July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Damages

DAMAGES-PUNITIVE-MEDICAL MALPRACTICE In this case from our office, Pittinger v. Hartzell, No. 20-0239 (C.P. Union July 27, 2020) Anderson, S.J., the court will allow punitive damages to go forward because of evidence that the doctor knew he caused a tear in the lens capsule at the time of cornea surgery, and even though the patient was seen a number of times thereafter, no one ever looked through the vitreous at the retina.  Had they done so, clearly they would have seen that capsular material had entered the vitreous with the potential of causing blindness.  In fact, the patient became blind.  The fact that the doctor knew he caused the tear and nevertheless did not do any follow-up to identify the possibility of capsule material, even though the patient was blind immediately after the surgery, could lend itself to the proof of deliberate indifference and hence punitive damages. DAMAGES-COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE-WORKERS' COMPENSATION PAYMENTS DAMAGES-COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE-WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PAYMENTS- Nazarak v. Waite, 216 A.3d 1093 (Pa. Super. August 2, 2019) Stevens, P.J.E.  Plaintiff put in evidence of workers’ compensation payments, lien, and need to pay back.  Defendant objected to this as violation…


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.