Summary Judgment Win

Attorney Stephanie Johnston wins Summary Judgement in a Medical Malpractice case, Westchester Supreme Court.  Plaintiff’s Complaint contained causes of action for professional malpractice and negligent physical therapy, as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Plaintiff’s Complaint contained causes of action for professional malpractice and negligent physical therapy, as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress.  We moved for summary judgment on all causes of action and provided an Affidavit from a physical therapy expert attesting that our client did not depart from good and accepted physical therapy practice in his care and treatment of the plaintiff. Judge Adler held that summary judgment must be granted as to our client as we met our prima facie burden of showing entitlement to summary judgment as a matter of law.  Once the burden shifted to plaintiff to produce evidentiary proof in admissible form, the Court held that the plaintiff failed to offer an expert opinion that the defendant’s care deviated from good and accepted medical practice.  

In addition, the Court held that contrary to plaintiff’s suggestion, the question of whether our client engaged in “unprofessional conduct” under the Board of Regents had no direct bearing on whether he committed actionable malpractice.  The Court pointed out that Board licensees who engage in unprofessional conduct may be subject to administrative discipline without being liable in civil actions.  With respect to the remaining negligence claims, the Court held that these causes of action were duplicative of the medical malpractice claims.

Lastly, with respect to the emotional claims, the Court held that plaintiff failed to state a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress as she was not claiming that she suffered any physical harm or that our client created any risk of harm or threatened her physical safety.

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