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Appellate Court Affirms Denial of Summary Judgment in New York Medical Malpractice Case

When a doctor or other healthcare professional makes an error, serious consequences, including personal injury and wrongful death, can occur. In order to assert a claim against an allegedly negligent healthcare provider in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must be prepared to introduce evidence of the standard of care that applied to his or her medical situation, how that standard was allegedly breached, the damages that he or she experienced, and the relationship (or “proximate causation”) between the doctor’s mistake and the harm that befell the plaintiff.

A medical malpractice case can take a long time to resolve, much longer than many other types of personal injury cases, such as those arising from an automobile accident. This can be discouraging for a would-be litigant, even one with a really strong case. Unfortunately, this is often the very intent of malpractice insurance companies and the attorneys who defend careless doctors in court.

If you believe that you have been hurt or may have lost a loved one due to a physician or other medical professional’s failure to follow the acceptable standard of care, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner your case is started, the quicker it can be resolved – even if there are delays along the way as the defendants fight a finding of liability.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent New York medical malpractice lawsuit sought monetary compensation from the defendant doctor and orthopedic associates (along with others not involved in the case on appeal) via a claim filed in the Supreme Court of Dutchess County. In December 2016, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint against them. The plaintiff’s attorney sent a letter to the trial court, informing the court that the defendant’s motion was untimely. The trial court agreed and denied the motion as untimely. Thereafter, the defendants sought leave to renew and reargue their motion. The trial court allowed the motion for reargument but otherwise denied the relief requested by the defendants, including their request for summary judgment. The defendants sought further review from the appellate court.

The Court’s Determination of the Issues

The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, affirmed the lower tribunal’s order denying summary judgment to the defendants. Because the defendants were unable to convince the reviewing court that the trial court judge had misapprehended any of the relevant facts or that the judge had misapplied any controlling principal of law, the appellate court saw no reason to reverse the trial court’s denial of summary judgment.

The court also ruled in the plaintiff’s favor with regard to the defendants’ motion to strike the plaintiff’s note of issue and certificate of readiness, as well as their motion to compel additional discovery. According to the appellate tribunal, the motion to strike should have been summarily denied due to the lack of an affirmation of good faith, and the items sought through additional discovery had already been provided by the time of the appellate court’s decision.

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney

The seasoned civil litigators at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP, are here to help those who have been hurt by careless doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. To schedule a free consultation regarding a possible orthopedic malpractice lawsuit, please call us at 315-479-9000. There’s no charge for the consultation, and we can travel to you, if necessary. No matter what time of the day or night you are reading this blog, someone is available to take your call; our phone lines are open 24/7, so you don’t have to wait another minute to get started on seeking justice for what you have been through.

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