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. Continue reading