Filing a Hershey Medical Center Lawsuit in 2024 for Organ Transplant Injuries
If you or someone you love has incurred injuries due to the negligence of a Penn State Hershey Medical Center physician or staff, you could be eligible to file a Hershey Medical Center claim. If your claim has been denied, you can file a Hershey Medical Center lawsuit and hold the hospital and the negligent doctor liable for your injuries and damages.
Lawyers across the country are actively looking for patients who may have a case for medical malpractice against Pennsylvania State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This comes after federal and state agencies reveal the findings of their 2-day inspection report in May 2022, which was triggered by two Medicare-related complaints by patients.
Key findings in the Hershey Medical Center report
According to the report, the Department of Health found fault in the transplant program of Hershey Medical Center. Some instances wherein Hershey Medical Center was found to have been at fault and liable to a Hershey Medical center claim are:
- Many patients were not told that they were being offered “high-risk” organs, which are organs that could put them at higher risk of medical problems like organ failure, hepatitis or HIV.
- One patient only learned during a follow-up appointment that he received a high-risk organ.
- The medical center failed to flag and analyze trends on why some patients had to go back to the operating room for subsequent issues.</span
- The transplant program failed to inform the United Network for Organ Sharing and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of changes in personnel that could significantly impact kidney and liver transplants and quality control.
If you think you have a case and want to sue Hershey Medical Center, it’s best to contact a Hershey Medical Center lawyer who is experienced in handling transplant injury negligence and other medical malpractice cases.
Hershey Medical Center shuts down organ transplant program
After news on the report broke in August 2022, spokeswoman Barbara Schindo said the program had been inactive since April this year after Penn State Health shut it down temporarily. Schindo said over 1,100 patients had been notified of the shutdown, including those on the waitlist for liver or kidney transplants. Those who want to switch to another transplant center may also ask for assistance from Hershey Medical Center, Schindo said.
Schindo claims that their transplant program is at par with other transplant programs. However, she also admits that there are still opportunities for operational and structural improvement.
Filing a Hershey Medical Center lawsuit based on lack of informed consent
Healthcare providers are expected to get the consent of their patients before any procedure may be done on them. However, the consent must be voluntary and, most importantly, informed. Informed consent means that the patients should know the risks, benefits, and other alternative options before they give their consent to the procedure.
All the elements of informed consent must also be documented to make a strong Hershey Medical center lawsuit. To summarize, the elements of informed consent are:
- The nature of the procedure.
- The risks and benefits of the procedure.
- The reasonable alternatives.
- The risks and benefits of the alternatives.
- An assessment of how the patients understand the above elements.
Filing a Penn State Hershey Medical center lawsuit based on medical malpractice
When filing a medical malpractice claim in PA, you must remember two things: the statute of limitations and the Certificate of Merit.
Statute of Limitations
If you or your loved one is looking at filing a lawsuit against Hershey Medical Center or a certain medical practitioner, you must remember to file your claim within two (2) years from the time the malpractice was committed. However, you may not know this until you discover the injury.
Therefore, jurisprudence provides that this “clock” only starts to run from the time you find out about the injury. This concept is called the statute of limitations. If you are unable to file within two years, your claim may be denied outright. Nevertheless, you can still argue that there was no way for you to discover the healthcare provider’s negligence within two (2) years from the time it happened.
Note that Pennsylvania law used to require medical malpractice lawsuits to be filed within seven (7) years, regardless of whether you knew or should have known about the negligent act or wrongdoing. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Yanakos v. UPMC, 655 Pa. 615 (2019) has already ruled this “unconstitutional” or illegal.
Certificate of Merit
231 Pennsylvania Code Rule 1042.3 requires that before a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit in PA may be filed, an appropriate licensed professional must certify that:
- They have looked at the plaintiff’s claim; and
- They believe that there is a “reasonable probability” that the healthcare provider’s conduct was outside acceptable professional standards, causing the harm claimed by plaintiff.
The Certificate of Merit must be attached to the complaint or not later than sixty (60) days from the filing of the complaint.
Compensation from a Hershey Medical center claim
Unlike many other states, there is no cap on the economic or economic damages you can claim based on medical malpractice. In other words, you can be awarded damages of whatever amount as long as you are able to prove your injuries, including your physical and mental suffering and loss opportunities.