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Monroe County No. 2017-CV-6390 - Complaint available upon request

The family of a 68 year old woman from Effort, Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas alleging that a local Hospital and Emergency Room physician caused the woman's untimely sepsis-related death by failing to properly diagnose and treat clear signs and symptoms of her brewing infection in violation of applicable standards of care.

Attorney Michelle Quinn

Attorney Kevin Quinn

In a Complaint filed on August 23, 2017 by their Kingston attorneys, Michelle M. Quinn and Kevin C. Quinn of HKQ Law, Pamela Hendleman and Holly Hagenbuch, the surviving daughters of Janice Gombert, allege that on the afternoon of September 5, 2015 their mother received Emergency Room treatment at Pocono Medical Center by Dr. John R. Schleicher, Jr. after experiencing a sudden onset of chills, body aches and vomiting shortly after eating lunch that day. At the time, Mrs. Gombert was employed by Brookmont Healthcare Center in Effort, Pa.

The Complaint alleges that over the course of five hours in the Emergency Room, Mrs. Gombert was diagnosed with an infection and persistently displayed signs and symptoms which should have been recognized as sepsis, including a fever that spiked as high as 104 degrees, chills, body aches, a low white blood count, low platelet levels and abnormal blood pressure and heart rate levels that did not improve even after the administration of intravenous fluids and pain medications. Despite the clear protocols that are required for the screening, diagnosis and early treatment of sepsis in such cases, the suit alleges that Dr. Schleicher and the Emergency Room nursing staff at Pocono Medical Center failed to administer any antibiotics in the Emergency Room or check Mrs. Gombert's lactate levels.

Instead, just before 10:00 p.m. that evening Mrs. Gombert, who could barely walk on her own at the time, was discharged from the Hospital by Dr. Schleicher with a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection and handed a prescription for what the Plaintiffs claim was the wrong type of antibiotic which could not even be filled at the time because all of the area pharmacies were closed by the late hour of her discharge. The suit alleges that at approximately 4:51 a.m. on the morning of September 6, 2015, some 7 hours after Mrs. Gombert's discharge, the Emergency Room staff was notified that Mrs. Gombert's lab results were positive for E.-coli bacteria, although it was not until approximately 10:00 a.m. that morning, several additional hours later, that Mrs. Gombert was notified of these positive blood cultures and instructed to the return to the Emergency Room. The suit contends that by the time her family was able to get her back to the Emergency Room, Mrs. Gombert was already in full septic shock and multi-system failure. On September 14, 2015, after several agonizing days, Mrs. Gombert died.

Also named as Defendants are Team Health, Inc.; Emergency Physician Associates, Inc.; Emergency Physician Associates of Pennsylvania, P.C.; Emergency Physician Associates, LLC; Pocono Medical Center; Pocono Health System; Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inc.; and Lehigh Valley Health Network, all claimed to be acting in their own right and/or through various entities and agents. The Complaint includes Wrongful Death and Survival Claims, as well as claims for Negligent Infliction of Emotion Distress suffered by Ms. Hendleman and Ms. Hagenbuch, and seeks both compensatory and punitive damages against all Defendants.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

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