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Court Examines Proof Needed to Show a Doctor Departed from the Standard of Care

Many people suffer from chronic conditions that they manage through medication. While many drugs have side effects, they are often outweighed by their benefits. If a patient cannot withstand the side effects of a medication, though, their physician may choose another course of care. There are risks associated with stopping a drug as well, and if a doctor does not follow the proper procedure, it can lead to irreparable harm. This was illustrated recently in a New York case in which the court discussed whether the discontinuance of a drug could constitute medical malpractice. If you were harmed by the negligence of a physician, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your possible causes of action.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent suffered from high cholesterol. As such, he was prescribed a statin medication that helps prevent the risk of myocardial infarctions. One year later, a doctor employed by the defendant discontinued the prescription due to negative side effects. A year after that, the defendant died. The cause of his death was a myocardial infarction. The plaintiff instituted a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the doctor’s discontinuance of the statin departed from the accepted practice of medicine and caused the decedent’s death. The plaintiff then moved for summary judgment.

Proving a Doctor Departed from the Standard of Care

Under federal law, a court may only grant a motion for summary judgment if there are no genuine issues of material fact that require a trial, and judgment is warranted as a matter of law on the facts as to which there is no dispute. In assessing a motion for summary judgment, the court cannot try factual issues; instead, it can only evaluate whether there are issues that need to be tried.

Determinations with regard to liability and choices between conflicting versions of what transpired should be presented to a jury, not a judge on summary judgment. To defeat a motion for summary judgment, though, a nonmoving party must do more than merely show that some doubt exists as to the material facts.

In the subject case, the plaintiff met her burden of proof via the submission of an expert affidavit. Contrary to her assertions, though, the court found that the defendant was not required to rebut her evidence with expert testimony. In other words, medical records, affidavits, and deposition testimony would suffice. The court ultimately found that the defendant raised a triable issue of fact on the matter of causation. Thus, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion.

Meet with a Proficient Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors have to comply with the standard of care when treating their patients, and if they do not, it may constitute medical malpractice. If you suffered harm due to the oversights or omissions of your physician, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney. The proficient Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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