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Grounds for Granting a Motion for Reargument in a Medical Malpractice Case Discussed by New York Court

Unfortunately, mistakes made during relatively low-risk medical procedures can cause devastating harm. Even in cases in which liability seems clear, however, defendants in medical malpractice cases will often deny that they caused the plaintiff to suffer harm and will seek dismissal via a motion for summary judgment. While the courts typically rule reasonably with regard to such motions, they are not invulnerable to mistakes. While parties cannot relitigate issues, they may be able to reargue them when it is clear the court committed an error, as demonstrated in a recent anesthesia malpractice case.  If you were hurt by negligently administered anesthesia, it is advisable to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney about your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent surgery to repair a fractured ankle. During the procedure, his oxygen level dropped rapidly. The defendant anesthesiologist then administered an excessive dose of anesthesia which caused the plaintiff to go into an extended respiratory depression, causing him to suffer brain damage. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that his negligence harmed the plaintiff. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims by summary judgment.

It is reported that the trial court granted the motion as to the plaintiff’s claims that arose out of the improper administration of anesthesia on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to raise the issue. The plaintiff moved to reargue the issue and clarify what matters would proceed to trial. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion to reargue the issue, noting that it had inadvertently failed to recognize the fact that the plaintiff amended the bill of particulars to include claims regarding the negligent administration of anesthesia. As such, the court denied the defendant’s motion as it related to the claims arising out of the negligent administration of anesthesia. The defendant then appealed.

Grounds for Granting a Motion for Re-argument

On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court stated that while the plaintiff wanted to clarify certain incorrect statements made by the trial court in the original order, he actually wanted to amplify or change the terms of the original order. As such, his motion was properly characterized as a motion to reargue. Additionally, as there was no appeal from the original order, the appellate court’s review was limited to whether the trial court properly exercised its discretion in granting the plaintiff’s motion to reargue. The appellate court ultimately ruled that it had, and therefore affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Anesthesia errors can cause serious and lasting harm, and anyone injured by the carelessness of an anesthesiologist may be able to pursue damages. If you were hurt by an anesthesiologist, it is smart to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can gather any evidence that will aid you in your pursuit of justice and set forth compelling arguments on your behalf. We can be contacted through our online form or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to schedule a meeting.


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