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Jury rules in favor of doctors, hospital in malpractice case

Published November 25. 2009 05:00PM

After listening to about four and a half days of testimony a Carbon County jury panel ruled in favor of the defendants in a malpractice suit that had two doctors, a physicians' group and local hospital as defendants.

The panel found that Dr. James W. Kramer, M.D., St. Luke's Physician Group Inc., dba, Carbon Surgical Associates, the estate of Dr. David J. Newton, M.D., deceased; and Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, now dba, Blue Mountain Health System's Gnaden Huetten Campus, Lehighton, not negligent.

The defendants were sued by Anthony J. and Anne Michele Rutch, of 731 E. Patterson St., Lansford.

The plaintiffs filed suit after Anthony Rutch received medical treatment beginning April 15, 2005. The plaintiffs claimed that Anthony Rutch did not receive the applicable standard of medical care he should have received from the defendants.

The panel ruled that the defendants, especially Dr. Kramer and Dr. Newton, did provide the standard of medical care required. Dr. Newton died in a automobile accident and the suit was later amended to name his estate as a defendant.

The jury was selected on Monday, Nov. 16, and began hearing testimony on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The panel heard testimony from the plaintiffs, expert witnesses on both sides, including other doctors. Some of the testimony was presented to the jury by videos.

President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II got the case to the panel on Monday afternoon. The jury deliberated for about five hours on Monday and then recessed until Tuesday morning then the resumed deliberations reaching a verdict later in the day.

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