Lackawanna County jury returns $4.2 million verdict against local doctor
March 30, 2012
By Steve McConnell
A Lackawanna County jury returned a $4.2 million verdict against a local physician whose patient suffered a series of strokes that left her with severe memory loss and partial blindness.
Jurors wrapped up two days of deliberations on Thursday after listening to evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by a patient against her family physician and a doctor at Moses Taylor Hospital claiming they were negligent in treating her.
The jury found the conduct of her family physician, Joseph C. Seprosky Jr., M.D., fell below the standard of medical care in his treatment of Sandra J. Powell. She and her husband, Thomas, sued Dr. Seprosky and Daniel M. McNabb, M.D., in county court in 2005. Jurors found Dr. McNabb was not negligent and imposed no monetary damages against him.
"Hopefully this brings a measure of comfort and closure for Mr. and Mrs. Powell," said their attorney, Bruce Zero of the Scranton firm Powell Law.
In their judgment against Dr. Seprosky, the jury awarded $3.7 million to Mrs. Powell and $500,000 to Mr. Powell.
There is no relation between Powell Law and the plaintiffs.
Jurors decided Dr. McNabb, who was Mrs. Powell's physician when she was admitted to Moses Taylor Hospital in December 2003 after having suffered multiple strokes, was not responsible for "increasing the risk of harm" to her after she had another "massive" stroke when she was discharged from the hospital three months later, according to court records.
The suit claimed Dr. Seprosky failed to recognize the importance of a report from a Wayne County neurologist sent to him after Mrs. Powell was discharged from the hospital, court records said.
"It is alleged that Dr. Seprosky should have been aware of the risk of continued and further strokes," according to court papers.
Efforts to reach Dr. McNabb and Dr. Seprosky's attorneys were unsuccessful Thursday afternoon.
Mrs. Powell, 54, of Moscow, now has "severe, permanent and disabling injuries," including damage to her optic nerve that caused partial blindness, court documents said.
Because of her injuries, she had to leave her job as a manager at a Gerrity's Supermarket and will remain unemployed, court records said.
Of the $4.2 million verdict, jurors awarded $500,480 to Mrs. Powell for the loss of past and future work earnings.
"It just helps their needs going forward and into the future," Mr. Zero said.