Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Summary Judgment Granted in Med Mal Case Due to Lack of Expert Testimony


In the case of Gintoff v. Thomas, No. 2016-CV-2155 (C.P. Lacka. Co. May 4, 2018 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas granted a Defendant hospital’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a medical malpractice case given the Plaintiff’s failure to support the claims against that Defendant with expert opinion testimony on those particular claims.  

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County
According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action alleging negligent prescription and monitoring of anti-coagulation therapy that allegedly caused a right occipital hemorrhage which required emergency treatment and allegedly resulted in permanent harm.  

The Plaintiff sued, among others, a Defendant hospital on claims for vicarious liability and corporate negligence.

The Defendant hospital filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking to dismiss these claims on the grounds that the Plaintiff did not produce expert opinion testimony on the issues pertinent to those claims.  

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff did produce an expert report containing opinions from a hematology expert only as to the alleged negligence of the Co-Defendant hematologist.   The court also noted that the Plaintiff’s expert did not criticize the care provided by any hospital personnel. It was further indicated that the Plaintiff’s previously stipulated that the Co-Defendant hematologist was not an actual or ostensible agent for whom the hospital could be found vicariously liable.   Nor was there any opinion in the hematologist’s expert report asserting any institutional negligence against the hospital.

Consequently, based upon the record before it, the court found that the Plaintiff’s case lacked sufficient expert opinion evidence to establish a prima facie claim for vicarious liability or corporate negligence on the part of the Defendant hospital.   As such, the hospital’s Motion for Summary Judgment was granted.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision by Judge Nealon may click this LINK.

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