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New York Court Discusses Factual Disputes in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases typically involve disputes over whether a healthcare provider caused their patients harm. In most cases, both parties will provide expert reports in support of their positions. If a court finds that both parties’ experts offered sound opinions based on facts of record, it is unlikely that the courts will find that one party should prevail, as a matter of law. This was demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice ruling, in which the court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. If you have questions about whether you may be able to recover compensation in a lawsuit against a doctor who caused you harm, you should talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant’s doctors performed a knee replacement surgery and a subsequent skin graft procedure on the plaintiff. The plaintiff experienced complications following the procedures and filed medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants then moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish the defendants were negligent and such negligence caused her harm. The court denied the defendants’ motion, however, after which the defendants appealed.

Demonstrating Factual Disputes in Medical Malpractice Cases

Upon review, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court, while acknowledging the defendants’ prima facie entitlement to summary judgment, found that the plaintiff’s experts raised genuine issues of fact regarding the defendants’ alleged negligence.

Specifically, the plaintiff argued that the defendants were negligent in failing to obtain a vascular consultation before the procedures, given the patient’s medical history of diabetes and vascular disease. The plaintiff’s experts opined that the standard of care required such a consultation, in opposition to the defendants’ assertions, which raised questions of fact for the jury. Further, the plaintiff’s argument was supported by the fact that the medical records indicated previous wound healing complications and occluded leg arteries in the patient.

Thus, the court rejected the defendants’ arguments that the plaintiff’s experts’ opinions were speculative and not based on factual evidence. Additionally, the court noted that the trial court’s acceptance of the redacted affirmations of the plaintiff’s experts was appropriate under the procedural rules, and was not grounds for precluding the reports.

The court also rejected the defendants’ claim that the plaintiff’s theory of malpractice was raised for the first time in opposition to the motions, noting that the plaintiffs previously served the defendants with a supplemental bill of particulars containing the theory.

The court agreed, however, to dismiss the plaintiff’s causes of action alleging lack of informed consent and negligent hiring, retention, and supervision, as the plaintiff failed to address those claims in her opposition or respondent’s brief; as such, they were deemed abandoned.

Confer with a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

People harmed by the carelessness of their treatment providers often incur significant losses, but fortunately, in many instances, they are able to recoup damages in medical malpractice claims against the parties responsible for their harm. If you were hurt due to an improperly performed procedure, it is smart to talk to an attorney about your possible claims. The trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess your harm and aid you in seeking any recoverable compensation. You can reach us at 833-200-2000 or via the form online to arrange a meeting.

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