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New York Court Discusses Establishing Liability for Treatment Delays

People who present to emergency departments are often suffering from critical issues that need to be addressed promptly. In some instances, a delay in treatment can drastically affect a person’s outcome and may give rise to medical malpractice claims. This was demonstrated recently in a New York opinion in which the court ruled that there was a material issue of fact as to whether the defendant’s delay in offering care caused the plaintiff’s harm. If you were hurt by a negligent physician, you might be able to pursue compensation via a medical malpractice claim, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital with a stated complaint of testicular torsion. Approximately an hour and a half after his arrival, he underwent an ultrasound which confirmed the diagnosis. He did not undergo surgery until two hours later, however. His testicle was detorsed, but it did not show any signs of viability; as such, it was removed. The defendant subsequently filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant, alleging the delays in treatment worsened his likelihood of a good outcome. The defendant moved for summary judgment, but the court denied its motion. The defendant appealed.

Establishing Liability for Treatment Delays

Upon review, the appellate court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion. Specifically, it stated that triable issues of fact existed as to whether the defendant departed from the standard of care in treating the plaintiff’s testicular torsion. Further, the court stated that there was a factual dispute as to whether any alleged deviation from the standard of care worsened the plaintiff’s prognosis.

The court noted that the defendant produced an expert affirmation concluding that the treatment the plaintiff received was within the accepted practice of medicine at all times. Additionally, the expert stated that even if the plaintiff’s testicular torsion had been diagnosed and treated immediately upon his arrival at the emergency room, the outcome would not have been any different.

In response, however, the plaintiff offered an expert opinion stating that testicular torsion is a medical emergency and that rapid restoration of the flow of the blood to the testis is critical, and treatment delays that, like the plaintiff’s, exceed six hours decrease the likelihood of a good outcome by 60%. Thus, the court found that there was a genuine factual dispute as to whether the defendant committed malpractice.

Speak to a Skilled Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Many medical conditions rapidly worsen without immediate treatment, and providers that recklessly harm their patients by unnecessarily delaying care should be held accountable. If you were harmed by a negligent provider, you might be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and assist you in seeking the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a meeting.

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