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New York Appellate Court Agrees with Plaintiff in Medical Malpractice Case That Doctor Should Submit to Additional Deposition

A Syracuse medical malpractice case begins with the plaintiff filing a lawsuit against the allegedly negligent doctor, hospital, or another medical provider. The defendant(s) then files an answer, addressing each of the allegations made by the plaintiff in his or her suit.

From there, the case typically proceeds to the discovery phase of litigation, a time during which each party has an opportunity to send written interrogatories and requests to produce documents to the other. These are usually followed up by depositions of the parties and their respective medical expert witnesses. If the parties cannot agree on the handling of the discovery phase of the litigation, it is likely that one or both parties will seek the court’s help, sometimes by a motion to compel.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiffs were a husband and wife who sued several defendants, including a hospital, a medical doctor, and a radiology group, asserting a claim for medical malpractice due to the defendants’ alleged negligence in the treatment of the male plaintiff and seeking monetary compensation for the plaintiffs’ damages resulting from the defendants’ conduct. During the pre-trial phase of the case, a dispute arose between the parties with regard to whether the defendant doctor should be compelled to attend a further deposition and answer certain questions regarding certain subsequent medical treatment of the male plaintiff.

The Supreme Court of Niagara County denied the plaintiffs’ motion to compel the defendant doctor to attend a further deposition. The plaintiff sought review from the appellate tribunal, arguing that the trial court had erred in its ruling.

Opinion of the Court

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Fourth Judicial Department reversed the supreme court’s order denying the plaintiffs’ motion to compel and entered an order granting the motion to compel the doctor to submit himself to another deposition, after he had an opportunity to review medical records pertaining to the subsequent treatment at issue. According to the reviewing court, the trial court should have directed the doctor to answer questions regarding medical treatment obtained by the male plaintiff by two particular hospitals that were apparently not parties to the suit.

The reviewing court was of the opinion that the doctor, whom it described as an expert in the field of radiology, could be called upon to answer questions regarding certain CT images and reports, an angiogram report, and other medical records from two hospitals that the male plaintiff went to for treatment. In ordering the doctor to submit to the additional deposition, the court agreed with the plaintiffs that such questions were relevant to their claim that the defendants were negligent in their diagnosis and that their negligence was the proximate cause of the male patient’s personal injuries.

To Get Legal Advice About a Malpractice Case

If you believe that you, or someone in your family, has suffered a serious personal injury or wrongful death because of the professional negligence of a doctor, radiologist, nurse, hospital, or other medical provider, you need to see a lawyer about getting started on a claim for malpractice. Medical malpractice cases are complex and expensive endeavors and they are best approached by seeking legal advice as soon as possible after learning that a medical mistake has been made. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorney, please call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP at 315-479-9000. There is no charge until we successfully settle your case or win a judgment in your favor in a court of law.

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