United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ANNIE M. HAYMORE, BY AND THROUGH MAXINE HAYMORE, AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, Plaintiff,
CHADWICK NURSING & REHABILITATION CENTER; CHADWICK NURSING & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC; AURORA CARES, LLC; AURORA HEALTHCARE, LLC; CORPORATIONS A-G; JANE DOES A-G; AND JOHN DOES A-G, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN, District Judge.
BEFORE THE COURT is a Motion for Summary Judgment  filed by Defendant Chadwick Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC. Plaintiff Annie M. Haymore, by and through Maxine Haymore, as Attorney-in-fact, has filed a Response  in Opposition to the Motion, and Defendant has filed a Rebuttal . Having considered the pleadings on file, the briefs and arguments of the parties, the record, and relevant legal authorities, the Court finds that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment  should be denied.
Annie Haymore was a patient at Chadwick Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC ("Chadwick") from July 29, 2009, until February 2, 2010. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at pp. 2-3. Upon entering the facility, Ms. Haymore was 79 years old and had a medical history of strokes, diabetes, hypertension, and dementia. Exp. Report of Dr. Gregg  at p. 1. She was totally dependent on the nursing staff for locomotion, dressing, eating, personal hygiene, and bathing, and also required extensive assistance in bed mobility and toilet use. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at p. 2. Dr. James Farmer was her attending physician while at Chadwick. Exp. Report of Dr. Gregg  at p. 2.
At the time of her admittance on July 29, 2009, Ms. Haymore had a dark purple area described as "mushy" on her right outer foot, measuring two centimeters by one centimeter. Exp. Report of Dr. Davey [71-2] at p. 1; Exp. Report of Dr. Lofton [67-1] at p. 1. On July 30, 2009, an order was entered to treat the area with betadine, apply a four by four "ABD", wrap with kerlix, and apply heel protectors. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at p. 10. By August 27, 2009, the wound was documented as a Stage II wound with a small amount of bloody drainage. Id. at p. 1; Exp. Report of Dr. Lofton [67-1] at p. 2. On September 1, 2009, Chadwick notified Dr. Farmer about the condition of the wound, and received an order to apply Hydrafera Blue with dressings. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at p. 11; Exp. Report of Dr. Lofton [67-1] at p. 15. Chadwick also notified Ms. Haymore's responsible party, Maxine Haymore. Exp. Report of Dr. Lofton [67-1] at p. 15. By September 21, 2009, Chadwick described the wound as a Stage II partial thickness wound measuring two and a half centimeters by two centimeters by 0.1 centimeter, with slough noted at the center. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at p. 11. Dr. Farmer ordered Santyl ointment to be applied to the wound. Exp. Report of Dr. Davey [71-2] at p. 2. On September 24, 2009, Dr. Farmer personally evaluated Ms. Haymore's wound and stated that "[i]t looks fine." Facility R. [67-2] at p. 6. The wound remained the same until October 27, 2009, when it was measured as three centimeters by three centimeters by 0.1 centimeter. Dep. of Dr. Davey [71-6] at 40:20-41:27. Dr. Farmer subsequently ordered that Multidex powder replace the Santyl ointment. Exp. Report of Dr. Davey [71-2] at p. 2. On October 30, 2009, Chadwick received orders from Dr. Farmer for an arterial doppler study to be performed on Ms. Haymore. Facility R. [67-2] at p. 8. Dr. Farmer evaluated the wound the same day and noted that "[i]t looks good, " and Ms. Haymore's wound continued to receive the same treatment of Multidex powder. Id.
On December 16, 2009, Ms. Haymore began receiving treatment from Central Mississippi Medical Center's Wound Care Clinic ("CMMC"). Exp. Report of Dr. Lofton [67-1] at p. 2. On December 17, 2009, a CMMC nurse specializing in wound care described the right foot wound as a Stage III wound with eschar,  measuring five and a half centimeters by three centimeters by one centimeter deep. Exp. Report of Dr. Davey [71-2] at p. 2. The previous day, Chadwick had described the right foot wound as three centimeters by three centimeters by 0.1 centimeter deep. Id. Ms. Haymore was readmitted to Chadwick on December 22, 2009, but was placed in isolation due to a diagnosis of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ("MRSA") on her right foot. Exp. Report of Dr. Wright [71-1] at p. 12. She was prescribed Bactrim DS for the infection, and her right foot wound was documented as being a Stage III wound measuring four centimeters by four centimeters with a foul odor. Exp. Report of Dr. Davey [71-2] at p. 3.
The condition of Ms. Haymore's right foot continued to deteriorate. In early January 2010, she was diagnosed with osteomyelitis by an infectious disease specialist. Exp. Report of Dr. Gregg  at p. 2. The specialist informed Ms. Haymore that the wound was very unlikely to heal and that an amputation would be necessary for the infection to resolve. Id. On February 2, 2010, Ms. Haymore underwent an above-the-knee amputation of her right leg. Id.
Plaintiff filed her Complaint [1-2] alleging negligence on January 23, 2012. Plaintiff argues that Defendant breached the applicable standard of care resulting in the pain and suffering of Ms. Haymore, including the amputation of her right leg. Defendant now seeks summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff has failed to establish a prima facie case of medical negligence by identifying a specific breach of the nursing standard of care that caused harm to Ms. Haymore. Plaintiff has designated two expert witnesses in this case, Dr. Rosalind Wright and Dr. Christopher M. Davey. Defendant has also designated two expert witnesses, Dr. Katherine Travis Gregg and Dr. Susan Lofton.
A. Legal Standard
Summary judgment is appropriate where the "movant shows there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The party seeking summary judgment carries the initial burden of identifying the portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). An issue is genuine if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Royal v. CCC & R Tres Arboles, L.L.C., 736 F.3d 396, 400 (5th Cir. 2013). A fact is "material" if its resolution in favor of one party might affect the outcome of the lawsuit under governing law. Hamilton v. Segue Software Inc., 232 F.3d 473, 477 (5th Cir. 2000).
If the movant meets this initial burden, the nonmovant must go beyond the pleadings and designate specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994). When deciding whether a genuine issue exists, "the court must view the facts and the inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Sierra Club, Inc. v. Sandy Creek Energy Associates, L.P., 627 F.3d 134, 138 (5th Cir. 2010)(quoting Daniels v. City of Arlington, Tex., 246 F.3d 500, 502 (5th Cir. 2001)). Rule 56 mandates the entry of summary judgment against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to the party's case who will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322 (1986).
The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case according to diversity of citizenship. Accordingly, the applicable substantive law is Mississippi law. Capital City Ins. ...