This medical malpractice action arose out of allegations of negligent care provided to the Plaintiff during treatment for cancer. In her Complaint, the Plaintiff made claims of both vicarious and direct liability against the treating doctor as well as the physicians professional group that participated in her care.
The case came before the court on Preliminary Objections filed by the defense, which the court granted in part and denied in part.
The Defendant's Preliminary Objections against the Plaintiff's claims for punitive damages were denied after the court noted that the law allows for such claims in medical malpractice cases where willful or wanton conduct, or reckless indifference to the rights of others is alleged on the part of a defendant as was found to have been alleged in this matter.
|Judge James A. Gibbons|
Judge Gibbons emphasized that the status of the case before him was at the preliminary objections stage and that, by denying the defense Preliminary Objections raised against the allegations of direct liability, the trial court was only ruling that the Plaintiff had properly pled a case of direct liability against the physicians professional group/private medical practice. Judge Gibbons further stated that "[w]hether that claim survives is a question for another day." See Astleford at p. 10.
The court in Astleford otherwise denied the defense demurrer to the Plaintiff's informed consent claim but sustained the defense demurrer to the Plaintiff's claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress where the Plaintiff did not alleged a physical injury from the alleged emotional harm as required by the elements of that cause of action.
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I send thanks to Attorney Michael J. Foley of the Scranton Foley Law Firm for bringing this case to my attention.