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Pennsylvania doctor’s appeal of med mal verdict denied

Any time a resident of Pennsylvania sustains an injury at the hands of a medical professional it is tragic. We all place our trust in them to make the right decisions so that we are kept free from harm. The reality however is of course doctors and other health care providers do sometimes end up hurting their patients. While usually unintended, the end result is the same, harm to the patient.

Some would argue this is particularly difficult to deal with when the injured person is an infant who sustains a birth injury. Clearly, many agree as was reflected in the 2008 Lackawanna County jury verdict of $20.5 million in the case of baby who "suffered permanent medical problems," after his birth in 2001. He has cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy can be due to a variety of problems including a ruptured uterus, premature separation of the placenta, failure to properly clear airways after birth or a twisted umbilical cord. Proper monitoring may detect the problem and in some cases it may be prevented by undertaking certain steps such as a timely cesarean section.

In rendering what was called one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in that part of Pennsylvania, the jury determined that the boy's mother received negligent treatment from both a doctor as well as Community Medical Center.

After the verdict was rendered, the doctor who was found negligent filed an appeal. That appeal was first denied by the state Superior Court, and more recently also by the state Supreme Court.

Source: The Scranton Times Tribune, "Supreme Court denies doctor's appeal of $20.5 million jury verdict," March 3, 2012

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