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Court Discusses Evidence Sufficient to Avoid Dismissal Via Summary Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case in New York

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.

Evidence Sufficient to Avoid Dismissal Via Summary Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case

In New York, a defendant seeking a dismissal of a plaintiff’s claims in a medical malpractice case must set forth a prima facie case that shows that he or she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, by producing evidence that the defendant did not depart from the standard of care, and that regardless of whether the defendant departed from the standard of care, any alleged departure was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm.

In the subject case, the defendant met this burden of proof by submitting an affidavit from a neurological surgeon that opined as the defendant was merely a consulting physician, it was the responsibility of the plaintiff’s primary medical team to coordinate further treatment. The appellate court noted, however, that in opposition to the defendant’s motion, the plaintiff submitted an expert affidavit stating that the defendant breached the standard of care by failing to discuss the results of the test with the plaintiff, and the possibility of harm caused by an occlusion. Thus, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Syracuse Attorney

If you sustained damages due to inadequate care rendered by a neurologist, it is wise to speak with a knowledgeable Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney to discuss what compensation you may be able to recover via a civil lawsuit. The dedicated malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers have the skills and resources needed to help you prove your provider should be liable for your harm, and we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. We can be reached at 315-479-9000 or through the form online to set up a meeting.

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