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New York Court Discusses Proving Harm Arose Out of Medical Malpractice

Adverse outcomes following medical procedures are often the direct result of malpractice. In some cases, though, a procedure will fail, or a plaintiff will suffer complications despite the fact that the defendant rendered competent care. In such instances, it is unlikely that the defendant will be deemed liable for medical malpractice. This was demonstrated recently in an opinion dismissing a plaintiff’s medical malpractice case via summary judgment. If you were injured by a carelessly performed procedure, it is wise to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant for a hand surgery consultation after he injured his left pinky finger in a fall from his bicycle. The defendant examined the finger and noted that the joint was deformed. The plaintiff’s record indicated that he had injured the same finger eight months earlier but had tried to pull the finger into place himself rather than seeking treatment. The defendant advised the plaintiff that the best treatment option was a closed reduction. The plaintiff consented to the procedure.

It is alleged that the defendant attempted to manipulate the joint into place on two different occasions without success. He then attempted to perform an open reduction and internal fixation, which also failed. The plaintiff then underwent another reduction which was performed by a different doctor, which was unsuccessful as well. The second doctor then fused the joint. The plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted the motion, after which the plaintiff appealed.

Proving Harm Arose Out of Medical Malpractice

On a motion for summary judgment to dismiss a medical malpractice claim, a defendant carries the initial burden of proving that they did not depart from the accepted and good practice of medicine or that any purported departure did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant meets this burden, it then shifts to the plaintiff, who must prove that a triable issue of fact exists as to the elements for which the defendant met its burden of proof.

In the subject case, the court found that the defendant met his burden of proof by offering expert affirmations stating that the treatment given to the plaintiff did not deviate from the standard of care. In response, the plaintiff’s expert merely offered conclusory statements and allegations. As such, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Speak with a Skillful Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors are expected to offer care that is commensurate with their skill and training, but they do not always do so, and their patients often suffer harm as a result of their negligence. If you suffered harm because of a careless doctor, you might be owed damages, and you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The skillful Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can inform you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal result available under the circumstances. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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