Skip to content Pittsburgh Team Obtains Dismissal with Prejudice for Health Care Client on Day of Jury Selection and Trial


Search Gordon & Rees Results

February 2022

Pittsburgh Team Obtains Dismissal with Prejudice for Health Care Client on Day of Jury Selection and Trial

The Pittsburgh team of partner Shannon Voll Poliziani and associate Hillary Weaver recently convinced a Judge in Allegheny County to dismiss claims against the firm's clients - a neurosurgeon and the hospital in which he worked - on the day scheduled for jury selection and trial.

The plaintiff-husband underwent a craniotomy after a fall and was thereafter placed on a medication to prevent seizures.  The patient was discharged from the hospital a few days later, and spent the next three weeks in a third-party rehabilitation facility.  After discharge from the rehabilitation facility (over a month after being started on the seizure preventing medication), plaintiff developed a rash and presented to a third-party hospital for care and treatment.  That hospital suspected a severe immune system reaction to the anti-seizure medication and transferred the patient to the firm’s client, a hospital, for ongoing care and treatment.

The plaintiff brought suit against the neurosurgeon and the hospital, the rehabilitation facility, and the third-party hospital, alleging a failure to timely diagnose and treat the severe immune system reaction.  To support their allegations, plaintiffs disclosed expert reports from a certified registered nurse practitioner and a nurse.  Alternatively, the plaintiffs’ counsel argued that expert testimony was not required as the diagnosis and the cause of the diagnosis was clear. 

Poliziani and Weaver filed motions in limine to preclude the experts from testifying, arguing that (1) the issues were clearly beyond the range of ordinary experience and comprehension of a layperson and therefore required expert testimony to establish liability and causation; and (2) the plaintiffs’ experts were not qualified pursuant to the Pennsylvania MCARE Act or by virtue of their training and experience to render those opinions and should be precluded from doing so.

Co-defendants all filed similar motions.  The trial judge agreed and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.

Shannon Voll Poliziani