Summary Judgment Dismissal
HPM&B recently obtained summary judgment dismissal on behalf of a pulmonologist in a Supreme Court, Orange County medical malpractice case. Plaintiff alleged that the physician failed to properly treat the decedent’s pleural effusions during a multi-week hospital admission. The decedent was nearing the end of his life due to esophageal cancer. It was specifically alleged that the pulmonologist failed to perform a thoracentesis to remove fluid resulting in lung failure and death. Defendants argued that the procedure was indeed offered to decedent, but he refused, as was his right. HPM&B further argued that the decedent succumbed to the natural course of his underlying disease process, and his death was not caused by any alleged negligent medical care, or purported lack thereof, on behalf of the pulmonologist. The Court agreed and dismissed the case in its entirety finding that plaintiffs’ expert failed to provide anything more than a speculative and conclusory opinion in opposition to the defendant’s motion.