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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

$5M settlement over 2 deaths

By Sheena Delazio

WILKES-BARRE - Two lawsuits against Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre were settled - one for $3.2 million and the other for $1.8 million - in Luzerne County Court on Monday.

Through a petition for compromise and settlement of death action, the family of Patricia Sabol, Edwardsville, will receive $3.2 million and Dr. Stanley Stanish, of Clarks Summit, will get $1.8 million after the death of his wife, Susan. Attorneys from HKQ Law represented Stanish and the Sabol family.

According to court papers:

Patricia Sabol, 66, woke up Sept. 6, 2007, with severe pain in her lower abdomen and consulted her primary-care physician. An ambulance was called and Sabol was transported to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, where she was placed under the care of Dr. Harold Boulton.

Court papers say Sabol's pain got progressively worse, and that she had undergone several tests and studies before being discharged on Sept. 7 with a urinary tract infection and abdominal pain.

On Sept. 8, Sabol continued to experience pain and was unable to sit up or stand. At around 9 p.m., Sabol attempted to take a bath to dull her pain, and was unable to help herself out of the bathtub. Sabol's husband, Job, helped her and the two began to walk downstairs, when Patricia collapsed and the two fell.

After the fall, Job Sabol said, his wife was unresponsive, and he called 911. Patricia Sabol passed away just after 10 p.m. after Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre staff was unable to resuscitate her.

An autopsy determined Patricia Sabol, 59, died of a perforated ulcer on the wall of her abdomen.

Patricia Sabol's daughters, Sharon Finn and Roseann Sabol, as well as her husband, said Patricia Sabol's death was preventable if she had been diagnosed and treated properly.

In the Stanish case, court papers said:

Susan Stanish went to the hospital on April 25, 2007, after a fall at her home. An X-ray at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre showed she fractured her right ankle.

According to court papers, Stanish was given several medications during an eight-hour period. Dr. Cynthia Solomon and Dr. Jon Olengenski questioned whether Stanish suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Doctors were aware of Stanish's respiratory conditions, including asthma.

Later that afternoon, Stanish was given a medicine, Dilaudid, to which she was allergic. Stanish was sent to the operating room so that her ankle could be set. After the surgery, medications were prescribed to Stanish, including Dilaudid, which was administered by a nurse, despite the fact that it had not been ordered by doctors after the operation.

In the early-morning hours of April 26, nurses found Stanish apneic and asytolic. CPR was performed and Stanish was put on life support.

Later that evening, Stanish's life-support was terminated and Stanish passed away.

Stanley Stanish charged in the lawsuit that his wife's death was caused by the doctors' medical errors and that her death could have been prevented had the doctors "adopted and/or implemented appropriate nursing, pharmacy and administrative policies to prevent narcotic overdose and/or to establish an appropriate medication reconciliation process."

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.

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.



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