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New York Court of Appeals Rules Jury Had Ample Evidence to Make Conclusion

If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need to consult a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorney right away. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we have helped many New York clients obtain a fair outcome in their case and can help you as well.

In Clark v. Loftus, the plaintiff commenced a medical malpractice action as a result of complications after a surgical procedure performed by the defendant doctor. At trial, plaintiff and defendants presented contradictory expert testimony regarding the defendant’s alleged negligence. The Supreme Court of the State of New York provided the jury instructions on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor. “Res ipsa loquitur” is latin for “the thing that speaks for itself.” When a case is tried under the theory of res ipsa loquitur, the circumstantial evidence in the case is so strong that it eliminates other possible causes of the patient’s injury other than the defendant’s negligence.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant and the plaintiff moved to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence for a new trial. In other words, the plaintiff sought judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion, reasoning that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and directed a new trial on the issue of negligence, including the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. The appellate court reversed the order and reinstated the verdict.

The appellate court explained that it is well established law that a verdict in favor of a defendant can be challenged as against the weight of the evidence in cases where the evidence favoring the plaintiff “could not have been reached on any fair interpretation of the evidence.” However, in the case at hand, the conflicting testimony regarding the plaintiff’s post-operation symptoms could have taken place without the defendant’s negligence. As such, the jury had ample basis to reach its conclusion that the plaintiff’s injury was not caused by malpractice.

Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that allows injured patients to sue medical professionals for any harm suffered as a result of the medical professional’s error, carelessness or wrongdoing.

Medical experts play an important role in establishing medical malpractice in New York and in virtually every other state. Under New York law, the injured patient (i.e., the plaintiff) must present a medical expert in his or her case. The medical expert, in the vast majority of cases, is in the same medical specialty as the defendant. For instance, if a plastic surgeon is being sued, the expert will be a plastic surgeon. This is because the expert witness is required to give an opinion regarding the appropriate standard of care for that profession and also explain how the defendant deviated from the appropriate standard of care in that particular case.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, let us help you. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our hard-working Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys will guide you through the process of filing a claim and help you get the compensation you deserve for your harm. Call us today at 833-200-2000 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Medical Malpractice Caused by Failure to Treat High Blood Pressure, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2018

Medical Malpractice Related to COPD in Syracuse, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2018


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