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Recent New York Opinion Highlights the Importance of Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

The average person usually lacks an understanding of the standard of care imposed on medical professionals. As such, in most medical malpractice cases both sides will retain medical experts to explain to the judge or jury what is required under the applicable standard of care and to offer an opinion that supports their position as to whether the defendant complied with the standard. In most instances, the party that presents the most convincing expert opinion will prevail. Recently, a New York court issued an opinion highlighting the importance of expert testimony in medical malpractice cases. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a treatment provider, you might be able to recover compensation, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent presented to the defendant’s hospital with a fever, pain, and other symptoms. He was treated with antibiotics. He subsequently developed critical issues due to the side effects of the antibiotic and later passed away. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting negligent hiring and supervision and medical malpractice claims.

Specifically, it is reported that the plaintiff argued the defendant’s physician’s negligent administration of the antibiotic and failure to monitor the decedent led to his fatal injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to demonstrate it deviated from the standard of care. The trial court granted the motion, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims, and the plaintiff appealed.

The Importance of Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling as to the negligent hiring and supervision claim but reversed it as to the medical malpractice claim. The court explained that the defendant met its prima facie burden of proof as to the medical malpractice claim by producing an expert report opining that the defendant’s administration and dosage of the antibiotic and monitoring of the decedent following the administration were all appropriate.

In opposition to the defendant’s motion, however, the plaintiff produced her own expert affidavit that set forth conflicting opinions to the defendant’s. Specifically, it stated that the defendant failed to observe signs of toxicity or consider the use of alternative dosing intervals that presented less of a risk. As such, the plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact suitable to withstand summary judgment.

Meet with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

A plaintiff pursuing damages in medical malpractice cases must provide compelling evidence that the defendant caused their harm, and in most cases that evidence must include expert testimony. If you have questions regarding a potential medical malpractice claim, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping people harmed by negligent health care providers in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek the results you deserve. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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