Click To Call

Email Us For A Free Consultation

No fees for inquiries

(Free consultations are available only in personal injury cases
& it costs nothing to inquire). All inquiries are confidential.
Read our disclaimer

Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

Medical malpractice trial suspended for try at settlement

Medical malpractice trial suspended for try at settlement


WILKES-BARRE - Testimony in a medical malpractice trial ceased Friday morning after attorneys said they will try to negotiate a settlement in the case during the weekend.

The halt came about an hour into the third day of testimony in Dorothy Thornton's lawsuit against Mercy Hospital and two doctors. Thornton filed suit on behalf of her 72-year-old husband, Frank Thornton.

He died in September 2000, several weeks after doctors placed him on a ventilator before surgery. Doctors Esther McKenzie and Walter Boris placed the ventilator breathing tube down his esophagus instead of his windpipe, the suit says. That forced his body to go without oxygen for six to 10 minutes, leading to the brain damage and death, said Joe Quinn, the estate's attorney. Doctors also missed signs that the tube was misplaced, including a swollen abdomen and dropped heart rate, Quinn said.

The hospital also failed to tell Thornton's family about the incident and the error, ignoring a patient's right to know, Quinn has argued.

The attorney was in the middle of questioning Dr. Richard Fischbein on Friday when hospital attorney Larry Durkin asked to meet with the parties and Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.

After a brief recess, Quinn asked Olszewski to stop the trial until Monday because attorneys wanted to negotiate a possible settlement.

Olszewski informed the jury of the "unusual" occurrence and ordered the parties and jury to reconvene at 8:15 a.m. Monday.

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

HKQ Law is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nine attorneys at HKQ Law were recently named to the 2019 Best Lawyers List and has been designated a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for personal injury, medical malpractice litigation labor law and corporate law in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history on behalf of injured clients. The firm was also recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

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 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.

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.



Before you go, would you like to have your inquiry reviewed by a member of our team?

Yes, please.

No thank you, I'm just browsing

For Immediate Response Call:

(800) 760-1LAW(1529)

Back to Top