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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

Estate Wins Verdict in Wrongful Death Med Mal Case

Pennsylvania Law Weekly, Monday, December 22, 2003

Hanf v. Medical Associates of Monroe County
$100,000 Verdict

Date of Verdict: October 6, 2003.

Court and Case Number: C.P. Monroe, No, 198 CV 2001.

Judge: Peter O'Brien

Type of Action: Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death Action.

Injuries: Death.

Plaintiff's Attorney: Joseph A. Lach, Hourigan, Kluger&Quinn, Kingston
Defense Attorney: Eugene P. Feeney, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires&Newby, Scranton.

Plaintiff's Expert: Kenneth Lewis, M.D., internal medicine, Landenberg.
Defense Expert: N/A.

Comments: A Monroe County jury has awarded a $100,000 verdict to the estate of a 68-year-old man who died of cardio respiratory arrest while in the care of the defendant hospital.

The decedent, George Hanf, entered Pocono Medical Center on May 30, 1999, with complaints of shortness of breath and a history of respiratory problems, according to plaintiff's counsel. While in the hospital, lab work showed evidence of internal bleeding, most likely gastrointestinal in nature. After several days of abnormally low lab work, an endoscopic procedure was performed that identified a probable source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, plaintiff's counsel said. Nevertheless, counsel asserted, definitive therapy was not attempted and the lab work continued to show evidence of ongoing bleeding.

Hanf eventually aspirated blood, which had accumulated in large quantities in the stomach, causing cardio respiratory arrest and death on June 10, 1999. The decedent's wife passed away shortly after the commencement of this lawsuit, and the claim was pursued by Hanf's daughters. There were no economic damages presented to the jury.

The plaintiff's expert, Kenneth Lewis, M.D., testified that physicians in the defendant's medical group were on notice for several days of the abnormally low blood work, as well as the accumulation of large quantities of blood in the decedent's stomach. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the defendants failed to attempt treatment of the site of bleeding or to take routine preventive measures to evacuate blood so as to prevent the possibility of aspiration.

Defense counsel could not be reached for comment.

Following a 4-day trial, and two and a half hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury returned a verdict of $100,000 in favor of Hanf's estate.

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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