Widow of man who sustained post-surgical injuries sues hospital

By Jon Campisi | Jul 18, 2011

The widow of a man whose final nine months prior to his death were filled with pain and injuries allegedly caused by poor medical attention is suing those who were entrusted with his care.

Media, Pa.-based lawyer Paul Gordon Hughes, of Pierce & Hughes, P.C., filed the medical malpractice lawsuit July 15 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Glen Mills, Pa. resident Sharon H. Stiteler.

Stiteler sued in her capacity as executrix of the estate of her deceased husband, George R. Stiteler, who passed away April 15, 2010, nine months after receiving care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the lead defendant in the suit.

Named as additional defendants are the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

According to the complaint, George Stiteler was under the hospital’s care from July 16, 2009 to July 24, 2009, and again from July 26 to Aug. 5 of that year. He had been admitted to the hospital to undergo a splenectomy and distal pancreatectomy.

On July 17, 2009, George Stiteler underwent a second surgery to control bleeding at or near the site of his first surgery, the lawsuit states. From there, he went first into intensive care, and then into a nursing unit.

George Stiteler eventually developed one or more “pressure ulcers” in and around his sacrum and buttock, the suit states. The ulcers resulted from “inadequate care rendered to him by defendants,” the lawsuit claims.

From there, George Stiteler had to endure “unremitting and unbearable pain and symptomology for the remainder of his life, and excruciating pain and shock to his physical, psychological and emotional condition,” the lawsuit states.

George Stiteler was never able to return to employment, the suit states, and experienced “financial detriment and loss, as well as physical, emotional and psychological detriment and loss,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of carelessness and negligence for failing to recognize that George Stiteler was at risk for pressure ulcers, failing to take the preventative steps to ensure Stiteler wouldn’t develop the ulcers and “failing to impose seating limitations” for the protection of Stiteler’s skin.

For each of the two counts in the lawsuit, Sharon H. Stiteler demands judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally, in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus attorney’s fees and delay damages.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110701456.

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