Carol A. Shelly

PHILADELPHIA – Plaintiff counsel for the estate administratrix in the survival and wrongful death action of her late husband has petitioned the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to be relieved of that responsibility.

Carol A. Shelly claimed she “reached an impasse” with her client, plaintiff Patricia Cottrell of Cherry Hill, N.J. (widow of Freeman Cottrell), and “representation had been made difficult.” Shelly asserted withdrawal of her counsel could be accomplished without “adverse material effect on her client’s interests.”

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

Filed in June, Patricia Cottrell’s suit alleges charges of survival, wrongful death, negligence and loss of consortium against Good Shepherd Penn Partners At Rittenhouse, Penn Institute For Rehabilitation Medicine, and Trustees Of The University Of Pennsylvania Hospital, all of Philadelphia, plus Good Shepherd Penn Partners and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, both of Allentown.

Patricia Cottrell claims her late husband Freeman was admitted to University of Pennsylvania Hospital on Jan. 14, 2013 for malignant neoplasm of the esophagus, and underwent a thoracotomy for infiltrating adenocarcinoma. However, a complication supposedly arose in the form of a main right bronchus tear, which was repaired via a right thoracotomy.

On Feb. 15, 2013, Freeman Cottrell was in good health and transferred from the University Of Pennsylvania Hospital to Good Shepherd Penn Partners At Rittenhouse, the complaint says.

There, Patricia Cottrell maintains her husband steadily deteriorated on a daily basis through Feb. 21, 2013 – and informed Good Shepherd staff of her observations with respect to her husband’s condition, but was allegedly ignored.

Patricia Cottrell then noticed blood in her husband’s urine bag the following day, which hospital staff claimed was an adverse reaction to a catheter that had been installed, but then Freeman Cottrell’s kidneys ceased functioning on Feb. 23, 2013, the suit says.

After requests for a physician and a transfer out of Good Shepherd were allegedly also ignored, Freeman Cottrell was redirected back to University of Pennsylvania Hospital shortly thereafter.

He had developed renal failure, respiratory failure and metabolic derangement, which Patricia Cottrell claims is due to the neglect he faced at the Good Shepherd facility. Freeman Cottrell passed away the following month, on March 28, 2013. 

The plaintiff is seeking an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits in compensatory damages, plus interest and other relief.

The defendants are represented by Marshall L. Schwartz and Brett M. Littman, of O’Brien & Ryan in Plymouth Meeting.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150201820

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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