Motion for stay denied in malpractice case

By Pat Kernan - [email protected]
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital - Times Leader file

WILKES-BARRE — A Luzerne County judge has denied a defense motion to delay depositions in the suit against a former physician accused of causing a patient’s death while improperly certified and mentally unstable.

Bernard Ford, 62, died in April 2016, eight days after Dr. Noel Estioko ordered an emergency airway assistance procedure at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Ford’s neck was broken during the procedure, as he suffered from a skeletal disorder. This led to his eventual death.

Attorneys for the hospital filed last week for a stay of deposition, claiming the Ford family’s attorney, Patrick J. Doyle of Anzalone Law Offices, had made proceedings difficult, by filing a third amended complaint while arguments were continuing over the second.

The hospital said Doyle’s act of adding new defendants in the third version made it difficult to determine what the roster of defendants actually is.

But at a hearing on Friday, Luzerne County Judge Lesa S. Gelb denied the hospital’s motion.

On Monday, Gelb issued another order in the case, ordering the hospital to provide information to Ford’s estate in a previous medical malpractice suit brought against Estioko.

In that case, Estioko filed for motions of continuance, claiming he was not fit to stand trial after being left in a bad mental state due to his pending termination.

His filing came at a time close to Ford’s death.

The estate’s attorneys also claim Estioko was improperly certified, alleging the hospital should have known about it.

Wilkes-Barre General Hospital General Hospital Times Leader file

By Pat Kernan

[email protected]