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MICHAEL SCHROEDER AND WENDY SCHROEDER v. EAR (01/10/89)

submitted: January 10, 1989.

MICHAEL SCHROEDER AND WENDY SCHROEDER, HUSBAND AND WIFE, AND LAUREN SCHROEDER, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER NATURAL PARENTS, MICHAEL AND WENDY SCHROEDER, APPELLANTS,
v.
EAR, NOSE AND THROAT ASSOCIATES OF LEHIGH VALLEY, INC., PETER E. FARRELL, M.D., AND CHARLES S. MCCONNEL, JR., M.D., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Civil at No. 86-C-1818.

COUNSEL

Edward J. Carreiro, Montgomery, for appellants.

Marla J. Melman, Allentown, for appellees.

Wieand, Montemuro and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Montemuro

[ 383 Pa. Super. Page 441]

This is an appeal from an Order granting in part and denying in part appellees' Preliminary Objections in a medical malpractice action.

[ 383 Pa. Super. Page 442]

On June 8, 1984, as the result of a cough which had persisted since the previous February despite treatment by appellees, a chest x-ray was taken of appellant Wendy Schroeder. Although the x-ray revealed the presence of adenopathy, an enlargement of the lymph glands commonly associated with Hodgkin's disease, appellant was not informed of this diagnosis nor that a C-T scan was recommended by the radiologist. Shortly after the x-ray was taken, appellant became pregnant with her second child. Because of appellant's pregnancy, a C-T scan suggested in July by appellees to determine the cause of the cough was cancelled, still without explanation to appellant of the results of the June radiograph. In September, while under the care of an oncologist, appellant was diagnosed as suffering from stage II-B Hodgkin's disease, and underwent extensive surgical and other treatment, during the course of which appellant's pregnancy was terminated.

In August, 1986 the instant suit was filed, alleging that appellees were negligent in their care and treatment of appellant, and in their failure to inform her of the results of the x-ray. The complaint also alleged breach of warranty, and loss of spousal consortium by appellant's husband. On behalf of appellant's minor child, Lauren, a claim was entered for loss of parental consortium, and on behalf of appellant, her husband and Lauren, recovery was sought for loss of the "services, society and companionship" of the aborted fetus. In response to appellees' preliminary objections, all the counts of the complaint which concerned Lauren's loss of consortium claims were stricken, as was the claim for damages for the loss of the child in utero. This appeal followed.

Because the order appealed from dismisses only some of a multi-count complaint, we must first determine whether the order is appealable, a question of jurisdiction which may be raised sua sponte. Danko Development Corp. v. Econocast Corp., 369 Pa. Super. 120, 534 A.2d 1108 (1987).

The general rule is that orders which dispose of a complaint only partially are interlocutory and not appealable.

[ 383 Pa. Super. Page 443]

Practice 2d ยง 116:48 (1984). By analogy, therefore the claim with respect to the fetus may also be examined under the sufficiency standard. However, like the claim of appellant's daughter, ...


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