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New York Court Discusses Liability for Treatment Following an Improper Diagnosis

An inaccurate diagnosis can lead to improper treatment, the progression of illnesses, and other losses. While, in most instances, harm is caused by a missed diagnosis, patients can also suffer injuries if they are incorrectly diagnosed with an illness that they do not have. Recently, a New York court examined whether the administration of hospice care following an erroneous cancer diagnosis constitutes medical malpractice, ultimately determining that it did not. If you suffered harm because of a missed or wrong diagnosis, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney about your possible causes of action.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff presented to the defendant cancer center to determine whether he had pancreatic cancer. Six months later, he presented to the defendant hospice center with complaints of weakness and abdominal pain and, per the hospice center, a diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. The plaintiff underwent an evaluation and was admitted to the hospice floor for ninety days. After forty days, he was transferred to the defendant palliative care center, where he was monitored by the defendant doctor.

Reportedly, the defendant did not have pancreatic cancer. As such, he subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting several causes of action, including medical malpractice. The defendant doctor center moved for summary judgment.

Liability for Treatment Following an Improper Diagnosis

The court granted the defendant doctor’s motion. The court explained that, as the moving party, the defendant doctor needed to make a prima facie showing that she was entitled to judgment as a matter of law by offering evidence sufficient to eliminate any material issues of fact. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff then must produce admissible evidence that is adequate to show that factual disputes exist that warrant a trial.

In the subject case, the defendant submitted an affirmation from a medical expert that was board certified in palliative medicine and hospice care, which stated that the standard of care did not require her to review the plaintiff’s studies and scans. Instead, her duties were limited to managing the care of patients admitted to hospice under an established diagnosis. In response, the plaintiff offered an affirmation from an emergency medicine doctor that the court deemed speculative and conclusory and failed to address the assertions in the defendant’s expert affirmation. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Consult a Knowledgeable Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Patients have the right to receive competent care, including timely and correct diagnoses, and doctors that fail to offer such treatment may be liable for medical malpractice. If you were harmed by an inaccurate diagnosis, you have the right to pursue claims against your doctor, and it is advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible.  The knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers possess the skills and resources needed to obtain favorable outcomes in medical malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will zealously advocate in your favor. You can reach us by using our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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