Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Default Reinstated Where Plaintiff Failed To Show Meritorious Cause of Action

In Chiaramonte v. Coppola, an action alleging medical malpractice and wrongful death, the trial court had granted plaintiff's motion to vacate a default judgment entered against her for failure to appear at a scheduled status conference (see 22 NYCRR 202.27[b]). On appeal, the First Department reversed, finding that plaintiff had failed to show a meritorious cause of action. The Court observed that the affidavit of plaintiff's expert failed to make factual allegations, describe the extent of his or her knowledge of the matter, or state with specificity the observations as to the procedures or treatments performed and defendant's alleged deviations from the acceptable standards of medical care. Nor did the expert explain how the alleged departures from those standards contributed to the decedent's death.

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