Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Judge Williamson of Monroe County Addresses Propriety of Claims in Medical Malpractice Complaint


In the medical malpractice case of Hyman v. St. Luke’s Hosp., No. 5565-CV-2021 (C.P. Monroe Co. Dec. 16, 2021 Williamson, J.), Judge David J. Williamson of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas denied various Preliminary Objections and a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Defendants.

The court held that the Plaintiff’s Complaint which alleged the dates of care, the places that the care was completed, identified several Defendant medical providers by name and also alleged that certain agents of the Defendant hospital and medical group were unknown to Plaintiff but known to Defendant, possessed sufficient specificity to withstand the Defendants’ Preliminary Objections challenging the Complaint.

Judge David J. Williamson
Monroe County

Judge Williamson noted that practical considerations involved with medical malpractice causes of actions weighed against a rigid application of the specificity requirements found under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

The court additionally held that the Plaintiff’s claim of corporate negligence directed to the Defendant physician group and health network were not subject to a demurrer asserted by the Defendants under Pa. R.C.P. 1028(a)(4).

The Defendants, St. Luke's Physician Group and St. Luke's Health Network, asserted that the corporate negligence claims levied against them failed because the allegations established that the Defendants did not function like a hospital and that these Defendants therefore did not meet the standard for a finding of liability in this respect.

In this regard, the court applied the functional analysis test noted under the cases of Thompson v. Nason, 591 A.2d 703 (Pa. 1991) and Scampone v. Highland Park Care Center, LLC, 570 A.3d 582 (Pa. 2012), and found that the claims asserted by the Plaintiff against these Defendant entities satisfied the types of allegations necessary for a plaintiff to proceed on a corporate negligence claim.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Jan. 18, 2022).

Source of image:  Photo by Karolina Grabowska from

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