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ESTATE R. ERIC HANNIS v. ASHLAND STATE GENERAL HOSPITAL (02/08/89)

decided: February 8, 1989.

ESTATE OF R. ERIC HANNIS, DECEASED, BY MARIANNE A. HANNIS, ADMINISTRATRIX, APPELLANT
v.
ASHLAND STATE GENERAL HOSPITAL, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, ROBERT M. ERDMAN, M.D., ROBERT M. ERDMAN ASSOCIATES, INC., AND JOHN J. MIKA, M.D., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, in the case of Estate of R. Eric Hannis, Deceased, by Marianne A. Hannis, Administratrix v. Ashland State General Hospital, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Robert M. Erdman, M.D., Robert M. Erdman Associates, Inc., and John J. Mika, M.D., No. S-593-1985.

COUNSEL

John F. X. Fenerty, Baratta & Fenerty, Ltd., for appellant.

Joseph A. Lach, Hourigan, Kluger, Spohrer & Quinn, P.C., for appellee, John J. Mika, M.D.

Stephen E. Geduldig, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Mark E. Garber, Chief Deputy Attorney General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for appellee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Ashland State General Hospital.

Allan C. Molotsky, with him, Barbara S. Magen, Post & Schell, P.C., for appellee, Robert M. Erdman Assoc., Inc.

Judges Doyle and McGinley, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish. Judge McGinley concurs in the result only.

Author: Kalish

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 392]

The estate of R. Eric Hannis, represented by administratrix Marianne A. Hannis (appellant), appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, which denied appellant's motion for post-trial relief, and ordered that judgment be entered in favor of Ashland State General Hospital, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Robert M. Erdman, M.D., Robert M. Erdman Associates, Inc., and John J. Mika, M.D. (appellees). We affirm.

Hannis, a twenty-six year old man, injured his knee at a wedding on a Saturday, and was treated by his family physician, Dr. Mika, on the following Monday. Hannis was referred by Dr. Mika to Dr. Erdman, an orthopaedist,

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 393]

    and was treated by Dr. Erdman on the following day, Tuesday. On the following Friday, six days after the injury, Hannis suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.

A complaint was filed by appellant on behalf of the estate of Hannis against the appellees, alleging medical malpractice for failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis. The complaint alleged that the fatal blood clot developed in the injured leg as a result of the knee injury, and that the surrounding circumstances indicated the presence of deep vein thrombosis which both physicians failed to diagnose.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury found in favor of the appellees. Appellant's motion for post-trial relief was denied by the trial court, and appellant now appeals to this court.*fn1

When the trial court denies motions for a new trial, we will not reverse the trial court's decision absent an error controlling the outcome of the case or an abuse of discretion where the ruling turns on the weight of the evidence. Department of Transportation v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, 102 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 611, 519 A.2d 1058 (1986).

Appellant initially contends that the trial court improperly precluded appellant's expert, Dr. Newhall, from providing his opinion on the emergency room treatment records from Friday, the day Hannis died. Dr. ...


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