Court declines to hear Penn's lawsuit appeal
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court did not allow Penn appeal a $9.65 million medical malpractice verdict
September 22, 2013, 3:52 pm · Updated September 22, 2013, 10:02 pm·
Michael Chien | DP
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court will not hear the University’s appeal of a nearly $10 million medical malpractice verdict against a doctor at the Penn Neurological Institute at Pennsylvania Hospital.
On Sept. 10, Pennsylvania’s highest state court declined to allow Penn to appeal a $9,654,551 verdict awarded to former hospital patient Eric Davenport, who sued in 2008 after he was misdiagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In reality, he had been suffering from spinal cord compression, which is extra pressure on the spinal cord. Davenport sued his doctor, Penn neurologist Leo McCluskey, and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, among others.
The $9.65 million awarded to Davenport was nearly double that of the highest medical malpractice verdict in Philadelphia in 2010 According to the Legal Intelligencer, the $9.65 million verdict has now risen to about $11.6 million due to interest.
Penn Medicine spokesperson Susan Phillips said in a statement, “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court declined to hear our appeal and address the significant issues raised.” She declined to comment further at this time.
As of press time, Davenport’s attorney could not be reached for a comment.
On Nov. 9, 2012, prior to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Penn’s appeal, a panel of three Superior Court judges affirmed the jury’s verdict in favor of Davenport.
At trial, Davenport argued that because McCluskey had given him a sure diagnosis of ALS, the spinal cord compression he suffered went untreated and he later lost the ability to walk.
However, McCluskey said during the original trial that he could not recall the specific conversation referenced by Davenport, but that in similar scenarios he typically does not give patients specific prognoses.