In a strange twist in an already unusual case, the CEO of a Pennsylvania health system has been compelled to testify for the plaintiffs in a medical malpractice trial. Dr. David T. Feinberg, president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health System, will testify in the case of Dr. Jennifer Sidari, who died at a Geisinger hospital in 2013. Dr. Sidari, 26, had just graduated from the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton and was due to start a pediatric residency at Geisinger when she died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 29th.
Dr. Feinberg, who began his career as a pediatrician, will not be testifying about Sidari’s medical care. Rather, the plaintiff’s attorneys will be using Feinberg’s career path to demonstrate to the jury how far the young doctor might have gone had she lived. According to Sidari family attorney Matt Casey, Sidari was an “absolute all-star” whose career could easily have traveled the same trajectory as the Geisinger CEO. Her earnings potential was “way out of the six figures and into the seven figures,” he said.
Geisinger’s defense attorneys countered that there is no evidence that Sidari would have become an administrator, and that her chances of becoming CEO at the health system were less than 1 percent. Nonetheless, Luzerne County Judge Lesa Gelb compelled Feinberg’s testimony, stating,“That’s for the fact-finders” to decide.
Tragic Death Leads to Medical Malpractice Claim
The case of Jennifer Sidhari began on Memorial Day weekend, 2013, when she arrived at the Geisinger Wyoming Valley emergency department in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of May 26. At that time, she complained of severe, recurrent headaches that were unrelieved by over-the-counter medicines and bruising on her arms and legs. Lab work revealed a low red blood cell count and decreased platelets.
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