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New York Court Discusses Impact of Orders Regarding the Admissibility of Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases

New York medical malpractice cases typically hinge on the sufficiency of each party’s expert testimony. If a party fails to provide an expert report, or his or her expert reports are deemed inadmissible, it can have a devastating effect on the party’s position. In a recent OB-GYN malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged her child suffered harm due to negligent pre-natal care, the  Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York addressed the impact of orders limiting the admissibility of evidence on both parties. If your child suffered an injury due to inadequate medical care during your pregnancy it is essential to meet with a capable Syracuse OB-GYN malpractice attorney to discuss the facts of your case and to develop a plan for seeking damages for your child’s harm.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff mother began suffering pregnancy complications, including bleeding and leaking fluid, when she was twenty-five weeks pregnant. She was referred to the defendant obstetrician-gynecologist, who examined her and scheduled a follow-up appointment. Prior to the next appointment, the plaintiff mother once again began bleeding and therefore went to the emergency room. She was subsequently transferred to another hospital, where she went into labor. Because the plaintiff infant was in a breech position, he was delivered via a cesarean section.

Reportedly, the plaintiff mother was twenty-eight weeks pregnant at the time of the plaintiff infant’s birth. The plaintiff infant was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The plaintiffs subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant obstetrician gynecologist, alleging his malpractice caused the plaintiff infant to suffer severe and permanent injuries. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court denied, finding there were triable issues of fact. The defendant then filed a motion to deem the plaintiff’s expert witnesses’ testimony inadmissible. The court denied that motion and the defendant appealed.

Orders Determining the Admissibility of Evidence

On review, the court dismissed the defendant’s appeal. The court stated that an order determining the admissibility of evidence is at best an advisory opinion, even if it is made in advance of trial pursuant to a motion. Thus, such orders are not appealable, by right or by permission. In the subject case, the court found that the trial court’s ruling simply permitted the plaintiffs to offer testimony from their expert witnesses and did not limit the scope of issues which would be tried. As such, any appellate review of the trial court’s ruling was delayed until the conclusion of the trial, so that the relevance of the evidence offered and the effect of the trial court’s ruling with respect to the evidence could be properly evaluated.

Speak with a Capable Syracuse OB-GYN Malpractice Attorney Regarding your Case

Proper pre-natal care is essential to protect the health of unborn children. If your child suffered harm because of negligent care rendered by your obstetrician or gynecologist, you should speak with a capable Syracuse OB-GYN malpractice attorney regarding your case and what compensation you and your child may be able to recover. The knowledgeable OB-GYN malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers will zealously pursue the full extent of damages you may be owed. You can reach us at 833-200-2000 or via the online form to set up a consultation regarding your potential case.


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