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LEVIN v. VAN HORN. (10/10/63)

October 10, 1963

LEVIN, APPELLANT,
v.
VAN HORN.



Appeals, Nos. 320 and 321, Jan. T., 1962, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1958, No. 2830, and Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1957, No. 7053, in cases of Joseph M. Levin and Sadie Levin v. J. Orville Van Horn and Jane W. Van Horn, individually and trading as Anglecott Sanatorium and Same v. Abraham J. Rosenfeld. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Sidney J. Smolinsky, for appellants.

Lester L. Dolfman, with him Murray B. Dolfman, for appellees.

Nathan Lavine, with him Marvin Krasny, and Adelman & Lavine, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Keim, JJ.

Author: O'brien

[ 412 Pa. Page 324]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE O'BRIEN

The plaintiffs, Joseph M. Levin and his wife, Sadie Levin, commenced separate actions in trespass against Abraham J. Rosenfeld, a medical doctor, and J. Orville Van Horn and Jane W. Van Horn, individually and trading as Anglecott Sanatorium. Doctor Rosenfeld was charged with malpractice in causing infection of Mrs. Levin's liver and in failing to properly diagnose and treat her. The Van Horns were accused of negligence in not providing Mrs. Levin with proper care and neglecting to report to Doctor Rosenfeld as well as administering drugs to her not authorized by the doctor and otherwise acting contrary to the doctor's orders.

The cases were consolidated and the trial resulted in jury verdicts for defendants. These appeals were taken from judgments entered on the verdicts after the refusal of new trial.

Mrs. Levin had been a patient of Doctor Rosenfeld for about 16 years prior to January 18, 1957. She had suffered many serious illnesses including surgeries during this time. The events relevant to the instant matter, and for which appellants make claims, began on December 24, 1956, when Mrs. Levin called on Doctor Rosenfeld complaining that her knees were stiff and painful. After examination the Doctor administered injections of hydrocortisone into each knee joint cavity and she was given other medication to be taken orally. Subsequently, her condition worsened to the extent that she was unable to walk or stand.

[ 412 Pa. Page 325]

Doctor Rosenfeld was summoned to attend Mrs. Levin at her home about midnight, January 3, 1957, where he examined her and aspirated both knees. The appearance of the extracted fluid did not indicate the presence of infection. However, it was decided because of Mrs. Levin's condition that it would be advisable to have her in a nursing home. The next day, January 4, 1957, she was admitted to the Anglecott Sanatorium under the care of Doctor Rosenfeld. Her condition did not improve and Mr. Levin became alarmed and had his wife transferred to Jefferson Hospital on January 19, 1957. Doctor Rosenfeld did not attend Mrs. Levin thereafter. She remained a patient in Jefferson Hospital until April 6, 1957. Later, on two occasions, Mrs. Levin was a patient in Jefferson Hospital.

The issues raised by appellants are the refusal of the trial judge to permit plaintiffs; (1) to prove defendant physician remained silent when plaintiff accused him of fault and demanded payment for the costs of the illness; (2) to prove that defendant physician mailed a check to plaintiffs; (3) to prove defendant Jane W. Van Horn, as a registered nurse, should have recognized ...


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