Conflicting Expert Opinion Makes Summary Judgment Improper in Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Under Florida medical malpractice laws, individuals who suffer injuries because of a negligent physician, nurse, or another healthcare provider may file a lawsuit against the offending party to recoup their damages. These legal proceedings are often adversarial and onerous and require a thorough understanding of complex statutes and regulations. Even though many Florida medical malpractice cases will end in a negotiated settlement, the preparation leading up this result is the same as if the case is going to trial.

In many situations, a party may ask the court to grant them summary judgment and rule in their favor before the trial even begins. This is an integral part of pre-trial proceedings, and these motions often rely on expert witness testimony. The parties will typically present the testimony of expert physicians that will testify to applicable standards and whether there was a breach of the standard of care that the defendant owed. The party opposing the motion for summary judgment must be able to establish that there is a genuine issue of material fact that must be resolved. The sufficiency of a motion for summary judgment often hinges on the expert’s opinion.

For example, recently, a Florida medical malpractice victim appealed a lower court’s ruling granting a hospital’s summary judgment motion. In that case, a man filed a lawsuit against a medical facility, alleging that they were negligent during his cardiac bypass surgery. The man argued that he suffered severe injuries, including a double amputation of his legs, because the facility failed to remove recalled heparin from their medical supplies. The hospital moved for summary judgment, reasoning that the victim did not prove that the facility administered contaminated heparin to the plaintiff.

In reviewing the case, the court cited Florida’s summary judgment laws, which state that courts can only grant these motions if there are no genuine issues of material fact. Genuine issues of material fact occur when there is a dispute between the parties on facts that are plausible and legally relevant to a claim. When both parties present equal expert affidavits to support their claims, any question of credibility must be submitted to a jury. Moreover, it is improper to grant summary judgment based solely on the fact that the plaintiff has not established causation. Ultimately, the court, in this case, found that the lower court improperly granted the defendant summary judgment because there were genuine issues of disputed facts regarding credibility and causation.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Florida Healthcare Provider?

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or death because of the negligence of a medical professional or entity, you should contact the Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. The attorneys at our law firm have a long-standing reputation of successfully fighting for Florida injury victims. If you were harmed because of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Florida medical malpractice lawsuits present victims with significant evidentiary and procedural burdens. We can help you navigate these complicated cases and recover the damages you deserve. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.

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