narrative of the facts is in stark contrast with Dr. Marwaha's testimony. Given that Geibel was hospitalized for high blood pressure, vertigo, severe varicose veins, duodenal ulcer disease and a hiatal hernia, it is just as likely that she misunderstood or misinterpreted Dr. Marwaha's remarks as that the incident occurred as she related it. Therefore, the Court is constrained to accept Dr. Marwaha's version as the more credible.
Even assuming plaintiff's version of the incident could be accepted as true, it is questionable whether any actual injuries were sustained by the plaintiff as a result. Dr. Bair does causally connect Geibel's emotional trauma with Dr. Marwaha's treatment. While his testimony is uncontroverted it is based only on Dr. Bair's reading of plaintiff's and Dr. Marwaha's depositions and a single interview with Geibel, solely for the purposes of this litigation. The examination lasted for only one hour and there was no further contact between Geibel and her expert. Dr. Bair formulated his opinion without the benefit of Geibel's extensive hospital records. Moreover, no explanation was offered as to why medical records in existence and readily available were not given to Dr. Bair for his review. Defense counsel on cross-examination probed Dr. Bair regarding any bias he may have had on the case. In response, Dr. Bair acknowledged that he was asked to interview Geibel by plaintiff's counsel. Dr. Bair testified that, as a personal friend of plaintiff's counsel, he found plaintiff's counsel to be a very sensitive person and one able to see clearly that a patient is suffering from emotional as well as somatic disease.
Because Dr. Bair was not privy to the plaintiff's medical record, he was not aware that the emotional problems which he recognized were documented long before Geibel came in contact with Dr. Marwaha. As early as January 26-28, 1981 the record reflects Geibel's tearfulness, anxiety and sleeplessness as documented in the nurse's notes. In February, 1981 Paula Worsley, R.N., made a notation in plaintiff's chart that Geibel should "try to avoid stress situations." On admission to the BVAMC June 30, 1981 before she was seen by Dr. Marwaha, the record reflects Geibel's emotional disorder. Her patient profile on admission states that she worried about her husband and that she often thought about her deceased son. The same day, Pat Merriman, R.N., made a notation in plaintiff's chart that the BVAMC staff's long range goals should include assisting Geibel to learn to live with the limitation of a hypertensive life-style. Again on June 30, 1981, the record shows that Geibel "seems discouraged in being sickly this past year."
Even if liability could be found, the bulk of medical expenses for which plaintiff requests recovery is for future psychiatric medical bills. Plaintiff claims that the future cost of treating her depression by psychiatric therapy will be approximately $ 30,000. However, there is no indication that Geibel wants psychiatric treatment. She has declined such treatment in the past, as evidenced by her refusal of psychiatric evaluation when offered to her during her June - July, 1981 hospitalization. Furthermore, there is no indication that she will seek psychiatric help, but every indication that she believes that her problems are purely physiological. Damages must be proven with reasonable certainty. They cannot be speculative, conjectural or remote. Gordon v. Trovato, 234 Pa.Super. 279, 338 A.2d 653, 657 (1975). Plaintiff's claim for damages as compensation for future psychiatric care goes beyond speculation. The record establishes with reasonable certainty that she will not incur any of these expenses.
An appropriate order will be entered.
Dated: August 6, 1987.
AND NOW August 6th, 1987 in accordance with the foregoing memorandum opinion, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that judgment is entered for the defendant and against the plaintiff.
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