Opthalmologist Not Qualified to Opine On Treatment of Meningioma-Malpractice Case Dismissed

On February 6, 2019 the appellate court for Richmond County reversed a trial Judge who denied a motion for summary judgment to an opthalmologist sued for failing to refer his patient to a neurologist. The patient presented to the opthalmologist complaining of pain in his right eye and a droopy eyelid. The opthalmologist  suspected glaucoma as the cause and instructed the patient to return in six months or sooner if conditions didn't improve. Unfortunately, six months later the patient was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor called a meningioma and underwent tumor resection surgery. The opthalmologist moved to dismiss the claim arguing he complied with the standard of care and that even if plaintiff's tumor had been diagnosed six months earlier, the same treatment would have been necessary.

The appellate court found that plaintiff's expert opthalmologist's affidavit was sufficient to address the standard of care (negligent failure to refer the patient to a neurologist) but insufficient to overcome the causation defense that the tumor resection was inevitable, even if diagnosed sooner.The appellate court noted that the plaintiff's opthalmologist failed to explain whether he had any experience in the treatment of meningioma's or that he had familiarized himself with the neurology standard of care for treatment. Without establishing this foundation there was no evidentiary basis for plaintiff's opthalmologist's contention that radiation treatment, rather than surgical resection would have been available. The malpractice claim was dismissed because the plaintiff needed an affidavit from a neurologist or an opthalmologist who was familiar with the treatment of meningioma's to oppose the summary judgment motion. Simpson v Edghill, 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 00923 

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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