Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Issues of Fact Results In Reversal of Entry of Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Case

In the case of Azaravich v. Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company, LLC, No. 44 MDA 2023 (Pa. Super. June 5, 2024 Lazarus, J., Nichols, J., and Stevens, J.) (Op. by Nichols, J.), the court reversed a summary judgment that was entered by the trial court by the Plaintiff in a medical malpractice case involving a suicide by the Plaintiff’s decedent.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff decedent was taken to the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital where he checked himself into the emergency room after calling the police and expressing suicidal thoughts. After evaluations by different medical providers, the decedent, during which one of which interactions, the decedent indicated that he did not have any intent to harm himself, and that he wanted outpatient treatment, the decedent was released. Unfortunately, two (2) days later, the decedent committed suicide.

The decedent’s estate filed claims for medical negligence against the Defendant hospital and other medical providers.

At the summary judgment stage at the trial court level, the court had granted the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and denied the Plaintiff’s Cross Motion for Summary Judgment.

On appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court noted that issues of fact existed on the claims presented such that the case should have been allowed to proceed to a jury.

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

Source: Article – “Superior Court Revives Medical Negligence Suit Against Wilkes-Barre General Hospital Following Discharged Patient’s Suicide,” By Riley Brennan of the Legal Intelligencer ( June 7, 2024).

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