Tenet Health Care Systems, Inc. purchased The Hospital Medical College of Pennsylvania (“MCP”) from Allegheny Health System in September 1998. MCP was first established in 1850 as the first women’s medical college in the United States. MCP was recognized within Philadelphia as being an important healthcare center. People who otherwise could not afford medical care often found the MCP as a place of salvation in a health care system increasingly driven purely by profits and not people.
On December 18, 2003, Tenet’s Vice-President of Pennsylvania operations announced they would be closing the hospital on March 31, 2004. Tenet Health Care Systems claimed to be closing the facility due to financial losses, contrary to the evidence presented by Mr. Schrom which showed increasing revenues. Mr. Schrom represented thousands of doctors, nurses, staff and the community at large to prevent Tenet from shutting down MCP. As the case progressed Schrom & Shaffer worked in consultation with Governor Rendell’s Office and Senator Arlen Specter. Furthermore, the City of Philadelphia saw the MCP as a critical facility and worked with both Tenet Health Care and the attorneys from Scrhom & Shaffer to see that the MCP would stay open and continue to serve the local community.
As a result of Mr. Schrom’s advocacy, in this case, an order was issued keeping the hospital open. In addition, Tenet Health Care Systems agreed to settle the case by selling the hospital to the Association to Save the MCP for one dollar ($1). This case was a landmark legal precedent. For the first time in history, a hospital was prevented from closing its doors based on corporate profits.
With the strong advocacy of Mr. Schrom and thousands of other concerned hospital employees and citizens, a hospital was saved and a health care conglomerate was taken to task for putting profits ahead of people.
Jean Whiteside worked for the Burroughs Corporation from 1966-1987. In 1987, Burroughs merged with another company to form UNISYS Corporation. Following the merger, she was assigned a new boss and additional new duties, and because two individuals in her department were laid off, her workload increased. Her new duties included the following: (1) attending meetings, for her manager which she had difficulty understanding, with salaried employees, (2) attending other meetings in place of her new boss (3) learning a new computer system from a book while still meeting deadlines and (4) learning the job of a salaried employee and teach that person their job. All of this extra work required to come into work early and leave late. As a result of her increased job stress, she suffered from headaches, constant abdominal pain, clinical depression and other physical and mental ailments.
With Dr. Shore & Mr. Schrom’s advocacy, she was able to establish that her injuries were caused by the conditions at her workplace. Her case required appeals to the Workers Compensation Board and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. This case serves to this day as the high water mark for mental stress cases in Pennsylvania. It was featured in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, the Legal Intelligencer and on NBC10 with Tim Lake. With Dr Shore & Mr. Schrom’s help, Jean was finally able to get fair compensation for her physical and mental injuries caused by a stressful environment.
Ms. Carol Snyder is a corrections officer at SCI-Graterford Prison in Montgomery County. During her time at the prison, Ms. Snyder had close contact with the inmates at Graterford Prison. She reported a history of MRSA folliculitis among the inmates of the prison. She had the onset of MRSA on February 15th, 2004. She believed that the infection was a result of her proximity to and contact with the inmates. In addition, she had no history of contact with people that had folliculitis outside of her workplace.
As a result of the flesh-eating infection she contracted at the prison, Ms. Snyder suffered from facial scarring and other skin related damage. She suffered extremely negative social, psychological, emotional and financial results due to this injury. Ms. Snyder was out of work for extended periods of time and lost wages. Furthermore, due to her injuries, Ms. Snyder may require plastic surgery to repair damage to her face and body. Schrom & Shaffer settled her case for $226,000, one of the largest settlements for a MRSA-related case in the state of Pennsylvania.
Washington B. Frye was an 89 year old deaf mute admitted to Chester County Hospital on August 17, 2000 with severe chest and stomach pains. In addition, he had poor vision, which further limited his ability to communicate for assistance. His repeated attempts to obtain a sign language interpreter were denied. As a result of that Mr. Fry’s condition deteriorated and he suffered greatly from further pain and weakness. Chester County Hospital failed to follow their guidelines providing assistance to disabled patients. With the help of Schrom & Shaffer, Washington Frye and his family were able to receive relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Now Chester County and other local hospitals provide 24-hour sign-language interpreters on call for deaf patients and their families and other hospitals have followed suit as well.
In early 2007, Mr. Ivan Green, an African American man, attempted to make a large withdrawal from his personal checking account at TD Bank. However, instead of receiving money, he found himself being arrested and jailed for theft charges after the bank manager called the police. Although the charges were dropped, Mr. Green lost his job due to the false accusation. Mr. Green settled his case favorably in mid 2009.
Following an unresolved billing dispute, Mr. Michael Hodges’ electricity service was cut by PECO in October 2003. On November 19, 2003, while replacing a dislodged gutter, Mr. Hodges received a strong jolt of electricity. When fire officials inspected the scene, they discovered that the electrical wires had been cut and the live ends were left exposed. The wires had been cut by Contract Callers, INC., a company hired by PECO to terminate service to homes with delinquent accounts. Mr. Hodges suffered significant internal injuries when the downspout he was holding accidentally made contact with the wires. He spent several painful days in the hospital.
At the time, Contract Callers, INC, followed a policy of “cut and run”, using instruments that look like tree-trimmers and left the live ends of the wires uncapped and exposed. As a result of this unsafe practice, Mr. Hodges was greatly injured and contracted Mr. Schrom to represent him in this case. Before the case reached court, both PECO and Mr. Hodges agreed to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount of money and agreed to end the method of “cut and run” service terminations.
This case created a great benefit to the community. As a result of Mr. Hodges’ case, PECO now requires that live wires are now covered when they are cut. Mr. Schrom sums up the case well:
“Clearly this is a significant victory for all parties. Michael [Hodges] put everything at risk to make conditions safer for the entire community, and PECO has done the right thing by promising to change its methods. It will undoubtedly prevent injury and significantly reduce the company’s exposure to future liability”
This case stems from a 2001 dispute. In July 2001, Abdullah Alameri was murdered by two men while working as a ‘Jack and Jill’ ice cream truck driver. When he died, Mr. Alameri left behind five children, who claimed that they should receive worker’s compensation death benefits. Simco disputed these claims on the basis that he operated as an independent contractor, while the children claimed that their father was “in effect” an employee. After years of litigation and appeals, this case was privately settled.