A federal judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to support a lawsuit alleging that a patient was injured during a physical therapy session at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Bryn Mawr’s motion for summary judgment on Marie Bassill’s claims.
Bassill claimed that she was injured by a physical therapist who manipulated her head and neck during a vestibular re-evaluation at Bryn Mawr. Bassill sought to hold Bryn Mawr vicariously liable for the alleged professional negligence of its therapist, a woman identified in the complaint as “Kerry.” She also sought to hold Bryn Mawr directly liable for corporate negligence, according to Pappert’s opinion.
The corporate negligence count was dismissed and at an arbitration hearing Bassill demanded a trial. Bryn Mawr filed a motion for summary judgment to which Bassill never responded.
In response, Pappert wrote, “Bassill never responded to the motion, which the court now grants because there is no evidence in the record to show that Bryn Mawr or its employee breached a professional standard of care or that Bassill’s alleged injuries were caused by the vestibular reevaluation.”
Pappert said the record consisted only of Bassill’s deposition, medical records, and a declaration by Curry Durborow, the physical therapist who performed the procedure in question.
Bassill has a history of injuries stemming from four car accidents and she suffered a concussion from being hit in the head by a basketball. As part of lingering symptoms of that concussion, including sensitivity to light and sound, headaches, depression and difficulty concentrating, she was ordered to undergo physical therapy, Pappert said in his opinion.
She was given a GST test, standard for post-concussive patients, but claimed she was forced to repeat it until she could no longer bear the pain, according to Pappert’s opinion. She went to Crozer Chester Medical’s emergency room where she was diagnosed with a headache.
“There is no record evidence establishing the professional standard of care allegedly breached by Ms. Durborow when she administered the GST to Bassill and Bassill has not shown that the standard of care is ‘so simple or the lack of care is so obvious,’” Pappert said. “Even if it were, Bassill must still show causation. While she alleges that the physical therapist’s negligence caused stroke-like episodes, worsened cognitive function, ‘thundering headaches’ and light and sound sensitivity, nothing in the record establishes that any of these symptoms are attributable to the reevaluation and the GST as opposed to her numerous prior injuries and preexisting ailments.”
Bassill, who now represents herself, could not be reached for comment. Her attorney up until August, Leonard Haberman of Clearfield & Kofsky in Philadelphia, did not respond to a request for comment.
Heather Hanson of O’Brien & Ryan in Plymouth Meeting represents Main Line Health Systems, Bryn Mawr’s parent company, and did not respond to a request for comment.