First Department upholds ARFD summary judgment victory!

ARFD moved for summary judgment on behalf of an NYC Hospital and two anesthesiologists, who plaintiff claimed improperly administered a supraclavicular nerve block during surgery on the plaintiff’s right hand resulting in permanent pain and sensory issues in the ulnar nerve distribution. Defendants’ experts in anesthesiology and neurology, in supporting the defendants’ care, opined that the nerve block was properly administered and there was no needle injury that could have impacted the plaintiff’s nerves as claimed as the nerve injury was due to an autoimmune disorder. In opposition, plaintiff’s counsel abandoned their medical malpractice claims and proceeded solely on an informed consent claim. The Supreme Court Bronx County granted defendants’ motion and dismissed plaintiff’s Complaint in its entirety due to plaintiff’s failure to offer expert opinion on the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Plaintiff appealed the Bronx Supreme decision. However, the First Department Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the dismissal. The First Department found that defendants’ established a prima facie entitlement to summary judgment, while plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as their conclusory expert affidavit failed to address a significant number of key assertions made by defendants’ experts, including defendants’ experts’ opinions that the defendants’ care was not a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s injury.

Congratulations to ARFD Partner, Robert Cecala, and Associate, Jordan Conger, and ARFD Appellate Partner, Elliott Zucker, on this excellent result for their clients!