OF JUDGMENT: 01/13/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. DALE HARKEY TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: SCOTT CORLEW.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: JESSICA B. MCNEEL JOHN A. BANAHAN.
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Nancy Pigott filed a medical-malpractice complaint against
Dr. Jeffrey Taylor and asserted that Dr. Taylor was negligent
in performing dental-implant surgery on her. The Jackson
County Circuit Court concluded that the statute of
limitations on Pigott's claim expired before Pigott ever
filed her complaint. See Miss. Code Ann. §
15-1-36(2) (Rev. 2012). The circuit court therefore granted
Dr. Taylor's motion for summary judgment and dismissed
Pigott's complaint with prejudice. Finding no error in
the circuit court's grant of summary judgment, we affirm.
On April 3, 2014, Pigott mailed a notice-of-claim letter to
Dr. Taylor. She then filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit
against him on June 17, 2014. According to Pigott, Dr. Taylor
breached the standard of care he owed to her when he
negligently performed dental-implant surgery on her.
Pigott stated that she consulted Dr. Taylor on July 2, 2009,
following a referral from her general dentist. On February
19, 2010, Dr. Taylor performed surgery to place an implant in
the left second bicuspid position of Pigott's mandible.
Pigott asserted that she experienced numbness in her lip
following the surgery. In an attempt to alleviate
Pigott's numbness, Dr. Taylor performed a second
procedure on February 24, 2010, to back out Pigott's
implant by three millimeters. Pigott regained some sensation
following the repositioning of the implant, but she stated in
her complaint that she continued to experience pain in her
lip, jaw, and teeth, as well as numbness in her chin. Despite
this continued pain and numbness, Pigott's final visit to
Dr. Taylor occurred on August 9, 2011.
On February 10, 2012, Pigott referred herself to Dr. Thomas
Yearwood, a pain- management specialist, for "pain and
pressure sensation to her left tongue and mandible
area." According to Dr. Yearwood's notes, Pigott
stated the pain began after her dental-implant surgery two
years earlier and that she had suffered from both pain and
numbness ever since the surgery. Dr. Yearwood determined that
Pigott had suffered dental trauma, which caused trigeminal
neuralgia to her inferior alveolar nerve. Following an
injection to the affected area on March 13, 2012, Dr.
Yearwood found that Pigott experienced "substantial
relief [from] her usual and customary pain pattern[.]"
On March 14, 2013, almost a year after consulting Dr.
Yearwood, Pigott visited Dr. Ronald Prehn. Images taken by
Dr. Prehn showed that the dental implant's lower left
portion was in the nerve sheath of Pigott's left
mandibular nerve. Like Dr. Yearwood, Dr. Prehn concluded that
Pigott had suffered an injury to her trigeminal nerve. Dr.
Prehn also diagnosed Pigott with disc displacement,
capsulitis, and tendonitis of her temporo mandibular joint.
As stated, Pigott filed her medical-malpractice complaint
against Dr. Taylor on June 17, 2014. In her complaint, Pigott
asserted that Dr. Taylor "positioned the implant [in]
such a way as to improperly contact, impinge upon, and create
[an] injury to Pigott's left inferior alveolar
nerve." On December 8, 2014, Dr. Taylor filed his answer
and affirmative defenses to Pigott's complaint. In
addition to his other defenses, Dr. Taylor asserted that the
applicable two-year statute of limitations barred
Pigott's complaint against him for dental negligence.
On October 16, 2015, Dr. Taylor filed a motion for summary
judgment. In her response to Dr. Taylor's
summary-judgment motion, Pigott argued that disputed issues
of material fact existed, especially as to when she first
became aware of Dr. Taylor's negligence. In an affidavit
attached to her response, Pigott contended she did not
actually discover that Dr. Taylor's negligent placement
of the dental implant had caused her pain and numbness until
she visited Dr. Prehn in March 2013. Because she ...