Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Malpractice Claims
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest teaching hospitals in the country. Located in West Philadelphia, the Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System ("Penn Medicine") is the 3rd largest employer in the Philadelphia region. University of Penn Hospital has 784 beds and over 2,000 doctors on staff and it is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals in the entire country.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has a long standing and well-deserved reputation for excellence. Even in Philadelphia, a notoriously plaintiff friendly jurisdiction, malpractice lawyers have a hill to climb to convince a jury that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is a sloppy facility where malpractice is common place.
But that is not the argument when you sue a great hospital like Penn. Instead, the argument is that while most people are blessed to be treated by such a great hospital, awful mistakes happen at the best of hospitals. Sometimes it is a good doctor who makes an awful mistake. Other times, it is a doctor that never should have been caring for patients in the first place, much less at a place like Penn.The Penn Medicine System
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is the center piece of the University of Penn Health System which operates under the "Penn Medicine" brand. Penn Medicine includes a number of area hospitals including:
- The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (West Philadelphia)
- Pennsylvania Hospital (Downtown Philadelphia)
- Penn Presbyterian Hospital (West Philadelphia)
- Chester County Hospital (Chester County, PA)
- Lancaster General Health (Lancaster County, PA)
A lawsuit against any of these Penn Medicine hospitals is essentially a lawsuit against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.Venue for Malpractice Lawsuits Against
In Pennsylvania all medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed in the county where the malpractice allegedly occurred. This means malpractice suits against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or the other 2 Penn Medicine hospitals in the city must be filed in Philadelphia County.Recent Malpractice Cases
Below is a brief summary of several malpractice cases recently filed against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
- (2017) Yetter v Hospital of the Univ. of Penn.: suit alleging HUP negligently handled aortic valve and root replacement procedure resulting in death of patient.
- (2017) Johnson v Hospital of the Univ. of Penn: malpractice suit alleging that HUP doctors failed to timely follow up on CT scan resulting in a 16 month delay in diagnosis of colon cancer.
- (2017) Payne v Hospital of the Univ. of Penn: labor and delivery malpractice case alleging baby suffered cerebral palsy and physical injuries from mishandling of difficult delivery.
- (2017) Burke v Hospital of the Univ. of Penn: another labor and delivery malpractice case claiming that doctors negligently induced vaginal delivery when they should have done a c-section.
- (2017) Houston v Hospital of the Univ. of Penn: suit alleging that hospital negligence caused 6 day old baby in neo natal unit to overdose on hydrocortisone.
- $182,737,791 Verdict (Pennsylvania 2023): In this birth injury case, an infant delivery at Penn Hospital suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy with seizure activity, cortical visual impairment and global, neurodevelopmental and gross motor delays. He would require continuous medical care for the remainder of his life. The lawsuit alleged that doctors at the hospital negligently failed to diagnose and treat the mother's chorioamnionitis (uterine infection) and delayed too long in performing a C-section, thus allowing the baby to remain too long in the infected and compromised intrauterine environment. The staggering $192.7 million verdict included $101 million for future medical expenses and $80 million for pain and suffering.
- $650,000 Settlement (Pennsylvania 2022): A 61-year-old female decedent presented to defendant Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with complaints of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. She suffered a deterioration in her condition over the course of a six-day hospitalization, including persistent nausea, abdominal distension, no bowel movement, and aspiration, and yet the medical staff, including defendant physicians in the fields of critical care, radiology and nursing, repeatedly administered fluids. On the sixth day, the decedent choked, aspirated, and died. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital negligently failed to recognize that the decedent had a bowel obstruction.
- $2,000,000 Settlement (Pennsylvania 2021): 31-year-old female due to undetected pulmonary embolism/VTE (venous thromboembolic disease) which resulted in fatal cardiac arrest and brain death after reporting to University of Pennsylvania Hospital ER with complaints of abdominal pain, vomiting, fever and other issues. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent in forcing the decedent to wait for 4 hours before being examined, failed to receive proper workup, evaluation, diagnosis, management and treatment of her condition. By that time it was too late to intervene and save her life.
- $44,000,000 Verdict (Pennsylvania 2016): In this case doctors at Penn Hospital alleged caused a patient to overdose on the blood thinner drug Herapin. The suit alleged that while the plaintiff was at Penn Hospital she was regularly administered excessive doses of Herapin which the doctors and nurses negligently failed to recognize. The hospital was accused of negligent administration of the medicine, poor communication, and failure to perform testing that would have revealed the problem. As a result of the negligent overdosing the plaintiff claimed that she suffered a brain hemorrhage and blood clots in her brain which left her bed ridden with permanent paralysis. Penn Hospital denied that it was negligent and took the case to trial. A jury in Philadelphia found the doctors 35% negligent and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 65% negligent. The plaintiff was awarded a staggering $44 million in damages.
- $650,000 Verdict (Pennsylvania 2015): The plaintiff in this case had a coronary stent implanted at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (a Penn Medicine hospital). The stent contained nickel to which the plaintiff had an allergic reaction. The plaintiff accused doctors in staff at Penn Presbyterian of negligent care because he apparently informed them that he was allergic to nickel when he was initially admitted to the hospital. The doctors and staff at the hospital failed to notice this or warn the plaintiff that the stent contained nickel. A jury in Philadelphia awarded the plaintiff $650,000.
If you or someone you know may have a claim for malpractice against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or another Penn Medicine hospital call Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.