Serving Clients Throughout Upstate New York with Multiple Convenient Locations
Published on:

New York Court Explains What Evidence Is Needed to Prove a Doctor’s Negligence Caused a Patient’s Harm

Breast cancer is a devastating illness that impacts many women. As such, it is recommended that women undergo regular breast cancer screenings. Even if a woman submits to such tests, they may nonetheless develop cancer. Whether a doctor’s failure to conduct more frequent screenings to prevent cancer from progressing constitutes malpractice, however, depends on the facts of the case. This was illustrated recently in a New York matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that she could not establish that her harm arose out of the defendant’s negligence. If you were injured by medical errors, you have the right to pursue claims against your doctor, and it is wise to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff treated with the defendant gynecologist, who referred her for a screening mammogram in 2015. The radiologist that interpreted her mammogram recommended an ultrasound as well. The defendant discussed the recommendation with the plaintiff and advised her that he agreed.

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent an ultrasound and a diagnostic mammogram, the results of which were probably benign and benign, respectively. It was recommended that she follow up in six to twelve months. In June 2106, she visited a breast surgeon due to pain and swelling and was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed.

Proving a Doctor’s Negligence Caused a Patient’s Harm

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that in order to demonstrate a doctor’s liability for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must show that the doctor departed from the standards of practice accepted within the community and that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm.

As such, a defendant seeking summary judgment must show, prima facie, that they did not deviate from the accepted practice of medicine or that any deviation did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. If the defendant makes this showing, the burden then moves to the plaintiff, who must then offer evidence demonstrating the presence of a triable issue of fact. In the subject case, the court found that the defendant met his burden of proof by offering an expert affidavit stating that he did not breach the standard of care. In response, the plaintiff offered an expert opinion that failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Women with breast cancer have a better prognosis if they are diagnosed before the cancer spreads. As such, if a doctor fails to take the steps necessary to provide a patient with a prompt and accurate diagnosis, it may cause the patient harm and could constitute medical malpractice. If you were harmed by medical negligence, you should talk to a lawyer about your potential claims as soon as possible. The trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and resources needed to obtain successful outcomes in malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact us by using our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

Contact Information