Typically, in medical malpractice lawsuits in New York, the parties will engage in discovery, after which the defendant will move to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff has not produced sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the defendant should be held liable. If a plaintiff fails to adequately refute a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court ruling on the matter may dismiss the case, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a radiology malpractice matter. If you suffered losses due to a radiologist’s error, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent treatment with the defendant radiologists at the defendant hospital. He later developed issues due to the treatment and filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendants. The precise nature of the plaintiff’s treatment and harm was not disclosed. Following discovery, the defendants filed a joint motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling on appeal.
Surviving Summary Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case
It is the well-established law of New York that a defendant moving for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case bears the burden of proving the lack of any departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine, or that to the extent any deviation occurred, it did not cause the plaintiff’s alleged harm. In the subject case, the appellate court affirmed that the defendants met their burden of proof by showing that they did not deviate from the accepted standard of care.
The court explained that after the defendants set forth evidence that showed they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the burden then shifted to the plaintiff to show that a factual dispute remained on the issue of whether the defendant breached the applicable standard. The court elaborated that the plaintiff must submit an expert affidavit to support its position. It cautioned, however, that vague allegations of medical malpractice that are conclusory and unsupported by sound evidence that, if proven, would establish the key elements of medical malpractice are not adequate to defeat a defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff’s expert failed to elaborate on any of the defendants’ alleged failings. As such, the court found that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof and affirmed the trial court ruling.
Speak to a Seasoned Syracuse Attorney
Radiologists are often called upon to diagnose and treat critical issues, but if they perform their duties improperly, it may constitute radiology malpractice. If you suffered harm because of a reckless radiologist, you have the right to pursue damages and should speak to an attorney. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our seasoned medical malpractice attorneys can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and help you to seek the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. You can contact us via our online form or at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.