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MARIE TACKETT v. TED K. ENCKE (06/03/86)

filed: June 3, 1986.

MARIE TACKETT, APPELLANT,
v.
TED K. ENCKE, RICHARD F. COLLINS, JR., DONALD F. O'MALLEY, STEEL VALLEY ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATION, JEFFERSON CENTER HOSPITAL, AND JEFFERSON HEALTH SERVICES, ALSO KNOWN AS SOUTH HILLS HEALTH SYSTEM



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil Division, at No. GD 84-21620.

COUNSEL

Michael I. Markowitz, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

James A. Wood, Pittsburgh, for Encke, appellees.

George M. Weis, Pittsburgh, for Jefferson, appellees.

Brosky, Rowley and Hester, JJ. Rowley, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Brosky

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 350]

This appeal is from an order dismissing appellant's complaint for negligent infliction of emotional distress. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in sustaining preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and dismissing the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. We find no merit to this contention and, accordingly, affirm.

Facts

Appellant's son was injured in a motorcycle accident on November 30, 1982. He was admitted to and given treatment at Jefferson Center Hospital. Appellant visited him on a daily basis. Due to an alleged failure of the appellees to diagnose a pulmonary fat embolism, appellant's son exhibited an elevation in temperature, increased pulse rate, shortness of breath, cyanosis and lethargy. Upon discovery of these symptoms, appellant's son was transferred to the intensive care unit and was placed on an artificial breathing machine. He remained in intensive care until December 9, 1982, during which period he suffered a comatose episode and hemoptysis requiring a bronchoscopy. He was discharged from the hospital on December 29, 1982.

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 351]

On December 12, 1984, the instant complaint was filed. In that complaint appellant alleged that, due to the negligence and recklessness of appellees in failing to diagnose and treat her son, she suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress. On January 23 and 24, 1985, preliminary objections were filed by appellees, to which appellant filed her answer on February 5, 1985. On February 12, 1985, a hearing was held and the trial court entered an order dismissing appellant's complaint. On March 4, 1985, appellant filed notice of appeal questioning the dismissal of her complaint.

Analysis

In 1979, our Commonwealth's Supreme Court outlined factors necessary for a bystander who was not within the zone of danger to sustain a cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional ...


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