A Philadelphia jury awarded a $20.5 million verdict to the parents of an 18-year-old college student who died from a botched liposuction procedure.
This case had been pending for seven years to the day of the elective liposuction for Amy Fledderman. The patient had liposuction for her chin, abdomen and flanks with plastic surgeon Dr. Richard P. Glunk on May 23, 2001.
In the Fledderman v. Glunk wrongful death and survival lawsuit, the jury awarded $15 million in punitive damages; $3.5 million under the Survival Act; $2 million for Glunk allegedly negligently inflicting emotional distress on Colleen Fledderman (patient’s mom); $20,000 under the Wrongful Death Act; and $5,000 for Glunk’s alleged failure to obtain Amy Fledderman’s informed consent.
The plaintiffs’ pleading alleged that a blood vessel in Amy Fledderman’s neck was severed during the liposuction, and she was administered medication to which she was allergic. Despite a respiratory emergency, Glunk kept Fledderman in Glunk’s office for 2 1/2 hours and did not call an ambulance until she was on the verge of death.
Fledderman died two days later as she was being transferred from Montgomery Hospital to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Legal Analysis: An avoidable tragic case which led to the death of a young person, complicated by the cover up by the doctors and staff at the surgi-center.