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Cattenhead v. Brantley

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 6, 2013

Netra Cooper CATTENHEAD, Appellant
v.
Terry K. BRANTLEY, M.D., Appellee.

Page 1137

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1138

Jessie L. Evans, Canton, Wesley Thomas Evans, Tchula, attorneys for appellant.

Stephen P. Kruger, Jackson, Thurman Lavelle Boykin III, attorneys for appellee.

Before GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS and CARLTON, JJ.

ROBERTS, J.

¶ 1. On November 21, 2007, Netra Cooper Cattenhead filed a suit alleging medical malpractice against Dr. Karen Houston; Jackson Radiology Associates, PA; Jackson HMA Inc. d/b/a Central Mississippi Medical Center; Dr. Terry Brantley; John Doe Persons A-M; and John Doe Entities N-Z.[1] After granting Cattenhead several extensions of time to obtain counsel and an expert witness, the Hinds County Circuit Court granted Dr. Brantley's motion for summary judgment on October 4, 2011. The circuit court dismissed Cattenhead's case with prejudice. Cattenhead filed a motion to set aside the circuit court's grant of summary judgment and dismissal of her case, which the circuit court denied on November 9, 2011. As a result, Cattenhead executed the current appeal.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 2. Cattenhead, a nurse practitioner, visited the Central Mississippi Medical Center emergency room on April 6, 2000. Dr. Brantley was the emergency-room physician who evaluated Cattenhead. Cattenhead informed Dr. Brantley that she had felt a mass in her right breast. Dr. Brantley ordered an ultrasound of the mass. An ultrasound was performed on the same day, and Dr. Houston reviewed the ultrasound. According to Cattenhead's medical records, Dr. Houston noted that the mass was " most likely a fibroadenoma[,] but the ultrasound appearance of [the mass was] nonspecific." The same record indicated that Cattenhead's medical history from her visit to the emergency room that day included breast pain. Dr. Brantley received Dr. Houston's notes and informed Cattenhead of the results. Neither Dr. Brantley nor Dr. Houston indicated whether Cattenhead should seek further assessment of the mass.

¶ 3. Cattenhead did not obtain any further tests on the mass until September 2005 when she noticed the mass growing larger. On October 5, 2005, further testing revealed that a mass in her right breast was an infiltrating lobular carcinoma. Cattenhead underwent a bilateral mastectomy with right [-]breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

¶ 4. Cattenhead filed suit against Dr. Houston; Jackson Radiology Associates, PA; Jackson HMA Inc. d/b/a Central Mississippi Medical Center; Dr. Brantley; John Doe Persons A-M; and John Doe Entities N-Z on November 21, 2007. In her suit, she claimed that Dr. Brantley's failure to diagnose the cancer and/or recommend additional testing resulted in injury and damage to her. She further claimed that there was a breach of warranty since it was implied that in exchange for payment, she would received adequate, safe, and proper care. No other defendant except Dr. Brantley was served with process. Dr. Brantley filed his answer on December 10, 2007, and thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment on July 31, 2008. In his motion for summary judgment, Dr. Brantley denied any wrongdoing

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or malpractice, and he stated that his motion for summary judgment should be granted because Cattenhead had not designated an expert witness to testify that Dr. Brantley deviated from the standard of care of an emergency-room physician. Additionally, Dr. Brantley claimed that Cattenhead presented no expert testimony that the mass biopsied in September 2005 was the same mass that was studied in April 2000.

¶ 5. On August 7, 2008, Cattenhead moved for additional time to respond to Dr. Brantley's motion for summary judgment. The circuit court granted the motion, and Cattenhead had until September 1, 2008, to respond to Dr. Brantley's motion for summary judgment. Cattenhead filed a second motion for additional time on September 2, 2008. She then filed a designation of an expert witness naming Dr. Songhai Barclift, who practices obstetrics and gynecology, ...


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