Derek R. Layser

PHILADELPHIA – Plaintiff counsel in a medical malpractice action against a local physician and his employer has petitioned the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to be excused from that responsibility.

Derek R. Layser of Layser & Freiwald in Philadelphia, motioned to the Court on June 18 to be removed as attorney of record for Lehighton resident Linda Hydro, citing “irreconcilable differences” related to the legal action. Layser claimed to have noticed Hydro that same day, and asked for a 45-day window for Hydro to secure new counsel. 

Layser added he would provide specific details on his rationale to withdraw to the court, if necessary, only through an on-camera hearing and not in the presence of the defendants.

A hearing on this matter was set for Monday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.

Hydro filed suit in November 2013 against Dr. Donald Scot Malay, his employer Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia and Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, all in Philadelphia, in connection with what she believes was an improperly-performed podiatric surgery she underwent.

In November 2011, Hydro came to Malay for medical treatment in repairing a misaligned right second metatarsophalangeal (MTPG) implant. At that time, Malay recommended Hydro undergo a surgery to remove the implant and placement of autogenous of the bone draft with fusion of the second MTPG interface.

The surgery executing these procedures, along with arthrodesis, took place on Dec. 16, 2011. As a result, Hydro progressed from not having the ability to bear any weight on her foot, to being able to walk using her heel.

However, a Feb. 8, 2012 follow-up x-ray examination revealed a healed fusion site, but an unhealed graft site from the surgery, the suit says. Hydro was later diagnosed with a non-union fracture and other injuries, which required additional physical therapy and other modalities to cure her condition.

Hydro sustained pain, suffering, mental anguish and other injuries as a result of the improperly performed surgery by Malay, she says. Hydro’s suit levies claims of negligence against Malay and vicarious liability against Presbyterian Medical Center and Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

The plaintiff is seeking a sum in excess of local arbitration limits exclusive of costs, pre- and post-judgment interest.

The defendants are represented by Frederic Roller, Mary Kathleen McGrath and Michelle I. Moses of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin and Thomas M. Savon of Naulty Scaricamazza & McDevitt, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 131003634

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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