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LINDA A. THOMPSON v. NASON HOSPITAL (01/11/88)

filed: January 11, 1988.

LINDA A. THOMPSON, AND DONALD D. THOMPSON, HER HUSBAND, APPELLANTS,
v.
THE NASON HOSPITAL, AND EDWARD D. SCHULTZ, M.D., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Civil Division, at No. 2167 C.P. 1980.

COUNSEL

Karen L. Steele, Altoona, for appellants.

Karen E. Pfeffer, Holidaysburg, for Nason, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge and Johnson and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Montgomery

[ 370 Pa. Super. Page 117]

This is an appeal from the order entered by the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendant-Appellee Nason Hospital (Nason). The Plaintiff-Appellants raise three issues for our consideration. For the reasons which follow, we are constrained to reverse the order of the lower court.

We begin our review of this case by recalling that summary judgment is controlled by Pa.R.C.P. 1035(b) which, in pertinent part, states:

The judgment sought shall be rendered if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

Moreover, in reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the trial court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the non-moving party's pleadings, as well as any admissions on file, giving the non-moving party the benefit of all reasonable inferences which may be drawn therefrom. Mattia v. Employers Mutual Companies, 294 Pa. Super. 577, 440 A.2d 616 (1982). Additionally, the record as a whole must be examined in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion for summary judgment, with all

[ 370 Pa. Super. Page 118]

    doubts being resolved against the moving party. Held v. Neft, 352 Pa. Super. 195, 507 A.2d 839 (1986). Finally, in examining the record, the trial court is not to attempt to resolve conflicting contentions of fact or conflicting inferences that may be drawn from the facts. Burnside v. Abbott Laboratories, 351 Pa. Super. 264, 505 A.2d 973 (1985).

With these considerations in mind, we turn to the record in this case. A review thereof reveals that the Plaintiff-Appellant Linda Thompson was involved in an automobile accident on March 16, 1978 and was transported by ambulance to the emergency room of Nason Hospital. Mrs. Thompson was admitted with head and leg injuries when Dr. Edward D. Schultz*fn1 arrived at the hospital. Dr. Schultz was a physician who enjoyed staff privileges at Nason and with whom Mrs. Thompson had a prior physician-patient relationship. As will become clear, there was some question concerning the continuing nature of this relationship. On the date of the accident, Dr. Schultz entered the hospital through the emergency room department to begin making morning rounds. Although Dr. Schultz only enjoyed staff privileges at Nason and was not "on call" in the emergency room, he was advised by a nurse that Mrs. Thompson had been involved in an automobile accident and was in the emergency room. Without being specifically requested by either of the Plaintiffs, Dr. Schultz and Dr. Jones, an ophthalmologist, appeared and began to treat Mrs. Thompson. Dr. Schultz subsequently admitted her to the intensive care unit of Nason and attended to her care over the duration of her hospitalization at ...


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