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New York Court Orders a New Trial in a Medical Malpractice Case Due to Trial Court’s Preclusion of Expert Testimony

Expert testimony is essential in a medical malpractice case, and without it, a plaintiff most likely cannot establish liability or damages. As such, if the court refuses to allow a plaintiff’s expert to testify, it will most likely cripple their case. While there may be grounds for precluding some of an expert’s testimony, barring it all together is not favored, and such actions may be reversed on appeal, as demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case. If you sustained losses due to the incompetence of a doctor, it is wise to contact a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital when she was 21 weeks pregnant. The defendant doctor diagnosed her with inevitable abortion and potential chorioamnionitis, which is an inflammation of tissue in the uterus caused by an infection. She opted not to terminate the pregnancy. She was evaluated two additional times over the following day and again diagnosed with inevitable abortion but was advised that chorioamnionitis was unlikely. She then opted to induce labor to expedite the inevitable abortion.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was induced and gave birth to a stillborn child, A study of the fetal tissue did not reveal evidence of chorioamnionitis. The plaintiff then filed medical malpractice and lack of informed consent claims against the defendants. The case eventually proceeded to trial, and the court precluded the plaintiff’s expert from testifying, as some of his proposed testimony fell outside of the scope of his report. The jury found in favor of the defendants, and the plaintiff moved to vacate the judgment and order a new trial. The trial court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Admissibility of Expert Testimony

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in refusing to allow her expert to testify. The appellate court agreed, reversed the trial court ruling, and remanded the matter for a new trial. The appellate court found that even if some of the plaintiff’s expert’s proposed testimony fell outside of the scope of the report, the trial court erred in striking all of his proposed testimony.

The appellate court elaborated that the error was not harmless, and it essentially precluded the plaintiff from presenting expert testimony on the issue of whether the defendants deviated from the accepted standard of care. Thus, the appellate court found that, in the interest of justice, a new trial was necessary.

Speak to an Assertive Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The outcome of medical malpractice cases often hinges on the strength of each party’s expert testimony, and therefore, it is critical that the plaintiff obtain a competent and compelling expert. If you are interested in pursuing a medical malpractice claim against your health care provider, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights. The assertive attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers possess the skills and experience needed to aid you in your pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a meeting.


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