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New York Court Discusses Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case

In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must offer evidence in the form of an expert opinion to show that the defendant caused their harm. There are some exceptions, though, like when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor applies. If a plaintiff fails to assert this argument, however, the lack of expert evidence will most likely be fatal to their claim, as shown in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff asserted he suffered an eye injury during knee surgery. If you were injured by a carelessly performed procedure, it is smart to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you need to offer to recover damages.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus. The defendant performed the procedure. Shortly after the surgery, the plaintiff began to experience redness and pain in his left eye. He was subsequently diagnosed with a corneal abrasion. He then instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and the hospital where the defendant worked, alleging that the defendant negligently performed the surgery, causing injuries to his knee and eye. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the cause of action relating to the eye injury. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case

The court affirmed the trial court ruling on appeal. The court noted that the plaintiff conceded that the defendants established, prima facie, they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law as to the cause of action alleging medical malpractice caused an injury to the plaintiff’s eye. In response, the plaintiff did not raise a triable issue of material fact, as he neglected to submit an expert report.

Further, the court explained that the plaintiff failed to raise the argument of res ipsa loquitor in his response to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. As such, his current argument that that theory applied was not properly before the court. Res ipsa loquitor, which is Latin for the thing speaks for itself, is a legal theory meaning the harm could not have occurred absent negligence. As the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor was not available to the plaintiff and he failed to provide an expert report in support of his claims, the court found that the trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff’s claims that medical malpractice caused injuries to his eye.

Meet with a Seasoned Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People hurt by incompetent medical care have the right to seek compensation, but if they do not offer adequate evidence in support of their assertions, their claims may be dismissed. If you were injured during a medical procedure, it is smart to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at holding reckless health care providers accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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