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New York Appellate Tribunal Finds No Reason to Disturb Trial Court’s Entry of Jury’s Verdict for the Defendant in Medical Malpractice Case

When a Syracuse medical malpractice case is tried to a jury, one party or the other will likely be unhappy with the jury’s verdict. After all, if the parties were in agreement about the issues of the case, there likely would have been a settlement rather than a trial.

The party who comes out on the losing end of the case has the right to seek appellate review of the trial court’s decision. Of course, winning an appeal is not an easy task.

Much deference is to be given to the jury’s verdict. Only when a reversible error is made in the court below may the jury’s verdict or the trial court’s entry of judgment thereon be disturbed on appeal.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent appellate case arising from the Supreme Court of Nassau County was a woman who sought to assert a claim of medical malpractice against the defendant healthcare providers. The matter proceeded to a trial by jury and, unfortunately for the plaintiff, resulted in a defense verdict. The plaintiff appealed, seeking appellate review of various issues that arose during the trial.

The Appellate Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, affirmed the lower court’s entry of judgment for the defendants and dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint following the jury’s verdict. As grounds for appeal, the plaintiff asserted two primary issues: the trial court’s denial of her application to present a rebuttal witness and trial court’s denial of her mid-trial motion to preclude testimony from a proposed expert witness offered by the defendants.

With regard to the rebuttal witness, the reviewing court noted that the gravamen of the plaintiff’s argument was that the defendants had belatedly disclosed a certain ultrasound image and that she should have been given an opportunity to present a rebuttal witness, namely a professional in the field of radiology who could have offered testimony relative to the ultrasound. The reviewing court pointed out, however, that the plaintiff had chosen to introduce the ultrasound image in her own direct case. The defendants had even objected to the plaintiff’s offer of an enlarged copy of the image to be presented to the jury, but the trial court had overruled their objection. In the appellate tribunal’s view, any further testimony would have served only to bolster the testimony that had already been presented by the plaintiff’s expert witness, who testified at trial.

As to the plaintiff’s argument concerning her motion to preclude the defendant’s expert from testifying about certain causation theories, the reviewing court noted that, although there may have been an argument about whether this testimony had been properly disclosed in the defendant’s expert disclosure statements, the basis for any objection could have – and should have – been made prior to trial.

Call a Syracuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Concerns

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional’s mistake or misjudgment, the Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP can help. Contact us through this website or call us at 315-479-9000 to arrange a free consultation.

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