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New York Appellate Tribunal Affirms Summary Judgment to Medical Providers in Case Involving Stroke Following Surgery

The medical condition known as a “stroke” occurs when there is poor blood flow to the brain. Suffering a stroke can result in debilitating personal injuries and even death. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for strokes.

If a doctor’s negligence causes a patient to suffer a stroke, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. A Syracuse medical negligence attorney can help you review the facts of your case if you believe that you or a loved one may have a malpractice claim against a particular doctor or healthcare provider.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently decided on appeal from the Supreme Court of Nassau County, the plaintiff was a woman who suffered a stroke following surgery to resection her colon. Joined derivatively by her husband, the plaintiff filed suit against several medical providers, asserting a variety of claims stemming from the allegation that that the plaintiff’s stroke was caused by the defendants’ negligence in clearing the plaintiff for surgery despite her high blood pressure. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendants had timely failed to diagnose and treat her stroke.

The defendants included the hospital where the surgery was performed, the doctor who performed the surgery and his assistant, and the anesthesiologist who was present during the surgery. The plaintiff’s causes of action included medical malpractice, negligence, lack of informed consent, and loss of services. After completion of discovery, the defendants filed motions for summary judgment. After the trial court granted the motions, the plaintiff appealed.

The Appellate Tribunal’s Ruling

The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, affirmed the lower court’s decision. In support of their motions for summary judgment, the defendants relied upon the testimony of various expert witnesses, all of whom opined that the defendants had not deviated from acceptable standard of care in their treatment of the plaintiff and that they had not caused the injuries about which complained in her suit. In response to the defendants’ respective prima facie showings that they were entitled to summary judgment, the plaintiff’s expert opined that a nonparty (an internal medicine/cardiology specialist) had deviated from the standard of care by clearing the plaintiff for surgery before her hypertension was under control. In the reviewing court’s view, this expert’s affirmation did not establish the requisite causal connection between the plaintiff’s pre-operative hypertension or her drop in blood pressure after anesthesia was administered and the ischemic stroke she suffered.

Without evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact as to the defendants’ liability for their alleged medical negligence in treating the plaintiff, there was no reason for the case to proceed further towards trial for a resolution of the issues by the trier of fact. Thus, it had been appropriate for the lower court to grant summary judgment to the defendants.

Learn More About How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Syracuse

As patients, we must have a high level of trust in our physicians and other healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, this trust can be violated, and serious injury or even death can occur. If you have questions about a possible medical malpractice case for cardiovascular malpractice or other negligence, the attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP can help. Use this website to contact us, or contact us by phone at 833-247-8427 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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