Yesterday, an appellate court overruled Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, Martin Shulman who had dismissed a claim of malpractice against an obstetrician and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The defendant, Dr. Sophia Drosinos persuaded Justice Shulman that she could not possibly be at fault "in repairing plaintiff's fourth-degree laceration, a tear that extends past the anal sphincter and into the anus that can occur during childbirth...." Dr. Drosinos swore that she was "actively involved in suturing the tear and directed the proper placement of every stitch". She also claimed that it was accepted practice to have a surgical assistant, as "two pairs of hands" were necessary to repair such an extensive vaginal/anal laceration. However, the appellate court noted that there was an issue of fact requiring a jury trial since the plaintiff testified that Dr. Drosinos was not at the operating room table the entire time her laceration was being repaired.
The appellate court also reversed an award of dismissal to an obstetrician who allegedly departed from accepted standards of care for "failing to refer the plaintiff to a colorectal surgeon upon first hearing of her complaints of fecal incontinence and stool coming out of her vagina". Plaintiff's expert opined that the delay in obtaining a surgical repair was significant and consequential. Jane Doe v Drosinos, 2020 WL 97307