Monday, July 27, 2015

Judge Minora of Lackawanna County Denies Motion for Reconsideration in Medical Malpractice Case

In a recent decision in the case of Rarrick v. Silbert, No. 2002-CV-4951 (C.P. Lacka. Co. June 23, 2015 Minora, J.), Judge Carmen D. Minora, of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, denied a Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration of his previously denial of the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a medical malpractice case against a psychiatrist and another Defendant entity in a case involving allegations that the Defendants failed to take appropriate steps to avoid a situation with an emotionally unstable individual from escalating into a hostage-taken event for the Plaintiff and her family members that had to be defused by police intervention.  

Judge Minora laid out the standard of review for Motions to Reconsideration and found that the Defendant’s motion had been timely filed.

Judge Minora rejected the defense contention that, since the Court found in its previous decision in the matter that there was no common law duty owed to the Plaintiff, there could be no valid claim by the Plaintiff.   To the contrary, Judge Minora found that the Mental Health Procedures Act created a statutory duty of care owed to the Plaintiff that allowed the claim to proceed. 

The Court also rejected the defense argument that the Plaintiff failed to produce expert report as required by Pennsylvania law to move forward on the claims presented.   In so ruling, Judge Minora found that this case fell within those types of cases where the alleged negligence and/or the alleged lack of skill and/or the alleged lack of due care averred was so obvious as to be within the realm of a layperson’s normal understanding based upon the ordinary experience and comprehension such that expert testimony is not required.    

As such, the court denied the Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration.  

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

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