Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Judge Minora Again Addresses Medical Malpractice Emotional Distress Claims


In his recent decision in the case of Yadogua v. Dennis, No. 2009-CIV-53 (C.P. Lacka. Co. April 12, 2012 Minora, J.), Judge Carmen D. Minora of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas addressed a variety of issues raised in the Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment filed in this medical malpractice action.

The Yadogua decision represents another decision in which a relative was allowed to proceed beyond the summary judgment stage on a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim in the medical malpractice context under the bystander theory.  To view prior Tort Talk posts on this topic click here.

Although the court allowed the negligent infliction of emotional distress claim to proceed, it did grant the Defendants’ Motion in relation to the Plaintiff’s fraud count. The Court found that the Plaintiff failed to show an essential element of the fraud cause of action, that being any representation by the Defendants with the intent to mislead the Plaintiff as to the ability of the medical providers to provide appropriate care.

In this decision, Judge Minora also granted summary judgment on the Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages as the record revealed that the Plaintiff’s allegations amounted to negligence-type claims and did not rise to the level of reckless indifference, willful, wanton, or reckless conduct required to support a claim for punitive damages.

Anyone desiring a copy of this decision may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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