Published on:

Court Rules a Nurse Was Qualified to Offer Expert Testimony in New York Medical Malpractice Case

In almost all medical malpractice cases both the plaintiff and the defendant will need to engage experts to prove their claims. Just as medical malpractice cases are not limited to claims against doctors, the experts in medical malpractice cases are not required to be doctors. Rather, any medical care provider qualified to offer an opinion on the disputed issue can be an expert.

This was illustrated in a case heard by a New York appellate court, in which the court affirmed that a nurse’s expert testimony was properly admitted.  If you suffered harm due to inadequate medical care, you should meet with a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case and your options for seeking compensation from the parties responsible for your harm.

Facts Regarding the Decedent’s Care

It is alleged that the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital and diagnosed with cancer. For the next two months, he was treated as an inpatient, with the exception of ten days when he was discharged to his home. He ultimately died of cancer, after which his wife filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital, alleging malpractice due to the hospital’s failure to properly prevent and treat the decedent’s pressure ulcers while he was admitted at the hospital. The case proceeded to trial, after which a jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $500,000 for the defendant’s conscious pain and suffering prior to his death. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict or for a new trial, which the trial court denied. The defendant then appealed.

Expert Qualifications

On appeal, the court noted that the plaintiff’s case relied on the expert opinion of a nurse, who testified that within a reasonable degree of nursing certainty it was her opinion that the defendant’s care deviated from the standards for good and prudent nursing care. The court held that the nurse was qualified to opine on the standards of nursing care and whether the defendant’s deviation from the standard caused the decedent harm. Specifically, the court found that the causes of bedsores and the care needed to treat bedsores was within the scope of knowledge of a nurse and did not require a doctor’s opinion. Further, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the nurse possessed the requisite qualifications needed to testify. As such, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Retain a Skilled  Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Even if you are properly treated for one illness, other aspects of your medical treatment may nonetheless be inadequate.  If you sustained harm due to inadequate care in a hospital, you should retain a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to help you develop effective arguments that will provide you with a good chance of obtaining a successful result under the facts of your case. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano will aggressively advocate on your behalf to help you in your pursuit of damages. Contact us at 315-479-9000 or through the online form to set up a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Expert Witness Testimony Excluded from Evidence on the Issue of Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2017

Justia Lawyer Rating
Contact Information