ESTATE OF RICHARD B. DAVIS, BY AND THROUGH ITS EXECUTRIX, JANICE Y. DAVIS
DARRELL N. BLAYLOCK, MD d/b/a BLAYLOCK MEDICAL CLINIC, LLC ESTATE OF RICHARD B. DAVIS BY AND THROUGH ITS EXECUTRIX JANICE Y. DAVIS
DELTA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER ESTATE OF RICHARD B. DAVIS, BY AND THROUGH ITS EXECUTRIX, JANICE Y. DAVIS
DELTA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
OF JUDGMENT: 08/13/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. W. ASHLEY HINES TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: LEVI BOONE, III KELVIN CEDELL
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: JACOB O. MALATESTA L. CARL HAGWOOD.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: P. SCOTT PHILLIPS GREGORY WEATHERS
This Court has held "that the first court to properly
take jurisdiction of a wrongful death action in our state
courts shall, so long as the action is pending, have
exclusive jurisdiction, and any other subsequently-filed
action for the same death shall be of no
effect." Despite this clear holding, Janice Y.
Davis (Davis)-after filing an action for the wrongful death
of her father, Richard B. Davis, and while that action was
pending-filed three additional, separate wrongful-death
actions, two of which were against the same defendant.
Because these three subsequent actions were of "no
effect, " they were properly dismissed. Thus, we affirm
the judgments dismissing the three subsequently filed
Facts and Procedural History
This appeal is a consolidation of three appeals, one from
each of the subsequently filed wrongful-death lawsuits that
was dismissed by the circuit court.
Davis's Four Suits
Lawsuit 1 versus Dr. Barber
Davis filed her first wrongful-death suit against William H.
Barber, M.D., on November 4, 2014, in the Washington County
Circuit Court. Estate of Richard B. Davis v. William H.
Barber, MD, Washington County Cause No. 2014-0134
(Lawsuit 1). She claimed Dr. Barber's medical negligence
caused her father Richard's death on September 21, 2013.
Lawsuit 1 is not part of this appeal.
Lawsuit 2 versus Dr. Blaylock
Fifteen days later, on November 19, 2014, she filed another
suit based on her father's wrongful death. Estate of
Richard B. Davis v. Darrell N. Blaylock, MD d/b/a Blaylock
Med. Clinic, Washington County Cause No. 2014-0139
(Lawsuit 2). This time she sued Darrell N. Blaylock, M.D.,
alleging his medical negligence caused her father's
Lawsuit 3 versus DRMC
The same day she filed Lawsuit 2, she filed a third
wrongful-death lawsuit against Delta Regional Medical Center
(DRMC) "based upon the separate negligence committed by
Delta Regional Medical Center." Estate of Richard B.
Davis v. Delta Reg'l Med. Ctr., Washington County
Cause No. 2014-0140 (Lawsuit 3).
Lawsuit 4 versus DRMC
Then on December 10, 2014, she filed a fourth wrongful-death
suit, also against DRMC, "arising from alleged medical
and nursing negligence relating to care provided to Richard
B. Davis, Sr.[, ] by Darrell N. Blaylock, M.D. and the
nursing staff of Delta Regional Medical Center."
Estate of Richard B. Davis v. Delta Reg'l Med.
Ctr., Washington County Cause No. 2014-0146 (Lawsuit 4).
Motions to Dismiss
Simultaneously with its answers, DRMC filed motions to
dismiss both Lawsuit 3 and Lawsuit 4. Because Davis already
had filed Lawsuit 1, which was still pending, DRMC argued
Lawsuits 3 and 4 had to be dismissed.
Davis responded by filing a "Motion to Combine and Amend
Complaint" in both Lawsuit 3 and Lawsuit 4. In her
motions, Davis acknowledged she had filed four separate
wrongful-death lawsuits. And she attached to her motions a
proposed First Amended Complaint that named Dr. Barber, Dr.
Blaylock, and DRMC as defendants.
While DRMC's and Davis's motions were pending, Dr.
Blaylock moved to dismiss Lawsuit 2. Like DRMC, Dr. Blaylock
cited the still-pending Lawsuit 1. While Davis filed a
response, she did not file a motion to combine and amend in
Lawsuit 2. Nor, ...