Published on:

New York Court Discusses Grounds for Setting Aside a Verdict in a Malpractice Case

Generally, parties in New York medical malpractice cases rely on juries to resolve issues of liability and damages. Juries do not always issue verdicts that comport with the evidence presented, however. Thus, if a jury’s verdict is against the weight of the evidence, the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules permit a party to file a motion to set aside the verdict. Thus was demonstrated in a recent otolaryngologist malpractice case, in which a New York court discussed when a jury’s verdict should be set aside as against the weight of the evidence. If you suffered harm due to negligent care rendered by an otolaryngologist, you should consult a knowledgeable Syracuse otolaryngologist malpractice attorney to explore what evidence you must produce to obtain a favorable outcome.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure on her sinuses to treat chronic sinusitis. When the defendant was performing the procedure, she noticed a thinning of one of the bones in the plaintiff’s sinus cavity and therefore applied a dural patch to the bone. Following the procedure, the plaintiff suffered a diminished ability to smell or taste. The plaintiff then underwent a procedure with a second doctor who drained a cyst in her sinuses and repaired the bone in the area where the dermal patch had been applied.

It is alleged that the plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant for medical malpractice. After a trial, the jury found that the defendant departed from the accepted practice of medicine in failing to advise the plaintiff of the dermal patch following the surgery and that the defendant’s departure caused the plaintiff’s harm, and issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant then filed a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict as against the weight of the evidence.

Grounds for Setting Aside a Verdict in a Malpractice Case

In New York, a motion to set aside a jury’s verdict and for judgment as a matter of law may only be granted in cases in which the court determines that, based on the evidence presented, there is no valid reasoning or permissible inferences that would lead a reasonable person to the conclusion the jury reached, and no reasonable process by which the jury could find in favor of the non-moving party. In considering a motion to set aside a verdict, the court must consider the facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and must afford that party any inference that could reasonably be drawn from the evidence presented.

In the subject case, the court found that the evidence presented supported the jury’s finding that the defendant departed from the standard of care in failing to advise the plaintiff of the dural patch. The court ruled, however, that the evidence did not support the jury’s finding that the defendant’s departure caused the plaintiff’s alleged harm. Rather, the court noted that the jury could only have relied on speculation in support of its finding of causation. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Speak to an Assertive Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you were harmed by negligent treatment rendered by an otolaryngologist, it is prudent to speak to an assertive Syracuse otolaryngologist malpractice attorney to assess what damages you may be able to pursue in a civil lawsuit. The skilled malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to help you seek a just result and we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us through our form online or at 315-479-9000 to schedule a meeting.

Justia Lawyer Rating
Contact Information