New trial for med-mal plaintiff suing University of Pennsylvania

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 9, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — A former patient of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital will receive a new trail in a medical malpractice case, an appellate court ruled July 10.

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a lower court's order, which found attorneys for the hospital “repeatedly and deliberately” made improper remarks and disregarded certain court rulings.

The case stems from heart surgery performed by the hospital and Dr. Francis Marchlinski on Carol Wilson. Although the surgery went well, Wilson says the hospital failed to properly monitor post-procedure heparin levels, which led to a brain bleed. According to her complaint, Wilson suffered permanent damage and requires assistance now with dressing, bathing and feeding.

After a jury found in favor of the hospital, Wilson requested a new trial.

Judge Anne E. Lazarus authored the majority opinion, joined by Senior Judge William H. Platt. 

Judge Mary Jane Bowes dissented. In her opinion, Bowles mostly agreed with her colleagues, except when it came to the finding that misconduct was prejudicial.

“Despite defense counsel’s persistent defiance of the court’s rulings regarding the scope of relevant testimony, Mrs. Wilson did not seek a mistrial,” Bowes wrote. “Rather, defendants moved for a mistrial, maintaining that the trial court’s frequent rebukes had suggested to the jury that defense counsel’s questions and conduct were inappropriate.”

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Case number: 703 EDA 2016

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