FAILURE TO PROVIDE WRITTEN POST-COLONOSCOPY INSTRUCTIONS AND FAILURE TO NOTIFY PLAINTIFF OF THE DISCOVERY OF A COLON PERFORATION CONSTITUTED SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF PROXIMATE CAUSE IN THIS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACTION (SECOND DEPT).
The Second Department determined defendant doctor’s (Aronoff’s) motion to set aside the verdict in this medical malpractice action was properly denied. Aronoff’s failure to provide plaintiff (Raymond) with written instructions and warning after the colonoscopy, and his failure to notify plaintiff after a colon perforation was discovered constituted sufficient evidence of proximate cause:
Establishing proximate cause in medical malpractice cases requires a plaintiff to present sufficient medical evidence from which a reasonable person might conclude that it was more probable than not that the defendant’s departure was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury … . “Generally, expert testimony is necessary to prove a deviation from accepted standards of medical care and to establish proximate cause” … . ” A plaintiff’s evidence of proximate cause may be found legally sufficient even if his or her expert is unable to quantify the extent to which the defendant’s act or omission decreased the plaintiff’s chance of a better outcome or increased the injury, as long as evidence is presented from which the jury may infer that the defendant’s conduct diminished the plaintiff’s chance of a better outcome or increased [the] injury'” … .
Here, there was legally sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings that Aronoff departed from accepted standards of medical practice in failing to provide Raymond with written post-colonoscopy instructions and failing to warn him as to the signs or symptoms of which he should be aware. Aronoff also failed to contact Raymond and instruct him to go to the hospital after Aro
noff had reviewed CT scan results that revealed a colon perforation. The evidence was legally sufficient to support the jury’s findings that these deviations proximately caused Raymond’s injuries … . Gaspard v Aronoff, 2017 NY Slip Op 06258, Second Dept 8-23-17