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New York Court Discusses Issues of Material Fact in Medical Malpractice Cases

A plaintiff’s burden of proof in New York medical malpractice cases is clearly established. Specifically, in order to impose liability on a health care provider, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant provider departed from the appropriate standard of care and the divergence proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. While it is not uncommon for either party to seek judgment in their favor as a matter of law prior to proceeding to trial, summary judgment will not be granted if the court determines that there is a factual dispute that must be resolved by a jury. This was illustrated recently in a ruling issued by a New York court in a medical malpractice action. If you suffered losses due to the acts of a reckless doctor, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant treated the decedent, who was suffering from falling sodium levels after an injury. The decedent ultimately succumbed to his harm. The plaintiff then brought medical malpractice claims against the defendant, arguing his negligent management of the decedent’s sodium levels led to his demise. The defendant moved for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Issues of Material Fact in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the trial court affirmed the appellate court ruling, finding that there were disputed issues of material fact that precluded judgment in favor of the defendant. Specifically, while the defendant argued that he did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine in the treatment of the decedent, the plaintiff presented expert testimony showing that the delays in administering medication and performing surgical interventions constituted a deviation from the standard of care.

Additionally, the appellate court noted that there were issues of fact as to whether the defendant’s alleged departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine caused the decedent’s decline and eventual death. The court conceded that the defendant’s medical expert submitted an affidavit opining that the decedent’s condition deteriorated after he suffered a seizure which caused increased intracranial pressure. In response, however, the plaintiff’s expert opined that the decedent’s condition worsened due to an increase in intracranial pressure that was caused by low sodium levels that the defendant failed to remediate. Based on the foregoing, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Speak to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

While parties often seek summary judgment in medical malpractice cases, judgment as a matter of law will not be granted if there is any disputed material issue of fact. If you were hurt by carelessly rendered medical treatment, you have the right to seek damages, and it would benefit you to meet with a medical malpractice lawyer. The trusted medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping victims of medical malpractice in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.

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