SCRANTON – A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Geisinger-Community Medical Center, and doctors employed there, in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, and the defendant recently filed its objections.

An amended complaint was filed June 8, a year after Charlotte Frisco of Falls suffered a cardiac event that her husband Ronald Frisco believes could’ve been prevented if not for the alleged negligence on part of the health professionals at the hospital.

On June 1, 2016, the suit states that Charlotte Frisco entered into the emergency care ward of Geisinger Hospital complaining of abdominal pain, vomiting and frequent belching.

The medical professionals present and named as defendants - Drs. Mark Crowell, Christopher Donohue and Paul Dubiel - ended up attributing the pain to an allergy, it is alleged.

Frisco was subsequently told to avoid aspirin and discharged from the hospital on June 2, 2016. She returned later the same day experiencing shortness of breath and suffered a cardiac arrest while in the hospital’s care.

According to the suit, the cardiac arrest and ensuing brain damage was easily foreseeable based on Frisco’s EKG report and symptoms from the day before, and the doctor’s misinterpretation of these indicators constitutes negligence.  

“Dr. Crowell either knew of the EKG findings and acted with reckless indifference to the results, or he failed to make himself aware or otherwise ignored the results of the study which he ordered. This demonstrates a reckless indifference to the health, safety, and well-being of Ms. Charlotte Frisco,” the suit reads.

The suit charges the medical professionals involved with four counts of negligence and one count of loss of consortium. Punitive and compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 are being sought.

The defense claims that the suit is overly vague to the point of conflicting with Pennsylvania law and that the misinterpretation of Frisco’s EKG and symptoms does not meet the “willful and wanton” standard for punitive damages.

"Plaintiffs' amended complaint seeks punitive damages and does not provide any facts to suggest that the providers acted with willful and wanton motives," the objections say.

"To the contrary, Plaintiffs' own facts reveal that a number of providers undertook several measures to ascertain the cause of Ms. Frisco's complaints."

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