Most plaintiffs pursuing medical malpractice claims will rely on a jury rather than a judge to decide issues of liability and damages. As juries are comprised of human beings, though, they are not immune to mistakes, and in some cases, they fail to rule in accordance with the evidence. Luckily, the law allows parties who feel that a jury ruled improperly to seek a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Obtaining such relief is not easy, however, as demonstrated in a recent opinion set forth by a New York court in a medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care rendered by a physician, you have the right to pursue claims for your losses, and it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Background of the Case
It is alleged that the decedent was hospitalized due to a pulmonary embolism. He was subsequently diagnosed with cancer and later died. The plaintiff, the executor of his estate, filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit naming the hospital and numerous doctors as defendants. The matter progressed to trial, and after the plaintiff presented her evidence, she settled with one of the defendants. The trial concluded, after which the jury found that while the first individually named defendant departed from the standard of care, the second had not. The plaintiff moved to set aside the verdict as to the second individually named defendant. The trial court denied her request, and she appealed.
Grounds for Overturning a Verdict in a Medical Malpractice Case
On appeal, the court expounded that a court may not set aside a jury’s verdict in favor of a defendant unless it finds that the evidence weighs so heavily in favor of the plaintiff that the jury could not have reached the verdict had it fairly interpreted the evidence. If a verdict aligns with a reasonable view of the evidence, though, the defendant is entitled to the presumption that the jury adopted a reasonable view.
The court explained that credibility issues are within the purview of the jurors, as they had the opportunity to observe the evidence and the witnesses. Additionally, in cases in which the parties offer conflicting evidence, the jury is permitted to adopt one expert’s opinion while rejecting that of another. In the subject case, contrary to the plaintiff’s opinion, the court found that the jury’s verdict in favor of the second defendant comported with a reasonable view of the evidence. Thus, it affirmed the trial court ruling.
Meet with a Knowledgeable Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Juries generally exercise sound judgment, but sometimes they make mistakes that require the court to overturn the verdicts they issue. If you suffered harm due to hospital malpractice, you should meet with an attorney to talk about what claims you might be able to pursue. The knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers possess the skills and experience needed to help you seek justice, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We can be reached through our online form or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to schedule a conference.