

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Neurological disorders can cause grave harm, and in many instances, that harm is markedly increased if a patient is not properly diagnosed in a prompt manner. Therefore, if a doctor fails to take the measures necessary to accurately determine a plaintiff’s diagnosis, it may provide grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Claims that a medical professional acted negligently must be supported by competent evidence, though, otherwise they could be dismissed. In a recent ruling arising out of a neurology malpractice claim, a New York court explained what constitutes adequate expert testimony to avoid dismissal via summary judgment. If you suffered harm due to the negligent acts of a neurologist, you should confer with a Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney to determine your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

Reportedly, the plaintiff treated with the defendant neurologist in July 2015. He was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and prescribed medication. He had subsequent visits in August and October of 2015, during which his diagnosis remained unchanged. At his final visit with the defendant in December 2015, a test indicated that the plaintiff suffered memory loss. Thus, the defendant ordered a blood test to rule out a number of disorders, including syphilis.

It is alleged that the plaintiff did not submit to the blood test and instead began treating with another neurologist. In March 2016, the plaintiff advised the defendant that he had not taken the blood test and did not intend to take it. His health continued to decline, and he was diagnosed with neurosyphilis in June 2016. He then filed a medical malpractice action against the defendant, who ultimately moved for summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and he appealed. Continue reading

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In many medical malpractice cases in New York, the defendant will file a motion asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims prior to trial. If the defendant produces an expert report that adequately demonstrates that it should not be deemed liable, the motion will be granted unless the plaintiff produces a report in opposition showing that disputed issues remain that must be presented to a jury. The plaintiff’s report must comply with certain standards, though, otherwise it will be deemed inadequate to prove a trial must be held. What constitutes an adequate expert report in a medical malpractice case was the topic of a recent opinion issued by a New York court in a case in which the plaintiff pursued claims against the defendant that arose out of the treatment of a brain tumor. If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one because of inadequate care from a neurologist, it is advisable to speak to a Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney regarding your options for pursuing damages.

The Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Care and the Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was treated by the defendants for a brain tumor. The decedent’s tumor was successfully removed; however, it recurred and ultimately led to the decedent’s death. The plaintiff, who was the decedent’s wife, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that their failure to properly monitor the decedent’s health constituted negligence and that it led to the recurrence and the failure to diagnose and treat the recurrence in a timely manner. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff had not demonstrated a departure from the standard of care. The court denied the motion, and the defendants appealed.

Reliability of an Expert Report

On appeal, the appellate court found in favor of the defendants and reversed the trial court ruling. Specifically, the appellate court stated that the trial court appropriately determined that the defendants established that the evidence, when taken at face value, demonstrated their right to judgment as a matter of law. In other words, the defendants’ expert affidavit argued that the defendants did not depart from the standard practice of medicine and relied on specific facts from the record, addressing each of the plaintiff’s claims.

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Medical malpractice cases are unusual in that a plaintiff will often have to rely on medical records obtained from the defendant to demonstrate the defendant’s liability. Thus, if a defendant loses or destroys a plaintiff’s treatment records prior to producing them, it can impair the plaintiff’s ability to prove the defendant was negligent. In such instances, a court may issue a sanction against the defendant. In a recent neurology malpractice case in New York, the court discussed spoliation and what a defendant must prove to avoid sanctions. If you were harmed by a negligent neurologist, you should speak to a capable Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue damages.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated by the defendant neurologist at a medical center, and the defendant’s private office. The plaintiff ultimately suffered harm due to the progression of an epidural lipomatosis that the defendant failed to diagnose in a timely manner. Thus, the plaintiff instituted a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent.

It is reported that during the course of discovery, the plaintiff requested her treatment records from the defendant. The defendant produced a copy of the plaintiff’s chart but advised the plaintiff that she could not find the original chart. The plaintiff then filed a motion for sanctions for spoliation of evidence. The court granted the motion. The defendant later found the chart and moved for leave to renew her opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions. The motion was denied, however, and the defendant appealed.

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A patient harmed by incompetent medical care may be able to pursue claims against the provider that caused his or her injuries, regardless of whether the context in which the plaintiff received treatment. For example, if a person who is incarcerated receives incompetent care, he or she can seek damages from the doctor that provided the negligent treatment. The standards that apply in a medical malpractice case asserted by an incarcerated patient are the same as those that apply in a typical medical malpractice case, as demonstrated in a recent neurology malpractice case decided by a New York appellate court. If you sustained damages due to the negligent acts or omissions of a neurologist, it is in your best interest to speak with a proficient Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover damages.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was incarcerated, was treated at a medical center by the defendant neurologist. Specifically, the defendant performed a surgical procedure on the plaintiff to attempt to address an aneurysm behind the plaintiff’s eye. During the procedure, the defendant placed a stent in the artery, which ultimately failed. The defendant then performed a test that indicated the artery could be permanently blocked by occlusion. Following the test, the defendant ordered the plaintiff to follow up with him in two weeks.

Reportedly, the plaintiff did not follow up with the defendant, however. The plaintiff subsequently suffered permanent harm, after which he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant ultimately filed a motion to dismiss, which the court denied.  The defendant appealed the denial, and on appeal, it was affirmed.

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