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New York Court Discusses Demonstrating Medical Malpractice Via Expert Opinions

Neurological disorders can cause grave harm, and in many instances, that harm is markedly increased if a patient is not properly diagnosed in a prompt manner. Therefore, if a doctor fails to take the measures necessary to accurately determine a plaintiff’s diagnosis, it may provide grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Claims that a medical professional acted negligently must be supported by competent evidence, though, otherwise they could be dismissed. In a recent ruling arising out of a neurology malpractice claim, a New York court explained what constitutes adequate expert testimony to avoid dismissal via summary judgment. If you suffered harm due to the negligent acts of a neurologist, you should confer with a Syracuse neurology malpractice attorney to determine your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

Reportedly, the plaintiff treated with the defendant neurologist in July 2015. He was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and prescribed medication. He had subsequent visits in August and October of 2015, during which his diagnosis remained unchanged. At his final visit with the defendant in December 2015, a test indicated that the plaintiff suffered memory loss. Thus, the defendant ordered a blood test to rule out a number of disorders, including syphilis.

It is alleged that the plaintiff did not submit to the blood test and instead began treating with another neurologist. In March 2016, the plaintiff advised the defendant that he had not taken the blood test and did not intend to take it. His health continued to decline, and he was diagnosed with neurosyphilis in June 2016. He then filed a medical malpractice action against the defendant, who ultimately moved for summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and he appealed.

Demonstrating Medical Malpractice Via Expert Opinions

Under New York law, a plaintiff seeking to establish a physician is liable for medical malpractice must demonstrate that the physician departed from the standards of practice that are accepted in the relevant community and that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Therefore, in moving for summary judgment, a physician must show, prima facie, that he or she did not deviate from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that the plaintiff did not suffer injuries from any departure.

If a defendant makes this showing, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff, who must rebut the defendant’s assertions with evidence or materials, showing a factual dispute remains that requires a trial. In the subject case, the appellate court stated that the defendant met his burden of proof, but in return, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. As such, it affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Trusted Syracuse Attorney

When a neurologist fails to provide a patient with competent and timely care, it may constitute neurology malpractice. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due the careless acts of a neurologist, it is in your best interest to meet with a lawyer to evaluate your potential claims. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers, our trusted medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals hurt by negligent physicians in the pursuit of damages, and we will work hard to help you seek the best outcome available in your case. You can reach us via our online form or by calling 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.

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