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New York Court Discusses Grounds for Seeking a Motion to Vacate a Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case

During a medical malpractice trial, the parties will typically present all of the evidence in their favor and ask the jury to make decisions regarding issues like liability and damages. Juries do not always come to conclusions plaintiffs want them to, however, and plaintiffs that receive unfavorable verdicts may ask the court to vacate the juries’ rulings. Motions to vacate judgments are rarely granted, though, and plaintiffs arguing vacatur is appropriate to face a high burden of proof, as discussed by a New York court in a recent medical malpractice case. If you were injured by a negligent physician, you might be able to pursue claims for damages, and it is wise to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

The Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant performed an elective plastic surgery procedure on the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered nerve damage during the procedure and subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The matter proceeded to trial, and the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff moved to vacate the verdict and for a new trial. The trial court denied her motion, and she appealed.

Grounds for Seeking a Motion to Vacate a Judgment in a Medical Malpractice Case

The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling denying the plaintiff’s motion. While the plaintiff argued that she had newly discovered evidence that necessitated a new trial, the court found that even if she established the evidence was in fact novel, she failed to show that it was not merely cumulative or that it was material to the issues in dispute. Further, she failed to prove the evidence was not merely being offered to impeach the credibility of a witness that testified for the defense, or that it was likely to change the outcome of the case.  As such, the appellate court found that the trial court’s ruling was not issued in error.

The court also noted that to the extent her motion for vacatur arose of out the allegation that the defendant committed perjury, it was properly denied as well. The court elaborated that the plaintiff did not meet her burden of establishing that the defendant committed fraud, made a material misrepresentation, or engaged in misconduct as required to obtain a vacatur on the grounds asserted. Thus, it affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with an Experienced Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People harmed by negligent medical care may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, but if the jury does not rule in their favor, there is often little that they can do to reverse the findings. If you were hurt by the negligence of a doctor, it is smart to meet with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your possible claims and help you seek the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. 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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