CONNIE HAWKINS, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF GEORGE LEITH HAWKINS, III, DECEASED APPELLANT
HECK YEA QUARTER HORSES, LLC, WALLACE HECK D/B/A HECK YEA QUARTER HORSES, LLC AND BRUCE HORN APPELLEES
OF JUDGMENT: 01/13/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. JEFF WEILL
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JOHN HUNTER STEVENS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: ROBERT P. THOMPSON PAUL PACIFIC
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Connie Hawkins ("Hawkins"), the widow of George
Leith Hawkins III ("George"), filed a
wrongful-death lawsuit in the Hinds County Circuit Court
against Heck Yea Quarter Horses LLC ("Heck Yea"),
Wallace Heck, and Bruce Horn individually. Heck Yea moved for
summary judgment on the grounds that Hawkins failed to
present a genuine issue of material fact, since Heck Yea
offered first aid to George, and he refused the assistance.
The trial court granted Heck Yea's motion for summary
judgment, finding that the good-samaritan statute applied to
the matter. Hawkins now appeals. On appeal, Hawkins asserts
that she presented a genuine issue of material fact that Heck
Yea breached its duty of care to George and that the general
principles of negligence should control because George was an
invitee on Heck Yea's premises. Finding no error, we
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On June 19, 2013, sixty-one-year-old George Hawkins was hired
as a temporary employee of Heck Yea to work on a
fence-washing project. On his first day of work and, around
lunch time, George began experiencing a heat stroke.
According to Horn, George stated that he did not feel well.
Horn asked George whether he wanted an ambulance called and
he stated, "No. I'll be fine."
George was taken to a barn in a tractor bin, where Horn
placed him in the shade, and gave him a cold drink. According
to Horn, he asked George a second time if he wanted an
ambulance called and he replied, "No. I'm going to
be fine. I'm feeling better." According to Horn, he
also offered to drive George home, and George declined.
It is disputed whether George was offered a ride home or
whether he was simply told to leave the premises and go home.
Nevertheless, George left the farm between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
and was observed driving erratically thereafter. Hawkins
arrived home around 4:50 p.m. and found George in distress.
Hawkins stated that she attempted to soothe George's
distress by rubbing his back, but he still remained ill.
Hawkins went to retrieve Tylenol for George, and upon her
return she found him unresponsive and trembling. Hawkins
called an ambulance around 6:50 p.m., and George was taken to
the hospital while unconscious, and subsequently died days
Hawkins filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Heck Yea. Horn
and Hawkins were deposed shortly thereafter. During
Hawkins's deposition, she testified that she spoke with a
former employee of Heck Yea, Danny Martin
("Martin"). Martin was bailing hay at the time
George began experiencing a heat stroke. According to
Hawkins, Martin told her that George was incoherent and
unsteady when he became ill. As a result, he was placed in
the tractor bucket and hosed down and driven to the barn.
Hawkins also submitted affidavits to support her allegations
against Heck Yea. All affidavits, except the medical
professional's, were inadmissible, because they were
deemed hearsay. The medical professional's affidavit
stated that George would have exhibited signs of a stroke
while on Heck Yea's property, and if treatment had been
administered within four to four and a half hours of the
symptoms, he could have recovered.
Heck Yea moved for summary judgment on the ground that
Hawkins failed to present a genuine issue of material fact.
It argued that Horn's recollection of events established
that George was coherent and stable when he was on Heck
Yea's premises. Further, Heck Yea cited Hawkins's
deposition testimony as the only evidence contradicting
Horn's account. Heck Yea posited that Hawkins's
deposition testimony was double hearsay and inadmissible,
since her deposition testimony was a recitation of statements
from another employee. Heck Yea argued that the
good-samaritan statute immunized it from liability. The trial
court found that the good-samaritan statute was dispositive,
and Heck Yea's motion for summary judgment was granted.
Finding no error, we affirm.