Under New York law, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical negligence must prove that the treating provider deviated from the standard of care that is accepted in the relevant community. Even if a plaintiff meets this burden, he or she may be denied the right to recover damages, however, unless it is also established that the breach of the duty owed caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable harm. The consequence of the failure to demonstrate causation was the topic of a recent opinion issued by a New York court, in a matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s malpractice claims against a hospital. If you were harmed by a careless physician, you might be owed compensation, and it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.
The Decedent’s Harm
It is reported that the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and shortness of breath. During his admission, he fell while standing to answer a telephone and fractured his cervical spine. He underwent surgery to repair the fracture but suffered complications and had to be placed on a ventilator. He was taken off of life support and died a short time later.
The plaintiffs, representatives of the decedent’s estate, filed medical malpractice claims against the defendant, alleging it failed to determine that the decedent was at an increased risk for falls and to take appropriate measures to prevent him from falling. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the court granted its motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading