In its March 28, 2017 Decision and Order, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department (“Appellate Court”) affirmed the order of the New York Supreme Court, New York County that dismissed the New York medical malpractice plaintiff’s complaint.
The New York medical malpractice plaintiff claimed that the defendants were negligent in the performance of a cardiac catheterization, thereby causing an arterial perforation, which in turn caused ischemia and loss of vision in the plaintiff’s right eye.
In support of their motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s New York medical malpractice complaint, the defendants submitted the written opinion of their expert that the objective evidence indicated that the plaintiff’s vision did not worsen post-surgery, but that even if it did, this was attributable not to the surgery but to the advancement of the plaintiff’s preexisting glaucoma. The plaintiff’s expert opined that the defendants’ negligence caused the perforation, which in turn caused ischemia and diminished vision, but the plaintiff’s expert did not explain how the perforation caused these injuries and the plaintiff’s expert failed to respond to or even acknowledge the opinions of the defendants’ expert regarding causation.
The Appellate Court stated that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of any issues of fact with respect to proximate cause and held that the affirmation of the defendants’ neuro-ophthalmologist expert was sufficient to meet their burden of demonstrating that the alleged negligence did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s visual impairment.
The Appellate Court further stated that the plaintiff’s expert was not qualified to offer an opinion as to causation because he specializes in cardiovascular surgery, not neurology or ophthalmology. Furthermore, the plaintiff’s expert failed to profess the requisite personal knowledge necessary to make a determination on the issue of whether the perforation was responsible for the plaintiff’s visual impairment.
The Appellate Court rejected the plaintiff’s effort on appeal to point to additional injuries apart from vision loss because the additional injuries were not alleged in the plaintiff’s medical malpractice complaint or the bills of particulars. The Appellate Court also rejected the plaintiff’s contention that the defendants’ expert failed to consider the reports of two ophthalmologists who examined the plaintiff post-surgery because the defendants’ expert expressly addressed the findings set forth in those reports.
Source (beginning on page 54) Steinberg v. Lenox Hill Hospital, 3542-, 3543-, 3544 (Index 805358/13)
Coronary perforation during diagnostic coronary angiography is reportedly “very rare.”
If you or a family member suffered serious injury as a result of a cardiac catheterization procedure in New York or in another U.S. state, you or your family member should promptly find a New York medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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