Thursday, March 24, 2016

Second Department Finds Question of Fact Raised by Plaintiff as to Departure Sufficient, Where Defendants' Expert Failed to Address Proximate Cause

In Gallen v. County of Rockland, the defendants moved for summary judgment relying, in part, on an affidavit from their expert who attested that the defendant doctor did not depart from the standard of care in his suicide-assessment of plaintiff's decedent.  The defense expert did not address proximate cause. The Second Department therefore found that, in order to defeat the defendants' motion, the plaintiff's expert needed only to address the standard of care.  The Court further found that the plaintiff's expert raised a question of as to whether the doctor's failure to obtain the decedent's medical records and inadequate suicide assessment rendered the defendant's treatment decision "something less than a professional medical determination," which mandated the denial of defendants' motion.   

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