Published on:

New York Court Discusses Proving Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

When administering tests or treatment, doctors must take care not only not to injure their patients but also not to worsen any existing injury. Doctors that fail to uphold this duty may be liable for medical malpractice. Proving a doctor exacerbated an existing injury may be difficult, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to the negligent acts of your doctor, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against his general practitioner, a radiologist, an MRI provider, and a hospital based on the assertion that they were collectively responsible for the delayed diagnosis of tumors on his spine that ultimately caused his paraplegia. The defendants moved for summary judgment while the plaintiff moved to amend his bill of particulars. The court denied the defendants’ motion and granted the plaintiff’s motion. The defendants then appealed.

Proving Liability for Worsening an Existing Injury

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court’s ruling as to the general practitioner but otherwise affirmed. The court found that the general practitioner showed, prima facie, that he did not deviate from the good and accepted practice of medicine via an expert affidavit. The expert also noted that as soon as the general practitioner noted abnormalities on the plaintiff’s CT scan, he referred him to a specialist.

In response, however, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. The plaintiff’s expert did not demonstrate that he had the experience or training to opine on the standard of care that applies to a general practitioner, and he neglected to address the general practitioner’s expert’s opinions.

As to the radiologist and MRI provider, there was expert evidence that their admitted failure to discover the plaintiff’s tumors resulted in a weakening of his spine, which could have ultimately caused paraplegia. Further, it did not relieve them from liability for harm caused by subsequent providers, as the court noted that malpractice that aggravates an injury is a foreseeable result of the acts of the party that originally caused the harm.

Finally, the court found that the plaintiff’s cause for delay in seeking to amend his bill of particulars was reasonable, and therefore the trial court properly exercised its discretion in permitting an amendment.

Consult an Experienced Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Negligently administering medical tests can result in significant injuries, and patients harmed by their doctor’s carelessness may be owed compensation. If you believe you were hurt by a reckless physician, you should consult an attorney to discuss your right to pursue a medical malpractice claim. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers possess the skills and experience needed to help you seek good results, and if we represent you, 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 meeting.

Contact Information