Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Judge Nealon of Lackawanna County Affirms Validity of Pursuing Corporate Liability Claims in Med Mal Cases

Several notable issues were addressed by Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in his recent decision in the case of Brink v. Marian Community Hospital, No. 13-CV-1314 (C.P. Lacka. Co. June 30, 2016 Nealon, J.).

Of particular note is that, in this detailed Opinion issued in a psychiatric medical malpractice wrongful death action, Judge Nealon covered topics such as corporate liability vs. vicarious liability, including an analysis of prior appellate court and Lackawanna County decisions that applied corporate liability concepts to professional medical corporations, i.e., private doctor's groups or offices.  Judge Nealon followed the prior precedent of allowing for corporate liability against professional medical corporations in medical malpractice actions,

Judge Nealon also addressed issues surrounding both the "gross negligence" standard under the Mental Health Procedures Act, and separate punitive damages claims in this context.  Notably, the punitive damages claims were dismissed.

Overall, the court granted the Defendants' motions for summary judgment in part, and denied them in part.

Anyone wishing to review this decision, may click this LINK.

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