The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department (“New York Appellate Court”) held in its Memorandum and Order entered on December 23, 2020 that the medical malpractice defendants were not entitled to summary judgment in a New York medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged that his vasectomy was negligently performed.
The plaintiff commenced his medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that the defendant, Joseph M. Greco, M.D., negligently performed two vasectomy procedures on him, causing him to sustain injuries, including chronic and severe testicular pain. The defendant appealed from an order that denied his motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.
The New York Appellate Court stated that the defendant satisfied his initial burden on his motion for summary judgment by submitting an affidavit from the defendant addressing each of the specific factual claims of negligence raised in the plaintiff’s bill of particulars and opining that he complied with the accepted standard of care and did not cause any injury to the plaintiff in performing the vasectomy procedure.
The New York Appellate Court stated that in opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff raised triable issues of fact with respect to the defendant’s compliance with the accepted standard of care and whether that departure was a proximate cause of the injury, rejecting the defendant’s contention that the plaintiff’s expert failed to offer an adequate foundation for his or her qualifications: the plaintiff’s anonymous expert indicated that he or she was a physician licensed in the United States and was board certified in urology, was a fellow in the American College of Surgeons, and was a former Chief of Urology. The affidavit therefore established that “[t]he specialized skills of [the] expert as demonstrated through his [or her] board certifications, taken together with the nature of the medical subject matter of th[e] action, are sufficient to support the inference that [his or her] opinion regarding [the] treatment [at issue] was reliable.”
The New York Appellate Court held: “Plaintiffs’ expert opined, in contradiction of defendant’s affidavit, that the severe chronic testicular pain that followed the vasectomy procedures is not a recognized complication associated with normal vasectomies but is instead associated with negligent medical and surgical care … In addition, based on a review of the medical records and deposition testimony, plaintiffs’ expert raised an issue of fact with respect to causation by ruling out all other causes of the chronic pain except for negligence during the vasectomy procedures. The affidavits submitted by the parties thus presented a “classic battle of the experts” precluding summary judgment.”
Source Hilbrecht v. Greco, 678 CA 19-01179.
If you or a loved one may be the victim of a negligently performed vasectomy in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a New York medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your vasectomy malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a vasectomy medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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