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Summary Judgment for Area Hospital Obtained in Corporate Negligence Action

Burns White attorney, Daniel Margonari, obtained a summary judgment for a Pennsylvania hospital in a case brought by a former patient who developed an infection following a knee replacement surgery.  Plaintiff eventually brought a lawsuit sounding in corporate negligence.  Primarily, Plaintiff asserted that the hospital failed to maintain and enforce appropriate infection prevention controls, leading to the development of an infection.

After nearly two years of discovery, summary judgment was argued before Sr. Judge David Grine of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.  Judge Grine held that to overcome the motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff had to present a question of fact as to each of the requisite elements of his claim, i.e., that: (1) the hospital deviated from the standard of care (2) the hospital had actual or constructive notice of the defects or procedures which created the harm; and (3) that the conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about the harm to that specific plaintiff.  Ultimately, Judge Grine found that Plaintiff failed to set forth sufficient factual basis for any of the necessary prongs to establish a claim for corporate negligence.

In reaching his findings, Judge Grine was also critical of the conclusory nature of Plaintiff’s expert reports, explaining that while they offered critical opinions, they were wholly devoid of any factually supporting evidence.