Woman says her digestive tract injuries are the result of medical malpractice from Delco professionals

A Ridley Park woman claims that a host of medical professionals failed to identify and diagnose her perforated ulcer and bowel necrosis, leading her to suffer permanent damage to her digestive tract.

Helen Pennington of Ridley Park filed suit in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas on April 20 versus Taylor Hospital, Prospect CCMC, LLC, CCMC, Inc., Prospect Health Access Network, Inc., Dr. Douglas J. Brunner, deceased (through Executor Bryan J. Minner, CPA, PFS) Judith Guerisma, P.A., Kristen Vestigo, P.A. and John Does 1-2 of Ridley Park, Crozer Chester Medical Center and Crozer Keystone Health Network of Chester and John Does 3-4 of Reading.

On three occasions in April 2019, the suit says that Pennington sought treatment for a right knee arthroscopy and post-surgical complications, including foot swelling and right knee pain.

“On or about May 1, 2019, plaintiff, Helen Pennington, was transferred and admitted to Crozer Rehabilitation Center for inpatient rehabilitative services, under the care of Dr. Douglas J. Brunner, Judith Guerisma, P.A. and Kristen Vestigo, P.A. Throughout the admission, plaintiff, Helen Pennington, suffered constipation which was not properly treated by the defendants and their staff,” the suit states.

“Thereafter, on or about May 16, 2019, plaintiff, Helen Pennington, experienced acute abdominal pain, which revealed, in a subsequent x-ray, to be a large pneumoperitoneum. She was then transferred to Crozer Chester Medical Center for emergency bowel surgery because she suffered a stercoral ulcer that required immediate surgery, resulting in an ostomy.”

However, the suit maintains that the defendants “failed to properly and completely administer a bowel program, along with the corresponding medication, to relieve and prevent further constipation onto plaintiff, Helen Pennington, and as a result, further complicated plaintiff’s severe constipation.”

Additionally, the defendants “failed to accurately monitor plaintiff, Helen Pennington’s, intake and output, administration of anti-constipation medicine and implement methods to prevent constipation.”

Due to the defendants’ “multiple failures and deviations from the acceptable standard of medical care and careless, negligent conduct, plaintiff, Helen Pennington, suffered from severe constipation, which caused a very dangerous and life-threatening stercoral ulcer perforation, and was forced to undergo emergency surgery to remove the necrosis within the bowel, which she will never fully recover from.”

Defendants knew or should have known that failure to keep accurate medical records, administer the proper and complete medical procedures and the failure to provide necessary medication could lead to a dangerous condition.

per the suit

“Defendants knew or should have known that the failure to monitor plaintiff’s intake and output levels, the inconsistent medical records, the incomplete administration of the bowel program, among others, would result in a stercoral ulcer and require immediate surgery resulting in an ostomy.”

For three counts of negligence and corporate negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages, jointly, severally and/or separately, for an amount in excess of $50,000, including punitive damages, exclusive of interest, costs, and delay damages pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 238.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Ara Richard Avrigian and K. Andrew Heinold of Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

The defendants have not yet secured legal counsel.

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas case CV-2021-003721

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