Appeal from the Order of the Administrator for Arbitration Panels for Health Care in case of Kenneth J. Redinger and Nancy E. Redinger, Administrators of the Estate of Keith Alan Redinger, Deceased, v. Noel J. Gillette, M.D. and Forbes Health System, a corporation trading as Columbia Health Center, and Geoffrey M. Hosta, M.D. & Associates, Docket No. M76-00008.
David B. Fawcett, Jr., with him Richard S. Dorfzaun, and Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, for petitioner.
Clyde T. MacVay, with him Evans, Ivory & Evans, for respondent, Kirk Redinger.
John W. Jordan, IV, with him Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, for respondent, Geoffrey M. Hosta, M.D. & Associates.
Gerald Gornish, Deputy Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent, Administrator for Arbitration Panels for Health Care.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 470]
This is an appeal by Noel J. Gillette, M.D., from the decision of the Administrator for Arbitration
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 471]
Panels for Health Care sustaining preliminary objections of Kenneth J. and Nancy E. Redinger (Plaintiffs) to Gillette's complaint to join an additional defendant in an action which Plaintiffs had instituted against Gillette under Pennsylvania's new Health Care Services Malpractice Act*fn1 (Act).
This case is one of first impression, bringing before us the novel question of the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Panels for Health Care and the intended scope of the Act.
The facts giving rise to the litigation are tragic. On the evening of January 18, 1976, Keith Alan Redinger was struck on the side of the head by a snowball thrown by his brother, Kirk. Early the next morning he awoke with head pain and began vomiting. His parents, the Plaintiffs herein, rushed him to the emergency room at Columbia Health Center in Pittsburgh. His condition deteriorated and that evening he lapsed into unconsciousness and later his vital signs ceased. Respiratory resuscitation, cardiac massage and emergency surgery all proved fruitless and the patient was pronounced dead.
In August, 1976, his parents commenced proceedings before the Arbitration Panels for Health Care against Gillette, Forbes Health System, the corporation which operated Columbia Health Center, and Geoffrey M. Hosta, M.D. & Associates, the professional association which allegedly staffed the operating and emergency room facilities at Columbia. On November 1, 1976, Gillette filed a Complaint to Join Additional Defendant Kirk Redinger, alleging that Kirk's act of throwing the snowball was ...