Westtown School wants case transferred out of Philadelphia

By Nicholas Malfitano | Nov 9, 2015

Joseph P. Connor III  

PHILADELPHIA – In a case in which a medical resident was allegedly given an incorrect dosage amount of prescription medication and suffered critical injuries, two members of defense counsel have filed objections on the case related to venue and claim specifics.

Joseph P. Connor III filed a motion for preliminary objections on July 10, seeking the case brought by Monica Mikkelsen of Summit, N.J., to be transferred to either Chester County (since defendant Westtown School is located there) or Delaware County (since the pharmacy defendants are based there).

Connor further stated Mikkelsen’s claims against Westtown School “lacked specificity," in that it did not say Mikkelsen took medication, how many capsules Mikkelsen ingested, nor how often she took them.

On July 16, A. Bryan Tomlinson also filed a motion for preliminary objections, seeking the case be transferred to Chester County for the same reasons Connor elaborated on days before. Further, Tomlinson requested the claims for punitive damages and reckless conduct be stricken from the suit with prejudice, in addition to striking a count of negligence per se and any/all theories of liability relating to the conduct of “nurses and other staff.” 

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

On Nov. 1, 2012, Mikkelsen, a student and resident of Westtown School in West Chester, visited the Elwyn Pharmacy, where she had a prescription filled for Doxepin capsules. Though the prescribed dose per capsule was intended to be 10 milligrams, the Doxepin capsules the pharmacy allegedly provided to Mikkelsen were in fact 100 milligrams.

Upon taking the medication, Mikkelsen says she suffered a multitude of injuries, including seizures, brain damage, pain and suffering, cardiac and respiratory dysfunction, in addition to expenses/financial loss, plus past and future economic and non-economic damages.

In June, Mikkelsen filed a multi-count lawsuit against a number of defendants: Elwyn Pharmacy in Elwyn; Westtown School in West Chester; K & K RX Services in Media; Elwyn RX, Inc. and Elwyn Pharmacy Group, both in Garnet Valley; and Elwyn Specialty Care in Glen Mills.

For the school defendants, Mikkelsen levied charges in connection with failing to provide her the proper amount of medication, including negligence, negligent and reckless custody, care and control, negligent hiring and supervision, negligent performance of voluntary undertaking to render services and breach of fiduciary duty.

For the pharmacy defendants, Mikkelsen sued for negligence and negligence per se, holding they are each “independently and vicariously liable for the actions of the school defendants.” 

On each count, the plaintiff is seeking, individually, jointly and severally, compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $50,000 and prevailing arbitration limits, plus pre- and post-judgments and costs of suit in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert Ross and Iddo Harel of Ross Feller Casey, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Connor and Sharon F. Harvey of Connor Weber Oberlies in Paoli, plus Amalia V. Romanowicz and Tomlinson of Post & Schell, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150602424

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

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