Joe Petka Wins Brain Injury Trial for Philadelphia Hospital

This Philadelphia jury trial involved a 59-year-old female auditor who was alleging a brain injury. The plaintiff was leaving the defendant’s hospital when she allegedly tripped on a sidewalk expansion joint and struck her chin on the pavement. The plaintiff was taken from the scene of the fall to the emergency room and then followed up with her family doctor for headaches, lightheadedness, and forgetfulness as well as neck pain.  Accordingly, Plaintiff was referred to a neurologist and a psychotherapist.  She also had therapy for neck pain over the course of several months. The plaintiff continued to receive neurological treatment over the course of two years.

At trial, the plaintiff’s neurologist testified that she sustained permanent neurological injuries, including posttraumatic encephalopathy, posttraumatic headaches, vertigo and vestibulopathy, disequilibrium, gait dysfunction, acquired autonomic dysfunction with lightheadedness, and a bi-temporal cortical injury, as well as an injury to both frontal lobes of her brain.

Although the plaintiff was sympathetic, on cross-examination, Joe had her admit that because she sustained head injury, she did not know why she fell. She further admitted that her earlier testimony that she tripped on the expansion joint was just her “best guess.”

Accordingly, after the plaintiff rested his case, Joe made a Motion for Non-Suit as the plaintiff failed to prove why she fell. After hearing argument on the issue, Judge Shreeves-Johns of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas dismissed the jury and entered a non-suit for the hospital.