An appeals court has affirmed a jury’s award of more than $20 million to the family of 18-year-old Amy Fledderman, the Pennsylvania State University freshman from Delaware County who died as a result of a liposuction operation in 2001. Fledderman, of Newtown Square, died on May 25, 2001, two days after she suffered complications during surgery at Glunk’s office to remove fat from her stomach and chin. The appeals court ruled that the jury had been correct in awarding $2 million in damages to Fledderman’s mother, Colleen, for the emotional distress of standing by helpless as Glunk refused to send her daughter to a hospital over a period of 2 1/2 hours. The court also agreed that evidence that Glunk’s facility had not been properly licensed had been properly introduced.
These types of cases are tragic and unfortunately are subject to mis-characterization by those with agendas. A death from liposuction is rare but not rare enough. I am serving as an expert witness in a such a case before the Medical Board in California in the coming weeks.
It sounds like a delay in care was the problem here. A secondary question might be why an eighteen year old was having liposuction in the first place. We don’t have enough details to probe further.