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Pennsylvania Jury Awards Widow $1.2 Million for Death of Husband

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Scranton, PA—a Lackawanna County jury recently awarded $1.2 million to the widow of a 55-year-old retired Long Island railroad driver, who died of sepsis.

Michael Scarpa went to the Tyler Memorial Hospital on April 14, 1999, complaining of chest pains. He also reported that he had been vomiting for three days prior to coming to the hospital. However, his doctors advised him to take cough medicine, go home, get rest, and to see his family doctor in two days. Sadly, Mr. Scarpa died on April 16, 1999. Subsequently, an autopsy revealed that he had an ulcerated esophagus and that the cause of death was sepsis because the perforated esophagus allowed food to get into his pleural cavity.

The lawsuit that followed, filed by attorney Matthew A. Cartwright, alleged that Mr. Scarpa’s death was caused by negligence and careless of the hospital and the doctors. The verdict, which was returned on Monday evening after four hours of deliberation, found the hospital and the involved physicians negligent in the death of Mr. Scarpa.