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New York Court Examines Issues of Fact in Medical Malpractice Cases

It is not uncommon for more than one doctor to perform surgery on a patient. If the patient subsequently suffers harm due to mistakes made during the procedure, the surgeon in charge of the patient’s care may be deemed liable for medical malpractice, even if other doctors participated in the surgery. This was demonstrated in a recent New York ruling in which the court found that factual issues existed as to whether the defendant surgeon caused the plaintiff’s harm and reversed the trial court ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint. If you were hurt during a medical procedure, it is in your best interest to speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered from abnormal uterine bleeding. As such, she underwent a hysterectomy that was performed by the defendant and another non-party doctor. The defendant operated on the right side of the plaintiff’s body, and the non-party doctor operated on the left; the plaintiff experienced excessive bleeding on the left side. After the surgery, the plaintiff reported urinary incontinence.

Allegedly, diagnostic imaging subsequently revealed that her ureter was severed during the procedure. She underwent additional surgeries to repair her injuries. She then instituted medical malpractice claims against the defendant. Following discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint via summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Issues of Fact in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that a defendant doctor moving for summary judgment must show, prima facie, that they did not deviate from the good and accepted practice of medicine or that any such deviation did not injure the plaintiff.

In opposition to the defendant’s motion, the plaintiff must rebut the defendant’s showing with evidentiary materials or facts to show that a triable issue of fact exists. In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant demonstrated, prima facie, his right to judgment in his favor by submitting an expert report stating that he did not depart from the good and accepted practice of medicine and that any departure did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. In response, however, the plaintiff offered an expert report that refuted the defendant’s expert’s opinion. In contrast to the defendant’s assertions, the court did not find the plaintiff’s expert report to be conclusory or general. Thus, the court reversed the trial court ruling.

Consult a Knowledgeable Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Patients typically expect their surgeons to exercise due care when performing procedures, but sadly, many patients suffer harm during surgery due to their doctor’s carelessness. If you were injured during surgery, you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, and it is wise to consult an attorney. The knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can inform you of your rights and assist you in seeking the maximum damages recoverable under the law. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a conference.

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