In medical malpractice cases, the parties will usually disagree on issues like liability and damages. In such matters, the courts will generally determine that there is a factual dispute sufficient to require a trial. In other words, it is unusual for a court to rule in favor of one party as a matter of law. While summary judgment is rare in medical malpractice cases, it can occur, as demonstrated recently by a New York ruling. If you were harmed by the negligence of your doctor, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the decedent visited the defendant hospital with complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath. When he was at the hospital, he was examined by the defendant physicians. He ultimately suffered a ruptured aorta and died. The plaintiff, the administrator of the decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging they failed to diagnose or treat the decedent’s aortic dissection, resulting in his death. She asserted wrongful death and medical malpractice claims against them. After the completion of discovery, the plaintiff moved for judgment in her favor via summary judgment. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.
Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Cases
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that contrary to the defendants’ assertions, the plaintiff met her burden of proving she was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, she set forth the affirmation of a medical expert who explained his qualifications and stated that, after reviewing the medical records, he determined that the defendants acted negligently and that their negligence impacted the decedent’s health.
Additionally, the plaintiff’s expert set forth the specific facts he relied on in coming to this conclusion. Thus, his affirmation was sufficient to meet the plaintiff’s burden of proof. In contrast, however, the defendants failed to set forth evidence sufficient to show that a triable issue of fact existed.
The court found that the defendants’ expert had sufficient expertise to offer a reliable opinion regarding the decedent’s care; despite that fact, it nonetheless concluded that the defendants failed to meet their burden of proof. In other words, the defendants’ expert failed to address the specific assertions set forth in the plaintiff’s expert affidavit. Based on that fact, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.
Confer with a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical practitioners have an obligation to render competent care, and if they fail to uphold their obligations, they should be held accountable for any losses that arise. If you suffered damages due to medical malpractice, it is in your best interest to confer with an attorney regarding your rights. The seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the circumstances out of which your injuries arose and help you to pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.