Summary Judgment in Queens County

HPM&B recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major medical institution in a high exposure medical malpractice action. Plaintiff claimed that defendant failed to timely diagnose and treat viral encephalitis in a then-14 month old infant, causing severe and permanent brain damage.

In moving for summary judgment, defendant relied on an expert affirmation setting forth that there was no causal relationship between any care or treatment rendered to the infant and her condition. Specifically, the expert affirmed that there is no treatment for viral encephalitis and that any injuries stemming from the condition are unavoidable. The expert opined that earlier placement of an IV, blood testing and monitoring would not have altered the infant’s outcome.

In awarding summary judgment, the Supreme Court, Queens County (O’Donoghue, J.), held that plaintiff’s expert opinion failed to demonstrate that additional or more timely care and treatment by defendant would have prevented or lessened infant-plaintiff’s injuries.

HPM&B partner Ana Vizzo and senior associate Amy H. Scheiner represented the facility on the motion.