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Smith v. Albert Einstein Medical Center

August 12, 2009

PATRICIA SMITH, ADMINSTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MARTHA E. SMITH; PATRICIA SMITH; MARY J. SCOTT, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Yohn, J.

Memorandum

Plaintiffs, Patricia Smith ("Patricia"), individually and as the administratrix of the estate of Martha E. Smith ("Martha"), and Mary J. Scott ("Mary"), individually, have filed this action pro se against: Albert Einstein Medical Center ("AEMC"); Beth Duffy; Dr. Robert Weisberg; Dr. Steven Lewis; Dr. Jerry Cohen; Dr. Kevin Hails; Dr. Robert Solit; Patricia Q. Imbesi, Esq.; Anne Maxwell, Esq.; Patricia Maisano, RN; Robert Stump; Fox Chase Cancer Center ("FCCC"); Dr. Michael Millenson; Dr. Moshe Chasky; Dr. Roger Kyle; St. Agnes Continuing Care Center ("SACCC"); VITAS Healthcare Corporation Atlantic ("VITAS"); Susan Mazzacano, RN; and Richard K. Heller, RN. Plaintiffs' lawsuit arises out of events surrounding Martha's death and the medical care she received from defendants. Plaintiffs' claims include: violations of the Emergency Medical Transfer and Active Labor Act ("EMTALA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd (2006); violations of constitutional and civil rights; medical and legal professional liability; and fraud.

Presently before the court are motions to dismiss from all defendants for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Additionally, all defendants, except Maxwell, Imbesi, and SACCC, filed motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). Defendant Chasky filed a motion to dismiss for improper service pursuant to Rule 12(b)(5), and defendants Maisano and SACCC filed motions for a more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). Defendants Weisberg, Lewis, Cohen, Millenson, Kyle, and Fox Chase Cancer Center filed motions to dismiss for failure to file a Certificate of Merit as required by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1042.3.*fn1 For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim and dismiss plaintiffs' amended complaint. As a result, the court will dismiss the remaining motions as moot.*fn2

I. Facts and Procedural History

Plaintiffs filed their original complaint on December 8, 2008. Following a plethora of motions from all nineteen defendants, the court dismissed the complaint, without prejudice, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Several days later, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. Given the amended complaint's disjointed nature,*fn3 the court finds it more efficient to summarize the facts in a list rather than a narrative.

* For a period sometime before February, 2007, Martha was a patient at AEMC.

* While at AEMC, Martha received care from defendants Weisberg, Lewis, Cohen, and Solit. (Am. Compl. 7.)

* These physicians failed to treat Martha's renal failure properly, causing Martha physical and emotional suffering. (Id.) Further, these physicians failed to diagnose and treat Martha's uremia and azotemia and to provide hemodialysis and cancer treatment. (Id.)

* These physicians also "failed to properly [sic] assess and treat" Martha, causing a nine month delay in getting her cancer treatment from the time the cancer was detected. (Id.)

* These physicians also failed "to medically [sic] treat signs and symptoms leading up to electrolyte imbalance, respiratory distress[,] and cardiac arrest." (Id.)

* These physicians also kept Martha isolated from her "family and loved ones." (Id.)

* On December 22, 2006, AEMC, through its attorney, Patricia Imbesi, filed a fraudulent emergency guardian petition, presumably for defendant Maisano to have guardianship over Martha. (Id. 5.)

* According to plaintiffs, Philadelphia Orphans Court Judge Ann Lazarus improperly granted the above guardianship petition without sufficient evidence and without providing an attorney for Martha, both in violation of plaintiffs' civil and constitutional rights. (Id. 6, 8, 11.) Additionally, Judge Lazarus did not recuse herself from the matter, even though AEMC was represented by Ballard, Spahr, ...


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