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New York Court Discusses Evidentiary Burdens Imposed on Parties in Medical Malpractice Cases

People who suffer from concerning symptoms will typically present to their doctor to obtain a diagnosis and any necessary treatment. If a doctor fails to conduct the tests needed to obtain an accurate view of a patient’s health or neglects to advise them of the risks associated with a proposed course of care, however, the patient’s condition may worsen, and the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. Recently, a New York court explained the evidentiary burdens imposed on parties in medical malpractice cases in an opinion in which it affirmed the existence of factual disputes that necessitated a trial. If you were injured by your doctor’s errors, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent presented to the defendant’s radiology center for CT scans of the chest on numerous occasions from 2011 through 2014. Based on the findings of the tests, the defendants diagnosed her with small airway inflammatory disease. In the spring of 2014, though, she underwent a PET scan and fine-needle aspiration, which ultimately revealed malignant cells.

Reportedly, the plaintiff brought a lack of informed consent and medical malpractice claims against the defendants. Following her death, the administrator of her estate was substituted as the plaintiff. The defendants moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment, but the trial court denied their motion. They then appealed.

Evidentiary Burdens Imposed on Parties in Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York, the critical elements of a medical malpractice claim are the departure from the accepted practice of medicine and proof that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff harm. As such, on a motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice case, the defendant physician bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any departure from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that the plaintiff did not suffer injuries due to any such deviation.

Once the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff must then show that a triable issue of fact exists as to the elements on which the defendant met its burden. In the subject case, the defendants met their prima facie burden by producing an expert report stating that they did not depart from the standard of care in their treatment of the plaintiff. In response, though, the plaintiff raised numerous factual disputes. Thus, the appellate court found that the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion.

Meet with a Skilled Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Harm suffered during the course of medical care is often the result of medical malpractice. If you were hurt by the carelessness of your physician, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to meet with an attorney to examine your possible claims. The skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers take pride in helping victims of medical malpractice in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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