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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Singer Says MRI Short-Circuited Her Career

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A jazz singer claims the electric shocks she received during an MRI brain exam at the University of Pennsylvania hospital left her unable to learn new music, effectively ruining her career. S. Denise King says she suffered other physical injuries from which she recovered, but her "ability to learn and perform new music" was impaired, "to her professional detriment, embarrassment, and financial loss."

King, who has performed in the United States and abroad, says she was placed in the MRI during a visit to the hospital in late November 2008. Almost immediately she suffered a string of electric shocks, according to the complaint in the Court of Common Pleas.

Hospital personnel stopped the test when she complained, but not before she was injured, King says.

"Immediately, or very shortly after having experienced electric shocks from the MRI machine, plaintiff experienced physical changes such as apparent exit wounds, tingling and swelling of her arms and hands with associated pain," the complaint states.

"In addition to the physical symptoms, after experiencing the shock in the MRI machine, plaintiff noticed that she was having cognitive difficulties, particularly, trouble with short-term memory and acquiring new information.

"The cognitive changes have not resolved. ...

"As a professional jazz singer, plaintiff's success and continued development is dependent, in part, upon her ability to learn and perform new music.

"Plaintiff's ability to perform new music has been impaired to her professional detriment, embarrassment, and financial loss."

An evaluation of the MRI machine found no technical malfunction that could have led to the electric shocks, according to the complaint, so she claims that negligence "on the part of the agents, workmen, servants and employees of the defendant who were responsible for the MRI," preparing it and operating it, must be to blame.

She seeks more than $50,000 in damages from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania Trustees, and Penn Medicine.

She is represented by Henry Langsam with Langsam, Stevens & Silver.

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