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[U] Lykes v. Yates

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

August 29, 2013

ESTER J. LYKES AND WILTON K. LYKES Appellants
v.
JAMES A. YATES, M.D., SAUNDRA WOLFERSBERGER, R.N., PLASTIC SURGERY CENTER, LTD., HOLY SPIRIT HEALTH SYSTEM, HOLY SPIRIT HOSPITAL OF THE SISTERS OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY, AND HOLY SPIRIT HOSPITAL

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment Entered January 27, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County Civil Division at No(s): 05-5869

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., ALLEN, J., and COLVILLE, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

PANELLA, JUDGE.

Appellant, Ester J. Lykes, appeals from the judgment in favor of Appellees, James A. Yates, M.D., Saundra Wolfersberger, R.N., and Plastic Surgery Center, Ltd., entered on January 27, 2012, by the Honorable Albert H. Masland, Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County. We affirm.

In this appeal, we are asked to address whether the trial court erred or abused its discretion in overruling both Lykes' pre-trial motion and renewed motion to produce documents and compel production of non-party patients' medical charts. We are also asked to address whether the trial court erred or abused its discretion in overruling Lykes' Motions in Limine to preclude reference to Dr. Yates' use of Gold Bond powder in other patients, and to preclude reference by Dr. Yates and his experts regarding what caused Lykes' foreign body granulomas.[1]

As the matters complained of on appeal relate exclusively to the trial court's pre-trial rulings, an exhaustive recounting of the facts is unnecessary. Lykes brought a medical malpractice action against Dr. Yates, a plastic surgeon, regarding the post-surgical wound care of her breast reduction surgery. Central to her claim was the allegation that Dr. Yates inappropriately instructed her to use Gold Bond powder to treat her post-surgical wounds. See N.T., Trial, 07/18/11, at 161, 166-68, 170, 182. Lykes contended that the Gold Bond powder caused her wounds to heal improperly, resulting in an extended healing time, additional treatment and procedures, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. See id., at 196-202, 211-12.

Prior to trial, Lykes filed a discovery motion to compel the production of redacted medical records of Dr. Yates' previous patients on whom Gold Bond powder was used. See Plaintiff's Motion to Strike and Compel, 12/30/08. President Judge Hess denied this discovery motion. See Order of the Court, 02/05/09. Lykes later renewed this request, but was again denied by Judge Masland. See N.T., Trial, 07/18/11, at 20-21, 504-05.

Following a defense verdict, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Appellees. Lykes then filed a timely notice of appeal, and the trial court ordered Lykes to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925. Lykes filed a timely statement, and the trial court filed its opinion in support of the verdict on May 30, 2012.

Lykes raises the following issues on appeal:
1. Did the Trial Court harmfully err and/or abuse its discretion when it overruled Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Objections to the Second Set of Request for Production of Documents and to Compel Production During Pre-Trial Discovery? …
2. Did the Trial Court harmfully err and/or abuse its discretion when it overruled Plaintiff's Motion in Limine and allowed Defendant, Dr. Yates and Defendants' experts to provide testimony regarding Defendants' use of Gold Bond powder in patients other than Plaintiff? …
3. Did the Trial Court harmfully err and/or abuse its discretion when it overruled Plaintiff's Renewed Motion to Strike Objections to the Second Set of Request for Production of Documents and to Compel Production? …
4. Did the Trial Court harmfully err and/or abuse its discretion when it overruled Plaintiff's Motion in Limine and allowed Defendants' Experts to provide testimony regarding what ...

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