No charges in girl's death after liposuction

No evidence discovered of criminal negligence

November 04, 2001|By KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE

NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- The Montgomery County, Pa., district attorney will not pursue criminal charges against Richard P. Glunk, a plastic surgeon whose 18-year-old patient died two days after undergoing liposuction in his King of Prussia office.

"There was insufficient evidence of criminal negligence to warrant filing homicide charges against Dr. Glunk or any of the medical people who treated Amy Fledderman," District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said late Friday.

Fledderman, of Newtown Square, Pa., died May 25 of complications from the fat-suctioning surgery on her chin and abdomen. She had just completed her freshman year at Pennsylvania State University.

In a civil suit filed in August in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Fledderman's parents, Daniel and Colleen, contended that Glunk did not recognize that their daughter was in trouble after the procedure and waited for hours to call an ambulance, by which time she was in respiratory distress.

Glunk was attending a medical conference over the weekend and could not be reached for comment, said his spokesman, Ken Snyder.

Snyder said Glunk "always felt very strongly that he provided Amy superb medical care in a state-of-the-art facility. He understands the Fleddermans are searching for answers as any parents would, but Amy died from an unpreventable complication associated with surgery."

He said Glunk was not surprised that Castor found that "he was in no way criminally negligent."

Castor said bringing a homicide or manslaughter charge would have meant showing that "Glunk consciously disregarded a substantial risk that Amy was about to die and decided to do nothing."

Daniel Fledderman said Friday that he and his wife were "upset and disappointed" by the decision.

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