Motions for summary judgment are common in medical malpractice cases, as parties often believe the evidence in their favor is sufficient to obtain a ruling prior to trial. When one party files a motion for summary judgment, the other must demonstrate that, contrary to the moving party’s assertions, factual disputes exist in the case that require a trial. In a recent ruling issued in a radiology malpractice case, a New York court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence to defeat a motion for summary judgment. If you were harmed due to a negligent radiologist, it is advisable to speak to a Syracuse radiology malpractice attorney about your case.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the hospital with complaints of stomach pain. He subsequently underwent x-ray studies, which the defendant reviewed and deemed normal. The plaintiff was later diagnosed with stomach cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant, alleging his failure to perform follow-up testing constituted negligence and caused the plaintiff’s harm. The parties engaged in discovery, after which the defendant filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment.
Evidence Sufficient to Defeat a Motion for Summary Judgment
Pursuant to New York law, a defendant moving for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case must prove the lack of any material issue of fact with respect to at least one of the elements of a medical malpractice claim. In other words, the defendant must show either that he or she did not depart from the applicable standard of care or that any such departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. Continue reading