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Petrosky v. Allegheny County

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 10, 2017

JOHN PETROSKY and STEPHANIE PETROSKY, Plaintiffs,
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, ALLEGHENY COUNTY JAIL, ORLANDO HARPER, Individually and in his capacity as Warden, CORIZON HEALTH, INC. CORIZON, INC., SARAH A. PATTERSON, as Administratrix of the ESTATE OF MICHAEL D. PATTERSON, SR., M.D., DANIELLE LITZINGER, CRNP and DAVID DRUSKIN, PA-C Defendants.

          OPINION RE: ECF NO. 4

          MAUREEN P. KELLY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         John and Stephanie Petrosky (collectively, "Plaintiffs") bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Allegheny County, the Allegheny County Jail ("ACJ") and Orlando Harper ("Warden Harper") (collectively, "the County Defendants") as the result of serious injuries allegedly caused by their deliberate indifference to Mr. Petrosky's serious medical condition, endocarditis. Plaintiffs contend that the County Defendants violated constitutional provisions by not providing adequate medical care to Mr. Petrosky when he was a pretrial detainee at ACJ from March 6, 2014, to September 14, 2014. Plaintiffs also bring state law negligence claims against Corizon Health, Inc., Corizon Inc., Sarah A. Patterson, as administratrix of the Estate of Dr. Michael D. Patterson ("Dr. Patterson"), Danielle Litzinger, CRNP ("CRNP Litzinger"), and David Druskin, PA-C ("PA-C Druskin") (collectively, "the Corizon Defendants")- Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the Corizon Defendants provided negligent medical care to Mr. Petrosky while he was incarcerated in ACJ. Mrs. Petrosky also brings a loss of consortium claim against all Defendants.

         Currently pending before the Court is the County Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Counts I, V and XII. ECF No. 4. For the following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss will be granted.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Facts

         In the Complaint, Plaintiffs make the following detailed factual allegations. Mr. Petrosky, age 43, arrived at ACJ on March 6, 2014. ECF No. 1-2 ¶ 11. Upon arrival, he complained of chest pain at the infirmary. Id. The Corizon Defendants operated the ACJ's infirmary. Id. ¶¶ 11, 15. On March 7, 2014, the intake-and-receiving screening of Mr. Petrosky showed that his body temperature was 100.1 degrees Fahrenheit, his pulse was 111 beats per minute, and his blood pressure was 152/86. Id. ¶ 12. Repeated evaluations over the next two months showed Mr. Petrosky to be febrile, tachycardic and hypertensive. Id.

         On May 15, 2014, a medical evaluation noted that Mr. Petrosky's body temperature was 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit and his pulse at 114 beats per minute. Id. ¶ 13. Despite these continued findings and a worsening physical condition, a complete physical assessment, evaluation, and work-up was not performed. Id.

         During a June 27, 2014, medical examination, it was noted that Mr. Petrosky had lost twenty-nine pounds since his incarceration. Id. ¶ 14. On that date, his body temperature was 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit, his pulse was 140 beats per minute, and his blood pressure was 170/40. Id. Again, despite a worsening physical condition, a complete physical assessment, evaluation, and work-up was not completed. Id.

         From June 27, 2014, to September 14, 2014, Corizon employees CRNP Litzinger and PA-C Druskin repeatedly evaluated Mr. Petrosky and entered numerous orders. Id. ¶ 15. However, they never ordered a complete physical assessment, evaluation, and work-up. Id.

         At some point between the date of his incarceration at AC J on March 6, 2014, and September 14, 2014, Mr. Petrosky lost the ability to walk. Id. ¶ 16. He also developed profuse night sweats. Id. He submitted numerous requests to the ACJ infirmary for medical assistance and evaluation that were ignored. Id.

         On September 14, 2014, immediately upon transfer to the Westmoreland County Jail, Mr. Petrosky's serious medical condition was recognized. Id. ¶ 17. He was promptly transported to Westmoreland Regional Hospital. Id. He presented with tachycardia, shortness of breath and complaints of substernal chest pain. Id. He was found to be in congestive heart failure and blood cultures were positive for streptococci, gram negative. Id. A transesophageal echocardiogram showed multiple vegetations of the tricuspid valve with severe aortic insufficiency. Id. Vegetation of the mitral valve was also seen. Id.

         Due to the seriousness of Mr. Petrosky's cardiac condition, he was transferred from Westmoreland Regional Hospital to Allegheny General Hospital ("AGH") where he was diagnosed with endocarditis, a life-threatening bacterial infection affecting his heart and its valves. Id. At AGH, Mr. Petrosky underwent aortic and mitral valve replacement surgery and repair of an aortic pseudoaneurysm. Id. ¶ 18.

         In January of 2015, due to damage to his spleen caused by the delay in treatment, Mr. Petrosky had his spleen removed. Id., ¶ 19.

         In May 2015, Mr. Petrosky's endocarditis recurred. Id., ¶ 20. He required a repeat sternotomy in which aortic and mitral valves were replaced with mechanical valves. Id., Further, between his surgeries, Mr. Petrosky suffered profound respiratory failure which required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, tube feeding and a ...


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