WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes-Barre General Hospital has filed to delay depositions in the suit against a former physician accused of causing a patient’s death while being improperly certified and mentally unstable.
Bernard Ford, 62, died in April 2016, eight days after Dr. Noel Estioko ordered an emergency airway assistance procedure. Ford, who suffered from a skeletal disorder, had his neck broken in the procedure, which eventually led to his death.
Ford’s estate claims in filings Estioko was “never able to pass” a board certification exam and was unqualified to take another exam.
Estioko was also facing another medical malpractice case at the time of Ford’s death. While arguing for a continuance in that case, he said he was mentally incompetent to stand trial, according to the lawsuit by Ford’s estate.
Attorneys for Wilkes-Barre General Hospital filed this week for a stay of deposition, as Ford’s attorney, Patrick J. Doyle of Anzalone Law Offices, had filed a third amended complaint while filings were being sent arguing over the second.
In that third complaint, the hospital claimed Doyle added new defendants. The hospital’s attorneys claim it will be difficult to offer witnesses when the roster of defendants is undetermined.
A hearing was set for Friday morning by Luzerne County Judge Lesa S. Gelb to determine if the motion to stay should be granted.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan