Monday, April 1, 2019

Summary Judgment Granted in Med Mal Case Where Plaintiff Failed to Produce Expert Report on Causation

In the case of Warrick v. Scranton Quincy Hospital Co., LLC, No. 16-CV-1923 (C.P. Lacka. Co. March 25, 2019 Nealon, J.), the court granted Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment in a medical malpractice case where a pro se Plaintiff failed to produce expert reports in support of the claims presented by the expiration of the expert deadline imposed upon the Plaintiff.  

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff filed this malpractice action against numerous Defendants asserting a failure to timely and correctly diagnose and treat abdominal complaints, which negligence allegedly caused the Plaintiff to develop other issues requiring a surgical repair.  

The Plaintiff was originally represented by counsel who filed Certificates of Merits in support of the claims presented.   Later in the case, the Plaintiff’s attorneys withdrew their appearance.

The pro se Plaintiff then failed to produce any expert report by the time of a court imposed deadline for the production of Plaintiff’s expert’s reports.  

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County
Relying upon the law that holds that, except in cases of obvious malpractice where a lay juror could recognize negligence just as well as any expert witness, a Plaintiff must present expert testimony to establish the applicable standard of care in a medical malpractice action, the deviation from that standard, medical causation, and the extent of the alleged injuries and damages. 

Given that the Plaintiff had failed to produce an expert medical opinion following the completion of discovery and prior to the expiration of the deadline for the production of expert reports, the court found that the Plaintiff was unable to establish a prima facie case of medical malpractice negligence.   As such, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this case, may click this LINK.

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