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Vick v. Brandon HMA, LLC

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 9, 2015

PATRICIA VICK, APPELLANT
v.
BRANDON HMA, LLC D/B/A CROSSGATES RIVER OAKS HOSPITAL A/K/A RANKIN MEDICAL CENTER AND THE ESTATE OF ROBERT TIEL, M.D., APPELLEES

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/31/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT INFAVOR OF APPELLEES.

FOR APPELLANT: EDUARDO ALBERTO FLECHAS, RONALD EARL STUTZMAN JR.

FOR APPELLEES: MARK P. CARAWAY.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND CARLTON, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 260

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

IRVING, P.J.

[¶1] The Circuit Court of Rankin County granted summary judgment in favor of the appellees in Patricia Vick's medical-negligence action against them. Patricia now appeals, alleging that she has been of unsound mind since she was a child and that the circuit court erred in finding the evidence insufficient to establish that her mental condition tolled the statute of limitations.

[¶2] Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

[¶3] On July 29, 2009, Dr. Robert Tiel, a neurosurgeon formerly employed by Brandon HMA Inc. d/b/a Crossgates River Oaks Hospital, performed surgery on fifty-year-old Patricia. Dr. Tiel died shortly thereafter. On November 14, 2011, Patricia filed a complaint against Dr. Tiel's estate and Crossgates, alleging negligence on the part of Dr. Tiel.

[¶4] After Patricia filed her complaint, the parties conducted limited discovery. During a deposition taken on July 1, 2013, Patricia stated that prior to the surgery, Dr. Tiel assessed her condition and described the surgery to her. She confirmed that she understood the information that Dr. Tiel related to her during the assessment. Patricia also stated that on or about August 3, 2009, she went to St. Dominic's Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, complaining of a sore throat, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing. She was admitted and diagnosed with right-vocal-cord paralysis, and she was discharged on August 12, 2009. Patricia acknowledged that she was competent and capable of making healthcare decisions without assistance during her stay at St. Dominic's.

[¶5] During the deposition, Patricia also revealed that she had been married, that she regularly attended Sunday-school services at church, and that, prior to the surgery, she sang in the church choir. Patricia further revealed that she had attended special-education classes, had a ninth-grade education, and had voluntarily quit school after becoming pregnant. Additionally, Patricia revealed that she had worked at a nursing home for ten continuous years as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

[¶6] In their motion for summary judgment, the estate and Crossgates[1] argued that the statute of limitations had run on Patricia's claims before she filed her complaint. More specifically, they argued that the statute of limitations ran on September 29, 2011, which was two ...


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