In medical malpractice cases, the parties typically rely on the judge to rule in accordance with the law. Unfortunately, judges do not always interpret facts or the law properly and may issue orders that are clearly erroneous. Fortunately, there is an appeals process parties can employ if they feel a court’s ruling is improper. Recently, a New York court discussed what issues may be considered on appeal in a medical malpractice case, in a matter in which the plaintiff’s claims were unjustly dismissed. If you were harmed by an incompetent doctor, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.
Facts of the Case
Allegedly, after suffering a fall, the plaintiff was transported by EMS to the defendant hospital’s emergency department. The plaintiff, who was purportedly complaining of acute pain in her lower back, was examined by the defendant doctor. He ultimately advised her to take pain medication and sent her home. She returned to the hospital shortly thereafter, complaining of significant discomfort. The defendant doctor examined the plaintiff once again, after which he admitted her to the hospital.
It is reported that diagnostic testing was ordered a few hours later, and it was discovered that the plaintiff had suffered a rib fracture by her left kidney. It was determined that her left kidney was bleeding, and she ultimately had to undergo surgery to remove the kidney. The plaintiff filed the subject lawsuit, asserting medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The case went to trial, and the defendant doctor tried to limit the plaintiff’s damages by excluding any claim for pain and suffering that she endured before her kidney was removed. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the court ultimately entered a judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.
Issues Considered on Appeal
The court stated that, as a general rule, it does not consider any issue raised or that could have been raised, in an earlier appeal that was dismissed for lack of prosecution, it has the inherent jurisdiction to do so. In the subject case, the court explained that the plaintiff appealed a March 2018 judgment entered in favor of the defendants, but her appeal was dismissed for lack of prosecution. The court chose to exercise its jurisdiction regardless and consider the plaintiff’s assertions.
The court ultimately determined that the defendant’s motion for a judgment as a matter of law was premature, as it was set forth before the plaintiff closed her case and was not based on admissions made by the defendant. Therefore, it should not have been granted. Additionally, the court ruled that the defendant’s petition to limit the plaintiff’s damages by eliminating any claim for pain and suffering prior to the removal of her kidney should have been denied, as a fair reading of the bills of particulars revealed such a damages claim.
Speak to a Capable Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney
The doctors working in an emergency department should possess the skills needed to address critical harm, but they do not always employ their skills with care. If you suffered harm due to negligent care you received in an emergency room, you might be able to pursue damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The capable attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers take pride in helping people harmed by careless doctors fight to protect their interests, and if you hire us, we will assertively pursue any damages you may be owed. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.