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New York Court Discusses Evidence of Lack of Informed Consent

Doctors have an obligation to not only provide their patients with competent care but also to advise them of their treatment options and the potential benefits and disadvantages of each choice. If a doctor fails to adequately inform a patient of the risks of a procedure and the patient subsequently suffers harm, the doctor can be held accountable, even if the patient’s injuries are due to a known danger. As discussed in a recent New York ruling issued in a lack of informed consent case, however, the injured party must present certain evidence to prevail in a civil action against the provider. If you sustained losses due to the incompetence of a healthcare provider, you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

Case Setting

The plaintiff, along with her husband, commenced a legal action to seek damages for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent against the defendant, a physician, and the defendant’s employer. They alleged that the defendant caused serious injuries to the injured plaintiff during a physical examination in June 2015, claiming that the examination was aggressive, forceful, and negligent. Additionally, they asserted that the defendant failed to obtain informed consent for the examination. The defendants moved for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint, which the trial court granted. The plaintiffs then appealed the decision.

Evidence Sufficient to Demonstrate Lack of Informed Consent

On appeal, when considering the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the medical malpractice cause of action, the court highlighted the necessity for the defendants to establish prima facie that there was no departure from the standard of care or that any deviation did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries.

The court found that the defendants’ submissions, including affirmations from certified physicians in relevant fields, sufficiently demonstrated compliance with the standard of care and absence of causation for the alleged injuries. In response, the plaintiffs, who did not present expert affirmation, failed to raise a triable issue of fact. As such, the court found summary judgment appropriate. Similarly, the court upheld the dismissal of the cause of action for loss of consortium and services as it was derivative of the medical malpractice claim.

The court also affirmed the dismissal of the lack of informed consent claim, emphasizing that such a claim necessitates an affirmative violation of physical integrity in the absence of informed consent. Here, the defendants’ submissions, supported by expert affirmations, established prima facie that the examination did not involve such a violation. In opposition, the plaintiffs failed to present evidence to challenge this assertion, leading the court to conclude that there was no triable issue of fact. Ultimately, the court found the plaintiffs’ remaining contentions to be without merit, and the decision was concurred by all judges.

Talk to a Dedicated Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Negligently rendered medical treatment can hurt rather than help patients, and doctors who fail to provide competent care may be deemed liable for medical malpractice. If you were injured due to the carelessness of a physician, you may be owed damages, and you should talk to an attorney. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys have ample experience holding negligent doctors accountable for the losses they cause, and if we represent you, we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to arrange a meeting.

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