Appellate Team Wins Summary Judgment On Behalf of Hospital Defendants

The Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously affirmed a Nassau County order granting the Hospital defendants summary judgment in a medical malpractice action. Specifically, plaintiff alleged that the defendants improperly cleared the patient for surgery, failed to diagnose and treat her atrial fibrillation, and failed to manage her blood pressure pre-operatively, which allegedly caused the patient to suffer an ischemic stroke.

The Hospital defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that they appropriately cleared the patient for life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, the patient suffered a stroke which was a known complication of the surgery, particularly in light of the patient’s co-morbidities that increased her risk for a stroke. The defendants argued that plaintiff failed to demonstrate any causal link between their treatment and the stroke, as any anti-coagulation medication would have been stopped prior to the surgery. Nevertheless, the defendants maintained that the stroke was recognized and treated immediately and appropriately.

The motion court granted defendants’ summary judgment motion. Plaintiff appealed, contending that the records created an issue of fact. The Second Department, however, agreed with defendants and affirmed, holding that plaintiff failed to demonstrate any causal link between the pre-operative cardiac management and the stroke.

The motion papers were completed by Robert Castillo. Appellate briefing was handled by Christopher Simone and Nicholas Tam, with Nick arguing the appeal before the Second Department.

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