July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Damages

DAMAGES-PUNITIVE-MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Evans v. Lavallee, No. CV-20-0879 (C.P. Lycoming December 1, 2020) (Ryan, J.)  Punitive damages against plastic surgeon Dr. Lavallee and anesthesiologist Dr. Pastore and CRNA Adkins.  The allegations against Pastore and CRNA Adkins are more than a mere failure to diagnose a serious condition.  The allegations represent a serious disregard for several protocols and procedures.  The court did infer that Pastore and CRNA Adkins were subjectively aware or should have been aware of the risk of harm to plaintiff, that is, that when the oxygen level is three times higher than it was supposed to be, the likelihood of a fire starting is significantly increased.  It can reasonably infer that in spite of this appreciation, Pastore and Adkins continually failed to decrease the oxygen level in conscious disregard of the risk which caused or contributed to the harm.  In one paragraph, the court addressed the damages against Dr. Lavallee and said that the claims of what Lavallee did or failed to do was “reckless”.  There was a failure to plead a subjective appreciation of the risk, and there were no allegations included that the court could reasonably infer…


March 20th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Damages

Damages in a Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim Murga v. Lehigh Valley Physicians Grp. 2018 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 3053 (November 26, 2018) Johnson, J.-Court would not grant partial summary judgment on negligent affliction of emotional distress claim. Plaintiff argued that NIED claims have evolved and broadened in Pennsylvania and that her NIED claims were appropriate under multiple theories of recovery including the duty of care arising from a special relationship, a physical impact theory and a bystander theory. The court distinguished between transitory, nonrecurring physical phenomena like fright as opposed to depression, nightmares, stress and anxiety. Plaintiff’s severe emotional and psychological injuries which were accompanied by physical injuries, pain and suffering are sufficient to satisfy the physical harm requirement.