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Court Explains the Evidence Needed to Establish Medical Malpractice Under New York Law

Under New York law, medical malpractice claims are comprised of two elements. In other words, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit must not only show that the defendant departed from the customary practice of medicine but also that the departure caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. If the plaintiff fails to establish either element, their claim will be dismissed; however, if they introduce evidence sufficient to demonstrate an issue of fact with regard to both elements, their case will likely proceed to trial. The evidence needed to support medical malpractice claims was the topic of a recent New York opinion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is advisable for you to confer with a  Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries when his ring finger struck a ceiling fan. He treated with the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital and was diagnosed with a fracture of the left finger. He underwent a surgical repair of the fracture and later underwent a second procedure to remove the pins from his finger. He subsequently needed additional surgeries to address issues with mobility and stability.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in which he asserted, among other things, medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants ultimately moved for summary judgment. After reviewing the evidence submitted, the court denied the motion.

Evidence Needed to Establish Medical Malpractice Under New York Law

The court explained that a defendant in a medical malpractice action shows they are entitled to summary judgment, prima facie, by proving that in treating the plaintiff, they did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine or that any departure did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. If a defendant meets this burden, a plaintiff can defeat summary judgment by producing medical evidence showing that the defendant deviated from the accepted practice of medicine and such deviation proximately injured the plaintiff.

The opinion of a qualified expert that a plaintiff’s losses were brought about by the defendant’s deviation from the applicable standards would prohibit a grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant. The opinion must show a nexus between the defendant’s alleged malpractice and the harm suffered, however. If it does not, it will be insufficient to establish the elements of malpractice. In the subject case, the court found that while the defendant met his burden of proof, the plaintiff established triable issues of fact existed that necessitated a trial. As such, it denied the defendant’s motion.

Speak to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors undergo years of training and education to procure the skills necessary to provide their patients with adequate care, but some doctors deviate from their training, causing their patients to suffer harm. If you were hurt by the carelessness of your physician, it is smart to speak to an attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed. The trusted attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have ample experience handling pursue medical malpractice claims, and if you hire us, we will help you to pursue justice for your losses. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.

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