Nicholas Malfitano Sep. 10, 2015, 1:47pm


PHILADELPHIA – Attorneys for a Philadelphia cardiologist accused of malpractice are attempting to prevent testimony from an expert witness for a former patient bringing the lawsuit.

Through a motion in limine filed by George H. Knoell III on June 15, defendant Dr. Vidya Sagar Banka is petitioning to preclude testimony from plaintiff Cynthia Justice’s expert witness, Dr. Alan Feit.

Terming Feit’s perspective “inappropriate and irrelevant," Knoell’s motion said Feit “fails to identify how the presence of Banka’s name and signature caused the plaintiff’s claimed injuries.”

The motion seeks to preclude Feit’s testimony on the subjects of “standard of care opinion, the signature on the catheterization report, dishonest misrepresentation, billing/insurance fraud, and opinion on the ultimate issue of informed consent.” 

A hearing in this matter was set for Wednesday at Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

In her litigation first filed in May 2013 and amended in November, Justice alleges she underwent a stent installation procedure in her left anterior descending coronary artery at the hands of Banka and/or Gupta on June 30, 2009.

Nearly four years later, Justice received a letter from Pennsylvania Hospital Executive Director R. Michael Buckley and Chief Medical Officer Daniel M. Feinberg on April 2, 2013, explaining Banka had resigned from the hospital amid an active investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State Board of Medicine, for allegedly scheduling and performing unnecessary installations of cardiac stents on unsuspecting patients.

It also offered a free evaluation to any patients who were affected by Banka’s allegedly improper treatment. Penn Medicine made a public announcement of these same events the following day.

As a result of the unnecessary stent installation, Justice will require lifelong anti-platelet/anti-coagulant therapy, face risks of coronary artery thrombosis, coronary artery occlusion, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, the lawsuit claims.

Pursuant to Penn Medicine’s offer for a free evaluation to those patients affected by Banka’s alleged illegal practices in their April 2, 2013 letter, Justice was evaluated by Dr. William H. Pentz on April 23, 2013. Pentz determined the arterial narrowing Justice exhibited was not severe enough to require the installation of a stent.

Justice’s lawsuit levied charges of battery (lack of informed consent), common law fraud and misrepresentation, corporate (direct) liability, unjust enrichment, negligence, recklessness and intentional misconduct, unfair trade practices and consumer fraud.

The plaintiff is represented by Shanin Specter, Braden R. Lepisto and Geary L. Yeisley, of Specter & Kline in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Peter Samson and Julia M. Jacobelli of Cipriani & Werner in Blue Bell, and George H. Knoell III and Elizabeth A. Williams, of Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer in Norristown.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 130402929

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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