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New York Court Discusses Burden of Proof in a Emergency Room Malpractice Case

When people have critical and acute health concerns, they typically visit the emergency room of a hospital to obtain immediate treatment and prevent further harm. If the treatment providers in the emergency room provide inadequate care however, it may cause the patient further harm. A New York appellate court recently addressed what a plaintiff seeking to assert an emergency room malpractice claim must prove. If you sustained harm due to negligent care rendered in an emergency room, it is critical to consult a seasoned Syracuse emergency room malpractice attorney regarding your potential claims.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff was taken to the emergency room of the first defendant hospital after she was found lying on the sidewalk by the police. She arrived at the hospital at 10:29 pm but left against medical advice at 1:20 am. She then arrived at the emergency room of the second defendant hospital at 1:35 am and was triaged at 1:39 am. The plaintiff was treated by the defendant physician, who ordered a CT scan of her head. The results of the scan indicated that the plaintiff suffered multiple hemorrhages and obstructive hydrocephalus.

It is alleged that upon review of the scans, the physician indicated that the plaintiff needed to undergo immediate surgery and should be transferred to a facility with a neurosurgery department. She was transferred to the third defendant hospital, where the attending physician noted he suspected the cause of her cerebral hemorrhaging was an aneurysm. She then underwent a surgical procedure that was complicated by an aneurysm rupture. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

Proving Emergency Room Malpractice

To establish a hospital should be held liable for emergency room malpractice, the plaintiff must show that the emergency room treatment providers departed from the accepted standard of care in the community and that the deviation was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. The defendant can refute liability by making a prima facie showing that there was no departure from the standard of care, or the that plaintiff was not injured by any departure. If the defendant makes a prima facie showing, the plaintiff must submit facts or evidence in rebuttal to avoid a dismissal of his or her claim.

In the subject case, the court found that although the defendants met their burden ,the plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact, via an expert affirmation that stated that the defendant physician’s failure to make sure the plaintiff underwent a neurosurgical evaluation within two hours of being admitted to the hospital breached the standard of care. Thus, the court denied the defendant’s motion.

Speak with a Seasoned Syracuse Emergency Room Malpractice Attorney Regarding Your Case

If the doctors in an emergency room fail to treat a patient appropriate it can cause significant and permanent harm. If you suffered an injury or illness because of inadequate treatment in an emergency room you should speak with a seasoned Syracuse emergency room malpractice attorney to discuss your case and what compensation you may be able to recover. The trusted emergency room malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers will work zealously to pursue any damages you may be owed, to help you repair the harm caused by your doctor’s negligence. You can reach us at 833-200-2000 or through the online form to schedule a meeting regarding your case.


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