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Tallahatchie General Hospital v. Howe

Supreme Court of Mississippi

January 8, 2015

TALLAHATCHIE GENERAL HOSPITAL; TALLAHATCHIE GENERAL HOSPITAL EXTENDED CARE FACILITY AND BARBARA CRISWELL, FNP
v.
SUSAN EDWARDS HOWE AND WAYNE EDWARDS, WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF MYRTICE EDWARDS, DECEASED

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/30/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: TALLAHATCHIE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES MCCLURE, III.

FOR APPELLANTS: GAYE NELL CURRIE, REX M. SHANNON, III.

FOR APPELLEES: ALAN D. LANCASTER, J. RYAN TAYLOR, WILLIAM LISTON.

LAMAR, JUSTICE. WALLER, C.J., DICKINSON, P.J., KITCHENS, CHANDLER, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN, JJ., CONCUR. RANDOLPH, P.J., CONCURS IN RESULT ONLY WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 30

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WRONGFUL DEATH

EN BANC.

LAMAR, JUSTICE.

¶1. Tallahatchie General Hospital (" TGH" ) moved to dismiss a medical malpractice claim because the plaintiffs failed to provide it with proper presuit notice before the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations. The trial court denied the motion, finding that the filing of the complaint tolled the statute of limitations, despite the plaintiffs' failure to provide proper presuit notice. We agree with the trial court and affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. Myrtice Edwards died at TGH on June 9, 2007. On October 17, 2007, Edwards's wrongful-death beneficiaries (hereinafter " Howe" ) provided a Notice of Claim to the Tallahatchie County Chancery Clerk and to the Tallahatchie County attorney. But Howe did not provide notice to TGH's chief executive officer (CEO), Bobby Joe Brunson, as required by Mississippi Code, Section 11-46-11(1)-(2).[1] On June 2, 2008, Howe sued TGH for medical malpractice, and she served Brunson with a copy of the complaint.[2]

¶3. TGH moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Howe had failed to provide its CEO with presuit notice, and that her complaint was now barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Tallahatchie Gen. Hosp. v. Howe, 49 So.3d 86, 89 (Miss. 2010). The trial court denied the motion, finding that Howe had " substantially complied" with the notice statute. Id. at 89-90. This Court granted TGH's petition for interlocutory appeal. Id. at 90.

¶4. On appeal, this Court reversed the trial court's order, finding that Howe's " substantial compliance" was insufficient. Id. at 90-92. But this Court declined to offer an " advisory opinion" on whether the statute of limitations had run, finding that that issue was '" premature and not ripe for appellate review." Id. at 93 (citation omitted). This Court remanded the case to the trial court with ...


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