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New York Court Discusses the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases

It is not uncommon for people who suffer fractures to undergo care with multiple providers; if they subsequently suffer complications, each provider may ultimately be deemed responsible for their losses. Whether a medical malpractice case involves one or many defendants, though, the plaintiff must establish a deviation from the accepted standard of care and show that such a departure caused their harm in order to recover damages. Recently, in a New York ruling delivered in a medical malpractice case, the court clarified what evidence is needed to demonstrate a breach of the standard of care. If you sustained damages because of the negligence of a doctor, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries and Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff fractured her left wrist in January 2018. The fracture was treated by the first defendant, an orthopedic surgeon, through a closed reduction. Subsequent X-rays showed mild displacement, and the plaintiff was discharged with instructions to follow up. Over the following weeks, the plaintiff experienced increasing symptoms, leading to a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome by the second defendant, another orthopedic surgeon.

It is reported that in July 2019, the plaintiff commenced a medical malpractice case against the defendants, along with an orthopedic surgeon and physician assistant. The lawsuit alleged failure to obtain informed consent, negligence, and medical malpractice. The defendants moved for summary judgment; the court denied their motion, and they appealed.

Evidence of Deviations from the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s decision, rejecting the defendants’ claim that they were entitled to summary judgment. The court emphasized that the defendants, as the moving party, had the initial burden to present factual proof establishing compliance with the standard of care. Defendants provided medical records, deposition testimony, and expert affirmations. However, the plaintiff’s experts contested these affirmations, asserting deviations from the standard of care.

The court held that the plaintiff’s expert opinions were not speculative and addressed specific assertions made by the defendants’ experts. Further, the court dismissed the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff presented a new theory of liability in her response to their motion, as her claims were rooted in the failure to follow guidelines, which was consistent with the pleadings. The court also rejected the contention that the plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon’s opinion was conclusory, stating that the surgeon’s point was clear regarding the lack of alignment. Thus, the court upheld the trial court’s decision.

Talk to a Skilled Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Errors made during and after surgical procedures can lead to lasting harm and, in many instances, are grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. If you were injured by a negligently performed surgery, it is wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers our skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can take the measures necessary to help you protect your rights. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to schedule a meeting.

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