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Court Explains Evidence Needed to Obtain Summary Judgment in a New York Medical Malpractice Cases

The majority of medical malpractice cases filed in New York never reach trial. While most cases that resolve before trial are settled, others are dismissed via summary judgment. It is difficult for either party to obtain judgment in their favor as a matter of law, though, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in which the court reversed a trial court order dismissing the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a physician, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant treated the plaintiff for unspecified injuries. The plaintiff suffered a stroke shortly thereafter. He then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant, alleging that he failed to take the steps necessary to prevent him from having a stroke, including administering certain medication. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show that he deviated from the standard of care. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Obtaining Summary Judgment in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the trial court ruling was reversed. The court explained that on a motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case, the defendant has the burden of proving they did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that if they did, any such departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm.

Summary judgment is not suitable in medical malpractice cases where the parties produce medical expert reports that conflict with one another. In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant demonstrated that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law via the affirmation of his expert, who opined that the defendant’s treatment of the plaintiff aligned with the applicable standard of care and that any purported departure from the standard was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

In response, though, the plaintiff raised triable issues of fact as to both the issue of whether the defendant deviated from the standard and the issue of whether such deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm.

The court ultimately stated that because the plaintiff demonstrated that the defendant was not entitled to judgment in his favor as a matter of law, his motion for summary judgment should have been dismissed. As such, it reversed the trial court ruling.

Contact an Experienced Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Doctors will often try to seek dismissal of medical malpractice claims against them, but such requests are rarely granted. If you were hurt by a negligent doctor, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can inform you of your rights and help you to seek any compensation you may be owed. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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