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New York Court Discusses Expert Reports in Lack of Informed Consent Claims

While most medical malpractice cases arise out of the failure to provide patients with treatment that complies with the applicable standard, some allege that the defendant violated the duties owed to the plaintiff by failing to adequately explain the risks associated with a treatment prior to prescribing it to the plaintiff. As with other cases arising out of medical negligence, a plaintiff alleging harm due to lack of informed consent must set forth evidence in the form of an expert report that demonstrates that the defendant should be held accountable for the harm the plaintiff suffered. Plaintiffs that fail to meet this burden may have their claims dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent dermatology malpractice case in which a New York court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to insufficient evidence of the defendant’s liability. If you suffered harm due to a careless dermatologist, you should confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff sought treatment from the defendant for male pattern baldness. He was prescribed and used a topical ointment, after which he subsequently developed post-finasteride syndrome, which consists of numerous irreversible sexual, physical, neurological, and mental health issues. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the defendant failed to obtain the plaintiff’s informed consent prior to prescribing the ointment. After discovery was completed, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Expert Reports in Lack of Informed Consent Claims

In a case arising out of the alleged lack of informed consent, a defendant moving for summary judgment must establish, prima facie, that it did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine in prescribing a treatment. In the subject case, the appellate court noted that the defendant’s expert explained that the information the defendant provided to the plaintiff prior to prescribing the ointment regarding the potential side effects, including post-finasteride syndrome, went above and beyond the applicable standard of care.

In response, however, the plaintiff’s expert opinion was conclusory and neglected to address the opinions set forth by the defendant’s expert. Further, the plaintiff’s expert failed to cite the facts or medical evidence he relied on in forming his opinion. Thus, the court found the plaintiff’s arguments to be unavailing and affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Capable Syracuse Lawyer

Doctors must thoroughly advise patients of the potential risks of a treatment, and if they do not and their patients suffer harm, they should be held responsible. If you were injured due to your dermatologist’s failure to obtain your informed consent, you might be able to pursue a dermatology malpractice claim, and you should meet with an attorney. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our capable attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can contact us through our online form or at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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