On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Medical Malpractice on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.
In all jurisdictions, including New York, there are some medical negligence claims that are more complex than others. In those cases, proof of medical negligence and causation will be more elaborate and detailed than in some simpler kinds of medical malpractice claims. When the more demanding evidentiary burdens are substantially met, however, the plaintiff will be in a reasonably strong position to either obtain a pre-trial negotiated settlement or to win a jury verdict.
In one case in another state, a physician filed a lawsuit against a university medical center, claiming negligent post-operative care after colorectal surgery. The plaintiff complains that as a result of the inadequate post-operative care, he suffered a disabling heart attack. The details of how the care was inadequate were not included in the press reports. However, this is not an 'easy' case to prove, as where the wrong body part is amputated or where a surgical tool is left inside the body.
The testifying experts will explain the minimal required standards for such post-operative care. There will likely be a complicated exploration of how the alleged improper or inadequate post-operative care for this patient could lead to a traumatic and disabling heart attack. They will have to show the facts and medical information that combine to indicate that the defendants essentially caused the heart attack by substandard care.
The complex web of testimony and the number of experts possibly needed in this kind of case could take several days in front of a jury. The jury must be educated concerning a specialized medical issue with possible exceptions and conflicting interpretations. That may mean probing and time-consuming cross-examinations of the plaintiff's experts.
Because the plaintiff was apparently himself a practicing physician, his damages claim in this medical malpractice case will likely be substantial for lost wages and lost earning capacity. In New York and elsewhere, the amount of lost earning capacity will, in itself, require expert testimony from an experienced forensic economist or actuary. Sometimes, an occupational specialist must testify to the nature of the disability and its impact on the plaintiff's functional capacity.
Source: cookcountyrecord.com, "Doctor accuses Loyola University Medical Center, Trinity Health of malpractice", Robert Hadley, Dec. 3, 2015
Related Posts: Understanding common birth injuries: part II, Understanding common birth injuries: part I, Medication mistakes: a common diagnostic error, Defensive medicine: an expensive and unnecessary approach