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Philadelphia-area healthcare litigators obtain favorable outcomes in four consecutive cases

Philadelphia-area litigators from the Burns White Healthcare and Long-Term Care Group obtained favorable outcomes in their last four consecutive cases venued in Philadelphia County.

Most recently, Member Stuart T. O’Neal, III and Associate Sasha E. Miller secured a dismissal for an acute care hospital in a breach of standard of care case. The plaintiff, a patient who received treatment at the facility, alleged that our client failed to identify her as a fall risk and prevent her alleged injuries. Through the aggressive pursuit of discovery, Mr. O’Neal and Ms. Miller were able to show that the plaintiff failed to respond to any discovery requests and file a verification with the complaint. Prior to granting the dismissal, the court precluded the plaintiff from testifying about the information requested in our discovery requests.

In November, Mr. O’Neal and Associate Anne Schmidt Frankel obtained a complete defense verdict after a two-week trial before the Honorable Marlene Lachman for an acute care hospital client involving allegations of a delay in intubation for a patient with angioedema, swelling of the neck, mouth and airway, secondary to prescription ACE inhibitors. The plaintiff’s claims included claims of corporate negligence regarding emergency room coverage and specialty consultation availability for an airway emergency. The jury verdict was unanimous.

Earlier in 2014, Mr. O’Neal and Ms. Frankel received a summary judgment for a nonprofit client that provides residential, therapeutic, educational, vocational and social programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their motion for summary judgment requested dismissal on the basis that the plaintiff failed to sustain their burden of proof of gross negligence, a required threshold in cases against facilities like our client covered by the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act and the Mental Health Protections Act. Mr. O’Neal and Ms. Frankel further asserted that the plaintiff failed to produce expert reports to support their theories of negligence and causation. The matter is currently being appealed by the plaintiff.

Finally, Mr. O’Neal and Ms. Schmidt obtained a dismissal for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility client. Through aggressive investigation and discovery motions, they were able to determine and confirm that the plaintiff had died before the filing of the lawsuit. Mr. O’Neal and Ms. Frankel obtained an order on their motion for sanctions precluding the plaintiff from offering certain evidence in support of the case. They also established that there was no proper party to the suit, as the plaintiff was deceased and her counsel did not seek to timely find a substitute for her estate.

Note: The results obtained in a particular case are heavily dependent on the facts and the law specific to that case.