A motion for summary judgment is a procedural tool that defendants in medical malpractice cases often use in an effort to persuade the courts to dismiss the claims against them rather than allowing them to proceed to trial. The courts will only grant a summary judgment in cases in which the plaintiff fails to establish the existence of a material factual dispute, however. As such, if the plaintiff offers any evidence that would support the assertion that the defendant may be liable for the plaintiff’s damages, summary judgment is improper. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice matter in which the court declined to adopt the defendant hospital’s assertion that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care that you received in a hospital, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyer to assess your options for seeking compensation.
The Decedent’s Harm
It is reported that the decedent, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, was admitted to the defendant hospital with complaints of abdominal pain and distention. He underwent a test and was diagnosed with a pseudo-obstruction of the bowel and prescribed medication. He was evaluated numerous times during his admission due to worsening symptoms, but his treatment largely remained unchanged. Nine days after he was admitted, he died due to an internal hemorrhage and a tear of the iliac artery.
Allegedly, the decedent’s estate filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the doctors who treated the decedent. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the court granted their motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading