Summary Judgment Dismissal

HPM&B successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims against a prominent Westchester County teaching hospital in a brain damaged baby case. Plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to timely diagnose fetal distress and perform a Cesarean section delivery. The defendant hospital successfully argued that its staff appropriately carried out the instructions of the private attending co-defendant obstetricians, properly monitored the patient including the fetal heart rate tracing, and timely reported all pertinent clinical information to the attending physicians. Judge James Hubert granted summary judgment dismissal of all claims against the hospital, and plaintiff’s counsel subsequently filed a motion to reargue asserting that the hospital was vicariously liable for the remaining co-defendant obstetrician. This was an issue plaintiff raised for the first time in opposition to the summary judgment motion. HPM&B successfully argued that it was improper and untimely for plaintiff to introduce a new theory, which was not contained in the pleadings, at the summary judgment stage. Judge Hubert ultimately adhered to his original determination dismissing all claims against the hospital.