Anticoagulation therapy and Corporate Negligence

June 8th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Gintoff v. Thomas, et al., No. 16 CV 2155 (C.P. Lackawanna May 4, 2018) Nealon, J. In this medical professional liability action alleging negligent prescription and monitoring of anticoagulation therapy that caused a right occipital hemorrhage which warranted an emergency craniotomy and resulted in permanent harm, the defendant-hospital has filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims for vicarious liability and corporate negligence on the ground that they are not supported by the requisite expert opinion establishing a triable issue of fact as to a deviation from the applicable standard of care and a causal connection between that deviation and the harm claimed.  The sole liability report produced by plaintiffs contains opinions from a hematology expert only as to the causal negligence of the co-defendant hematologist.  Plaintiffs’ hematology expert does not criticize the care provided by any hospital personnel, and plaintiffs previously stipulated that the co-defendant hematologist was not an actual or ostensible agent for whom the hospital could be found vicariously liable.  Nor does the hematologist’s expert report offer any opinion or evidentiary support for an institutional negligence claim against the hospital. Even when the summary judgment record is examined in a light most favorable to plaintiffs as the non-moving parties, it lacks sufficient expert opinion to establish a prima facie claim for vicarious liability or corporate negligence on the part of the hospital, as a result of which the hospital’s motion for summary judgment will be granted.