Summary Judgment Granted

HPM&B successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims against a defendant urologist in Supreme Court, Westchester County. Plaintiff underwent ambulatory surgery with the defendant urologist, and she was then admitted to the co-defendant Hospital for further treatment and monitoring. On the day she was to be discharged, she fell in the Hospital, suffered a pulmonary embolism and died. Plaintiff’s estate claimed that the defendants failed to timely restart her anticoagulation medication after the surgery, which resulted in her wrongful death. HPM&B successfully argued that once the hospitalist admitted the patient, the defendant urologist was permitted to rely on the anticipated treatment of the hospitalists which included management of the anticoagulation medication. It was further argued that the defendant urologist was not responsible for managing the anticoagulation medication because it is outside his scope of practice. Also, the defendant was never involved in prescribing or managing this medication for plaintiff. Instead, the defendant urologist’s role during plaintiff’s admission was that of a consulting physician who was responsible for following the patient from a urological standpoint and recommending any necessary urological treatment. The Court granted the defendant urologist’s summary judgment motion finding that physicians are not required to treat outside of their specialty, particularly when another physician is treating the patient who is of the specialty that would manage the medication at issue and treat the underlying disease.