OF JUDGMENT: 07/05/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. RICHARD A. SMITH JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CARLOS EUGENE MOORE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: TOMMIE GREGORY WILLIAMS JR. TOMMIE G.
WILLIAMS HARRIS FREDERICK POWERS III
LEE, C.J., FAIR AND GREENLEE, JJ.
In this medical-malpractice case, we must determine whether
the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of Otis
Fipps's medical expert, which resulted in the dismissal
of Fipps's suit against Greenwood Leflore Hospital (the
Hospital). Finding no error, we affirm.
HISTORY AND FACTS
On June 12, 2012, Fipps underwent an
esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) procedure performed by Dr.
Thomas Calvit at the Hospital. According to Dr. Calvit, Fipps
had complained of epigastric pain in both his left and right
lower quadrants, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), rectal
bleeding, and constipation. Fipps also told Dr. Calvit that
he possibly ingested a small piece of plastic several days
prior to his initial appointment. During the EGD, Dr. Calvit
performed an esophageal dilatation to treat Fipps's
dysphagia. Fipps claims this procedure caused a perforation
of his esophagus, leading to further medical complications
including a neck abscess and two additional surgeries.
Fipps designated Dr. Myron Stokes, a general surgeon, as an
expert "in surgery regarding upper and lower
gastrointestinal issues." In his affidavit attached to
the designation, Dr. Stokes stated that "the performance
of esophageal dilatation [during Fipps's EGD procedure]
was not proven to be indicated in any of Dr. Calvit's
pre-operative or intraoperative findings, thus constituting a
deviation from the standard of care expected of a physician
in Dr. Calvit's profession and specialty." Dr.
Stokes further opined that the esophageal "dilatation
was the initiating event that led to Fipps developing a
fistula with resultant neck abscess requiring two additional
surgeries." Dr. Stokes was deposed several months later.
Based upon Dr. Stokes's deposition, the Hospital filed
three pretrial motions. The first asked the trial court to
exclude the portions of Dr. Stokes's testimony regarding
informed consent. The second asked the trial court to exclude
any potential testimony by Dr. Stokes that his medical
license was current or that he had never been disciplined by
any medical licensure board. The third asked the trial court
to exclude Dr. Stokes's expert opinion because he lacked
the appropriate qualifications to testify.
The trial court conducted a hearing on the Hospital's
motions, ultimately granting all three. The effect of these
rulings resulted in the exclusion of Dr. Stokes's
deposition. After granting the Hospital's motions,
the trial court asked Fipps to call his first witness. Since
Fipps had no witness other than Dr. Stokes, Fipps rested. The
Hospital then requested a dismissal pursuant to Mississippi
Rule of Civil Procedure ...