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Bryan Obtains Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

2009

After a nearly three-week jury trial in Montour County, Pennsylvania, Defendants Geisinger Medical Center, Suresh Nair, M.D., and David J. Bertsch, M.D. were found to be not negligent in their care and treatment of a patient who died following surgery for breast cancer. Defendant Geisinger Medical Center was represented by Anna Bryan.

The Dupnock Plaintiffs sued Defendants for medical malpractice, following the death of Patrice Dupnock who died unexpectedly two days after surgery. Plaintiffs' lawsuit had been pending for more than seven years at the time of trial, and they pursued multiple different theories and claims over the course of the litigation. For nearly six years, Plaintiff pursued a theory that Geisinger, through its agents, had administered the wrong medication to Mrs. Dupnock, which caused her unexpected death. Importantly, however, independent toxicology tests from a laboratory in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania did not support Plaintiffs' allegations of a medication error. Plaintiffs also claimed that Geisinger had engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the medication error and had committed fraud in so doing. In pre-trial rulings, the trial court dismissed Plaintiffs' medication error, fraud, and conspiracy claims as lacking any basis in law or fact.

The case then proceeded on the theories that the individual Defendants negligently failed to properly stage Mrs. Dupnock's breast cancer and negligently performed a mastectomy, which was not indicated given the stage of her breast cancer. Plaintiffs also claimed that Geisinger, through its agents, was negligent in its resuscitative attempts after the patient was found unresponsive in her room.

Following 11 days of trial, which included the testimony of numerous fact and expert witnesses, the jury found in favor of all Defendants and concluded that they were not negligent in their care and treatment of Mrs. Dupnock.  

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