Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tong-Summerford v. Abington Memorial Hospital And Radiology Group Of Abington, P.C.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 13, 2018

ANITA E. TONG-SUMMERFORD, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MARVIN JEROME SUMMERFORD, DEC.
v.
ABINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND RADIOLOGY GROUP OF ABINGTON, P.C. AND KRISTIN L. CRISCI, M.D. APPEAL OF: ABINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ANITA E. TONG-SUMMERFORD, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MARVIN JEROME SUMMERFORD
v.
ABINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, RADIOLOGY GROUP OF ABINGTON, P.C., VALERIE BONICA, D.O. AND KRISTIN L. CRISCI, M.D. APPEAL OF: RADIOLOGY GROUP OF ABINGTON, P.C., AND KRISTIN L. CRISCI, M.D.

          Appeal from the Judgment Entered September 2, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County Civil Division at No(s): No. 2010-35494

          BEFORE: PANELLA, J., OLSON, J., and STEVENS, [*] P.J.E.

          OPINION

          STEVENS, P.J.E.

         In these consolidated appeals, Appellants Abington Memorial Hospital (hereinafter "AMH"); Kristin L. Crisci, M.D. (hereinafter "Dr. Crisci"); and Radiology Group of Abington, P.C. (hereinafter "RGA") (hereinafter collectively, at times, "Appellants") appeal from the judgment entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County on September 2, 2016, at which time the trial court denied their respective post-trial motions, molded the verdict of $5, 000, 000 in favor of Anita E. Tong-Summerford, as administrator of the estate of Marvin Jerome Summerford, deceased, (hereinafter "Appellee") to add delay damages in the amount of $947, 157.53, and ordered the delay damages to be apportioned between the Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act claims in the same proportionate allocation as in the verdict: 30% ($284, 147.26) to the Wrongful Death Act claim and 70% ($663, 010.27) to the Survival Act claim. Upon our review, we affirm.

         The trial court set forth the facts and procedural history herein as follows:

On November 30, 2008, Marvin Summerford, age 88, was transferred to the emergency department of Abington Memorial Hospital (hereinafter, "AMH" or the "Hospital") from a long-term care facility. Mr. Summerford's past medical history included dementia, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary insufficiency. On December 1, 2008, Mr. Summerford suffered cardiac arrest secondary to pneumonia, and a code was called due to pulseless electrical activity, decreased heart rate, and low blood pressure. Mr. Summerford survived and was transferred to the ICU.
On December 2, 2008, a feeding tube was inserted and an order was placed for an x-ray to confirm proper placement.1 The x-ray revealed that the tube had been inadvertently inserted into the lung and was therefore removed. The feeding tube was reinserted, and another x-ray was ordered to confirm proper placement. Again, the feeding tube was not properly placed.
On the next day, December 3, 2008, Valerie Bonica, D.O., an AMH resident, inserted a new feeding tube into Mr. Summerford. Dr. Bonica ordered a portable chest x-ray to confirm proper placement of the tube at 3:55 p.m. In response to this order, x-ray technologist Jillian Nickel, an AMH employee, performed a portable x-ray at 4:53 p.m. capturing the lower chest and abdomen.2 This image was interpreted by Kristin Crisci, M.D., a radiologist, who incorrectly read the study as showing termination of the feeding tube in decedent's stomach when, in fact, it terminated in Mr. Summerford's left lung. Dr. Crisci signed her report at 5:33 p.m. She did not order additional imaging. In reliance upon Dr. Crisci's report, Dr. Bonica ordered administration of a feeding solution (Jevity) at 10 cc's per hour for the first eight hours. The first feed was administered at approximately 11:00 p.m. on December 3, 2008. From 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the next morning, 50 cc's of Jevity and 420 cc's of flush was administered through the feeding tube into Mr. Summerford's lung.
Mr. Summerford's condition deteriorated. At 4:38 a.m. on December 4, 2008, Dr. Bonica placed a STAT order for portable chest x-ray to aid in the diagnosis/treatment of pneumonia. The x-ray was completed at 4:46 a.m. but was not analyzed by a radiologist until 8:13 a.m., at which time the radiologist recognized the feeding tube was positioned in Mr. Summerford's left lung. By this time, Mr. Summerford had already been pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m. on December 4, 2008.
After a five-day jury trial, the jury returned a verdict on May 13, 2016 in favor of [Appellee] and against [Appellants] AMH and Dr. Crisci/Radiology Group of Abington, P.C. (hereinafter, "Dr. Crisci")3 in the total sum of $5, 000, 000 ($1.5 million for the wrongful death claim and $3.5 million for the survival action claim). The jury apportioned liability as follows: AMH 25% and Dr. Crisci 75%. The verdict was molded to add Rule 238 delay damages for [Appellee] and against [Appellants], resulting in a molded verdict in the amount of $5, 947, 157.53.4
AMH and Dr. Crisci each filed timely motions for post-trial relief seeking judgment n.o.v., a new trial, and remittitur. Following oral argument, on September 2, 2016 this court denied [Appellants'] post-trial motions, molded the verdict, and entered judgment on the jury verdict in favor of [Appellee] and against [Appellants]. Thereafter, AMH and Dr. Crisci filed timely appeals, 5 which were consolidated on November 7, 2016 by Order of the Superior Court. On October 4, 2016, the court ordered defendants to file a concise statement of errors pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 1925(b).
1 The feeding tube is supposed to be inserted into the esophagus and end up in the stomach. However, due to the close proximity of the esophagus and trachea in the back of the throat and the difficulty visualizing the proper placement of the feeding tube for insertion, occasionally the feeding tube is inadvertently placed in the trachea instead of the esophagus. Accordingly, it is necessary that an x-ray be obtained to confirm proper placement of the tube into the stomach, as opposed to the lung, before feeding solution is administered through the tube. All parties agreed that it was not negligence for a feeding tube to be inadvertently inserted into the trachea instead of the esophagus. N.T. 05.09.16 (a.m.), p. 19.
2 There was disagreement whether the image captured by the portable x-ray was an abdominal study or a lower chest study. Dr. Crisci testified that notwithstanding Dr. Bonica's order for a chest x-ray, the technologist performed an abdominal study. N.T. 05.10.16 (p.m.), p. 93. [Appellee's] expert Dr. Igidbashian testified that it was an abdominal study. N.T. 05.10.16 (a.m.), p. 95. However, AMH's expert, Dr. Hani Abujudeh, testified that, " ... this was not a chest x-ray. It was not an abdominal x-ray. It was a hybrid x-ray, between a chest and an abdomen." N.T. 05.11.16 (p.m.), p. 144.
3 It was stipulated that Dr. Crisci was an employee/agent of Radiology Group of Abington, P.C. ("RGA"). By agreement of all parties, Dr. Crisci and RGA appeared together on the verdict sheet. N.T. 05.12.16 (p.m.), p. 89-91.
4 [Appellants] do not raise any issue on appeal regarding the addition of delay damages.
5 AMH appeal Docket Number 3114 EDA 2016; Dr. Crisci appeal Docket Number 3310 EDA 2016.

         Trial Court Opinion, filed 12/29/16, at 1-3.

         On October 18, 2016, Dr. Crisci and RGA filed a timely Concise Statement of Errors Complained of on Appeal wherein they raised ten (10) issues. On October 25, 2016, AMH filed its Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal wherein it also set fourth ten (10) issues.

         In their brief, Dr. Crisci and RGA raise the following Statement of Questions Presented:

A. Should the trial court have entered a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of [Dr.] Crisci because [Appellee] failed to prove, by competent and sufficient evidence, her prima facie case of negligence against her?
B. Whether the trial court erred in denying Appellants' Motion for a Non-Suit?
C. Whether the trial court erred in denying a new trial on the basis of highly inflammatory and unfairly prejudicial statements made by Co-[Appellants'] radiology expert, Hani Abujudeh, M.D.?
D. Whether the trial court abused its discretion and/or made an error of law in permitting [co-Appellants'] radiology expert, Hani Abujudeh, M.D., to testify to issues relating to the standard of care of Dr. Crisci, beyond the opinions testified to by [Appellee's] expert, which resulted in prejudice to Dr. Crisci?
E. Whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion and/or an error of law in only granting in part the Motion in Limine filed by Crisci to preclude [Appellee's] expert, Vartan Igidbashian, D.O., from testifying to causation issues outside his expertise?
F. Whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion and/or an error of law in denying a new trial because of improper statements made by [Appellee's] counsel?
G. Whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion and/or an error of law in denying Appellants' Motion for Post-trial relief on the basis that statements made by [Appellee's] counsel, in disregard of the [c]ourt's ruling on subsequent remedial measures, were highly and unfairly prejudicial to [Appellants]?
H. Whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion and/or an error of law in denying Appellants' Motion for Remittitur because [Appellee] failed to introduce sufficient evidence to support the Jury's unreasonable award of damages?
I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion and/or made an error of law in denying Appellants' Motion for a New Trial on damages since the verdict was against the weight of the evidence?

         Brief of Appellants at 1-2.

         In its brief, AMH sets forth the following Statement of the Questions Involved:

1. Whether this Court should grant a new trial on the basis that the trial court allowed [Appellee] to vigorously cross-examine a defense expert using industry guidelines, but where there was no foundation for the guidelines' applicability to the medical treatment at issue, and where this Court and the Supreme Court have repeatedly rejected the trial court's rationale that the Defendant should be made to rebut the improperly admitted evidence with cross-examination.
2. Whether this Court should grant a new trial on the basis that the trial court allowed [Appellee] to introduce an adverse event notification letter, required by the Medical Care and Reduction of Error Act, in violation of the statute's express prohibition on using such letters as admissions of liability, where the letter introduced during testimony that it was an acknowledgement of the "truth" after several hours of lies.
3. Whether this Court should grant a new trial on the basis that the trial court allowed [Appellee's] expert to substantiate an opinion with analysis that is not within the fair scope of his report, thus lending credibility to his opinion that may have affected the verdict.
4. Whether this Court should vacate the judgment and grant a j.n.o.v., or else remand for a new trial, because the evidence failed to establish the elements of causation and notice, or else the verdict was against the clear weight of the evidence on these points.
5.Whether this Court should remand for a new trial or else vacate the judgment and grant a j.n.o.v., because the verdict concerning the taking of the x-rays by the technologist was against the weight of the evidence, or else was unsupported by necessary, competent, and qualified expert testimony.
6.Whether this Court should, in this rare case, grant a new trial on damages or a remittitur, because the gross verdict amount shocks the conscience, and the factors analyzed for such an argument preponderate heavily in favor of reducing the award.

         Brief of AMH at 5-6.

         For ease of discussion, we first will consider the claims raised by Dr. Crisci and RGA and thereafter discuss those asserted by AMH. Where issues within each discussion are related, we will analyze them together.

         Initially, Dr. Crisci and RGA assert the trial court erred in failing to grant their motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) due to Appellee's failure to present competent evidence to support her negligence claim. Dr. Crisci and RGA also claim they are entitled to JNOV due to the trial court's failure to grant their motion for a partial nonsuit on the issue of whether Dr. Crisci breached the standard of care in her interpretation of the thoracoabdominal x-ray of December 3, 2008. In doing so, they stress that while Dr. Igidbashian testified Dr. Crisci had breached the necessary standard of care when she did not order an additional study of the victim's chest upon realizing an abdominal study had been done, he did not testify that there had been a breach in the standard of care with regard to Dr. Crisci's interpretation of the actual study performed. Brief of Dr. Crisci and RGA at 13-14. Dr. Crisci and AMA reason that:

[i]f Dr. Crisci read the study within the standard of care, the issue of whether another study should have been ordered was moot and should never have been considered by the jury. Without any testimony regarding a breach of the standard of care in the interpretation of the x-ray by Dr. Crisci, [Appellee] failed to satisfy her burden of proving a prima facie case of negligence and therefore, JNOV must be entered in Crisci's favor.
It was imperative to the defense for the trial court to have granted Dr. Crisci's partial motion for non-suit so that the jury would not consider the issue of whether Dr. Crisci breached the standard of care in interpreting the x-ray.

Id. at 14-15, 20 (emphasis in original).

         At the outset, we note that where a defendant presents evidence following the denial of a motion for nonsuit, the correctness of the trial court's denial is rendered a moot issue and unappealable. See Williams v. A-Treat Bottling Co, Inc., 551 A.2d 297, 299 (Pa.Super. 1988). Here, Dr. Crisci and RGA raised a motion for partial nonsuit at the close of Appellee's case which the trial court denied. See N.T. Trial, 5/11/16, at 222-24. However, Dr. John Kirby testified as a witness for Dr. Crisci following the denial of the nonsuit. See N.T. Trial, 5/12/16 a.m., at 95-136; N.T. Trial 5/12/16 p.m., at 1-14. Accordingly, the propriety of the court's order is a moot issue, Williams, 551 A.2d at 299, and we next consider the trial court's denial of their motion for JNOV. In doing so, we employ a well-settled standard of review:

A JNOV can be entered upon two bases: (1) where the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law; and/or, (2) the evidence was such that no two reasonable minds could disagree that the verdict should have been rendered for the movant. When reviewing a trial court's denial of a motion for JNOV, we must consider all of the evidence admitted to decide if there was sufficient competent evidence to sustain the verdict. In so doing, we must also view this evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, giving the victorious party the benefit of every reasonable inference arising from the evidence and rejecting all unfavorable testimony and inference. Concerning any questions of law, our scope of review is plenary. Concerning questions of credibility and weight accorded the evidence at trial, we will not substitute our judgment for that of the finder of fact. If any basis exists upon which the [court] could have properly made its award, then we must affirm the trial court's denial of the motion for JNOV. A JNOV should be entered only in a clear case.

V-Tech Services, Inc. v. Street, 72 A.3d 270, 275 (Pa.Super. 2013) (citation omitted).

         Medical malpractice is defined broadly as the "unwarranted departure from generally accepted standards of medical practice resulting in injury to a patient, including all liability-producing conduct arising from the rendition of professional medical services." Toogood v. Owen J. Rogal, D.D.S., P.C., 573 Pa. 245, 254, 824 A.2d 1140, 1145 (2003). "[T]o prevail in a medical malpractice action, a plaintiff must 'establish a duty owed by the physician to the patient, a breach of that duty by the physician, that the breach was the proximate cause of the harm suffered, and the damages suffered were a direct result of the harm.'" Id. (quoting Hightower-Warren v. Silk, 548 Pa. 459, 698 A.2d 52, 54 (1997). Thus, the basic elements of medical malpractice and ordinary negligence are the same, although medical malpractice has some distinguishing characteristics. See Grossman v. Barke, 868 A.2d 561, 566 (Pa.Super. 2005).

         Upon our review of the trial testimony, we agree with Dr. Crisci and RGA that Dr. Igidbashian did not opine Dr. Crisci had deviated from the standard of care by misinterpreting the x-ray she reviewed on December 3, 2008. However, it was not her "alleged misinterpretation" of that x-ray which was highlighted to the jury as being "a cause or a substantial factor in bringing about Mr. Summerford's injury and death" as Dr. Crisci and RGA opine in their appellate brief, see Brief of Appellants at 19, but rather her failure to seek an additional study to achieve a proper diagnosis which was represented as constituting a deviation from that standard of care. As such, Dr. Crisci's analysis of an incomplete study was not determinative in deciding Appellee's medical malpractice claim. In this regard, the trial court reasoned as follows:

At trial, Dr. Vartan Igidbashian, [Appellee's] expert radiologist, testified that the end/tip of the feeding tube was supposed to terminate in Mr. Summerford's stomach and not his lung.6 He testified that he could not determine based on the December 3rd x-ray alone whether or not the feeding tube was actually in Mr. Summerford's stomach:
MR. TRUNK: That's the end of the feeding tube, correct?
DR. IGIDBASHIAN: Correct.
Q. Where is that supposed to be located?
A. That's supposed to be located in the stomach.
Q. Can you tell from this image whether that is in the stomach or not?
A. No.
N.T. 05.10.16 (a.m.), p. 90-91.
Dr. Igidbashian stated that Dr. Crisci breached the standard of care by interpreting this x-ray instead of obtaining additional views:
MR. TRUNK: And what should Dr. Crisci, the radiologist who reviewed this film, have done when she saw that an abdominal study was taken to check the placement of a feeding tube?
DR. IGIDBASHIAN: She should have asked for additional views to include the chest, the major airway, so that you can make sure that the tube is not going through those and ending up in the lung, instead of coming through and ending up in the stomach.

Q. Did she do that?

A. No.
Q. And was that a violation of the standard of care?
A. Yes.
N.T. 05.10.16 (a.m.), pp. 92-93.
Dr. lgidbashian opined that Dr. Crisci was incorrect in concluding that the December 3rd study confirmed the feeding tube terminated in Mr. Summerford's stomach:
MR. TRUNK: And then the conclusion [of Dr. Crisci] is: Feeding tube terminates within the stomach. Is that a conclusion that a radiologist would be able to reach by looking at the image, the abdominal study, that we just saw?
DR. IGIDBASHIAN: No.
Q. And was this the correct conclusion? The conclusion is that you cannot tell.
Q. Was this the correct conclusion that Dr. Crisci reached?
A. No.
Q. Why is that?
A. Because you cannot tell where it is exactly.
Q. And where was the feeding tube?
A. It was in the lung.
N.T. 05.10.16 (a.m.), pp. 97-98.
MR. TRUNK: You told us earlier that Dr. Crisci should have -- when she saw that study on December 3rd, she should have recognized that it was an abdominal study, and she should have ordered another study. Did I get that right?
DR. IGIDBASHIAN: Yes.
Q. Did she do that?
A. No.
Q. Was that a breach of the standard of care?
A. Yes.
Q. And did that failure increase the risk of harm to Mr. Summerford?
A. Yes.
N.T. 05.10.16 (a.m.), pp. 136-137.
The expert testimony at trial was sufficient for the jury to find that Dr. Crisci violated the standard of care by her failure to order another study to make sure the feeding tube was in Mr. Summerford's stomach and not his lung. The court properly denied Dr. Crisci's motion for a non-suit because the evidence was sufficient for a jury to determine that Dr. Crisci was liable to [Appellee].
Dr. Crisci claims she is entitled to judgment n.o.v. or a new trial because Dr. Igidbashian failed to testify that Dr. Crisci, "breached the standard of care in her interpretation of the thoracoabdominal x-ray performed on December 3, 2008." Crisci Post-Trial Motion, 3. In support of this argument, Dr. Crisci asserts: "Dr. Igidbashian testified that it was a breach of the standard of care for Dr. Crisci not to have ordered a new study; however, Dr. Igidbashian did not testify that there was a breach in the standard of care with regard to the interpretation of the study itself." Id.
At the conclusion of Plaintiffs case-in-chief, Dr. Crisci made the following oral motion for a partial non-suit:
MS. RAYNOR (Counsel for Crisci): Your Honor, now that [Appellee] has closed her case, I would like to make a partial motion for nonsuit on the basis that, as I understand [Appellee's] claims, there were two.
Number 1, that Dr. Crisci misread an x-ray, which has been conceded and that she failed, allegedly failed to recognize it was a bad study from a technical perspective and ask for another study.
[Appellee's] expert, Dr. Igidbashian, testified that she breached the standard of care on only one of those pieces, which was not appreciating that it was not the proper study, and ordering another study that would better capture the anatomy.
He did not state that she breached the standard of care by making an error, a mistake, and I think for that piece of it to go to the jury as -- he would have had to have given that testimony, and he did not.
THE COURT: Okay. Do you want to respond to that?
MR. TRUNK (Counsel for [Appellee]): He actually did give that testimony, and the testimony was that there was a breach of the standard of care to incorrectly interpret the study, and as well as to not ask for a new study.
THE COURT: Okay.
MS. RAYNOR: Your Honor, if l may say, I specifically asked him on recross, to be clear, that his own only claim of the breach of the standard of care was that she did not ask for another study for interpretation.
X X X


THE COURT: Okay. I'm going to deny the motion.
N.T. 05.11.16 (p.m.), pp. 222-224.
In Montgomery v. S. Philadelphia Med. Group, Inc., 656 A.2d 1385 (Pa. Super. 1995), the Superior Court explained: A motion for a non-suit may be granted only where it is clear that no other conclusion could be reached under the evidence presented. Bowser v. Lee Hosp., 399 Pa.Super. 332, 337, 582 A.2d 369, 371 (1990), allocatur denied, 527 Pa. 614, 590 A.2d 755 (1991); A.J Aberman, Inc. v. Funk Bldg. Corp., 278 Pa.Super. 385, 393, 420 A.2d 594, 598 (1980). When considering such a motion, issues of credibility and the weight to be assigned to the evidence are not to be resolved by the trial judge, but must be left for the finder of fact to resolve at the close of the evidence. Scott v. Purcell, 490 Pa. 109, 113, 415 A.2d 56, 58 (1980). Because a jury may not reach its verdict on mere speculation, however, a trial court may enter a non-suit if the plaintiff has failed to produce sufficient evidence to meet his or her burden of proof. Morena v. South Hills Health Sys., 501 Pa. 634, 462 A.2d 680, 683 (1983).
Montgomery, 656 A.2d at 1388.


Dr. Crisci is correct that Dr. lgidbashian did not offer an expert opinion that she violated the standard of care by misinterpreting the x-ray on December 3, 2008. His criticism of her care was limited to her failure to recognize the December 3, 2008 x-ray was inadequate and failing to order an additional x-ray to confirm placement of the feeding tube.
It is of no moment that the court denied Dr. Crisci's motion for a partial non-suit regarding an unproven claim. If erroneous, this ruling had no effect whatsoever regarding the admission of any evidence at trial or the court's charge to the jury at the conclusion of the case. It is not the court's practice to instruct the jury regarding the theories of liability or the defenses to liability but, instead, to instruct the jury that they must weigh the credible evidence and apply the law charged by the court in order to determine whether plaintiff satisfied her burden of proof or not. 7"Where a case is submitted to a jury on several theories which have been pleaded in the alternative, the verdict can be upheld if the evidence is sufficient to prove a valid cause under any of those theories." Niles v. Fall Creek Hunting Club, Inc., 545 A.2d 926, 931 (Pa.Super. 1988).
6 The tip of the feeding tube is denser, and thus brighter, so that it can more easily be identified by x-ray.
7 Dr. Crisci did not request a limiting instruction that the jury should not consider Dr. Crisci's misinterpretation of the x-ray as a basis for liability.

         Trial Court Opinion, filed 12/29/16, at 6-11.

         Viewing the foregoing evidence presented at trial in a light most favorable to Appellee as we must, we find it was sufficient to sustain the verdict. As such, we affirm the trial court's decision to deny the motion for JNOV.

         In their third and fourth issues, Dr. Crisci and RGA challenge certain testimony of Dr. Hani Abujudeh, an expert in radiology, presented by AMH. Counsel for Appellee asked Dr. Abujudeh on cross-examination whether a first-year resident would be able to identify the path of the feeding tube from the image presented on the December 3, 2008, x-ray. Over objection, Dr. Abujudeh responded as follows:

Q. Could a first year resident tell on the image from December 3rd, 2008?
Ms. Raynor: Objection, that's beyond the scope of his report, and he's asking for a standard of care opinion.
The Court: Overruled. Go ahead.
Q. Could a first year resident determine on that x-ray that Dr. Crisci misinterpreted that the course of the feeding tube is misplaced and goes into the lungs and not the stomach?
A. Yes. In fact, the jury can also tell right now, based on education that I gave them, that is the wrong place, not just a first year resident.
Q. A first year resident, and even a jury of - - you're assuming that they are not radiologists, I assume, right?
A. Right, based on experience that they have explored, you can see that the first one is going down this way, and the second one is going down on the same path.
Q. And that's because that was a superb film to see, right?
A. Correct.

N.T. Trial, 5/11/16 p.m., at 190-191.

         Dr. Crisci and RGA reason that the aforementioned exchange "gave the jury the misinterpretation that that they were more competent and trained to interpret such an x-ray than Dr. Crisci who attended medical school and was the Chair of the Radiology Department at Abington Hospital for years, and that, she was at best, not competent to read the film, or at worst, she was grossly negligent." Brief of Appellants at 24. They further contend a new trial is warranted as this testimony was outside the scope of Dr. Abujudeh's report in violation of Pa.R.C.P. § 4003.4(c) and exceeded the testimony of Appellee's expert as to Dr. Crisci's breach of the standard of care. Id. at 27.

         When considering whether the trial court had erred in denying an appellant's motion for a mistrial based upon certain remarks of a Commonwealth witness, our Supreme Court generally observed that:

[e]very unwise or irrelevant remark made in the course of a trial by a judge, a witness, or counsel does not compel the granting of a new trial. A new trial is required when the remark is prejudicial; that is, when it is of such a nature or substance or delivered in such a manner that it may ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.