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New York Court Discusses Establishing Liability for Anesthesia Errors

It is not uncommon for patients to suffer complications after surgical procedures, and in many instances, such complications are preventable and only arise due to the careless acts of one of the doctors involved in the surgery. The mere occurrence of an adverse event, however, does not necessarily indicate a doctor committed medical malpractice. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court rejected the plaintiff’s assertions that anesthesia errors caused his harm and ruled in favor of the defendant. If you sustained losses because of a careless anesthesiologist, it is prudent to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer regarding your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff underwent a surgical repair of a tear of a tendon of his left elbow. The defendant administered the plaintiff anesthesia prior to the surgery. Specifically, he administered a nerve block. After the anesthesia wore off, however, the plaintiff began to feel extreme pain in his left hand, and his fingers were swollen. He was also unable to flex two of his fingers. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brachial plexus nerve injury.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligent performance of his professional duties caused the plaintiff’s harm. During the trial, the plaintiff asked the court to instruct the jury on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, but the court declined. The jury ruled in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence and to argue that the court failed to instruct the jury as requested.

Establishing Liability for Anesthesia Errors

On appeal, the court noted that during the trial, the parties presented conflicting testimony from experts as to the possible causes of the plaintiff’s harm. The court explained that such testimony did not give rise to an inference of negligence due to the mere fact that an adverse event occurred. Thus, the appellate court found that the trial court properly denied the plaintiff’s request for a res ipsa loquitor instruction.

Further, the appellate court found that the trial court ruled properly with regard to the motion to set aside the verdict. The court explained that a verdict should not be set aside unless the evidence is so clearly in favor of the moving party that the verdict is unjust. It is the jury’s domain, though, to evaluate the credibility of experts. Thus, the appellate court found the verdict should not be disturbed.

Meet with a Dedicated Syracuse Lawyer

Anesthesia errors can cause devastating injuries, but merely because an injury occurs, in and of itself, does not mean that an attending physician acted negligently. If you suffered harm due to a careless anesthesiologist, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a lawyer as soon as possible. The dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping people hurt by reckless physicians pursue damages for their losses, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can reach us via our online form or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.



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