Shareholders Mark Aronchick and Matthew Hamermesh, associate Michael Masciandaro and paralegal Maria Hunter represented the Children’s Service Center of Wyoming Valley (CSC) in an appeal over whether CSC had any duty to a family who was attacked by a patient under its care.

The case arose after the Sinoracki family was attacked in 2016 by their neighbor, a teenage patient of CSC dealing with severe mental disabilities, leading to the death of David Sinoracki. The surviving family members sued the patient’s treating physician and CSC, alleging both parties should have known the patient posed a danger to the family.

The Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of the physician and the CSC, leading to the family to appeal to the Superior Court. In its unanimous decision, the appellate court panel distinguished between doctors’ duties to third parties about communicable diseases and duties in the context of mental health cases.

Law360 covered the decision in its article, “Pa. Clinic And Doc Had No Duty To Family Attacked By Teen.”