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Appellate Division, Second Department Affirms Grant of Summary Judgment to Paramedics

In December 2018, Supreme Court, Richmond Country granted Gerspach Sikoscow's motion for summary judgment on behalf of its clients, emergency medical technicians employed by a local hospital. Plaintiffs alleged that our clients rendered negligent emergency medical services when responding to a child who was suffering a severe asthma attack. Plaintiffs' expert contended that our clients failed to adhere to certain pediatric life support guidelines which require that chest compressions be performed on pediatric patients when heartrate falls below a certain threshold. In support of our motion, our expert opined that it was appropriate for the paramedics to attempt to intubate the child instead of performing chest compressions in order to address her primary issue, which was prolonged hypoxia. Moreover, our expert opined that performing chest compressions in order to restore a pulse would not have changed the outcome or prevented the child's cardiac arrest; the autopsy findings included severe mucous plugging, pulmonary edema, and inelasticity of the lungs, all of which would have precluded survival and made CPR irrelevant. On appeal, the Second Department affirmed the lower court's decision, finding that plaintiff's expert affirmations were conclusory, speculative, and failed to address the contentions made by the defense expert with regard to survivability and proximate causation.

Categories: Motion Practice
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