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New York Court Denies Summary Judgment in Favor of a Defendant in a Medical Malpractice Case

Mistakes made by medical professionals tending to a mother during labor and delivery can have devastating consequences and may constitute grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. Defendants accused of medical negligence rarely admit liability, however, and in fact, in most cases, will assert that the court should find in their favor. In a recent opinion issued in a case in which the plaintiff asserted that she and her infant suffered harm due to medical malpractice, the court examined what each party must prove with respect to motions for summary judgment. If you or your child sustained injuries due to errors during or after the birthing process, you might be able to recover damages, and you should confer with a trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to the defendant’s hospital to deliver her infant son. Complications arose during delivery, and the child ultimately suffered injuries. The mother brought a lawsuit against the defendants alleging their medical negligence caused her and her son to suffer harm. The defendants moved for summary judgment in their favor. The trial court denied the defendants’ motions, and they appealed.

Dismissal of a Plaintiff’s Claims in a Medical Malpractice Case

After reviewing the evidence presented, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that a defendant pursuing summary judgment in a medical malpractice case must demonstrate, prima facie, either that they did not depart from the accepted practice of medicine or that any alleged deviation from the standard of care did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s injuries.

If the defendant makes this showing, the plaintiff must rebut it to withstand summary judgment by producing an expert opinion that addresses each of the specific allegations asserted in the defendant’s expert report. The appellate court noted that summary judgment is not appropriate in cases in which the parties offer conflicting expert reports.

In the subject case, the defendants demonstrated their prima facie right to judgment as a matter of law via their expert affirmations. As to the defendant doctor, the affirmation stated that his treatment of the plaintiffs aligned with the standard of care, and any purported departures from the standard did not cause the plaintiffs’ harm. In opposition, though, the plaintiffs submitted their own affirmation, which demonstrated that a triable issue of fact existed as to whether the defendants’ acts or omissions caused their harm. Based on the foregoing, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Confer with a Dedicated Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Mistakes and oversights made by healthcare providers in the context of treatment often constitute medical malpractice and people harmed by such acts and omissions are often owed compensation. If you sustained losses due to the negligence of a doctor, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. The dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of achieving a favorable outcome. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a meeting.

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