MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER, INC., PREMIER MEDICAL GROUP OF MISSISSIPPI, LLC, MISSISSIPPI SPORTS MEDICINE AND ORTHOPEDIC CENTER, PLLC, JEFFERY K. LEDUFF, M.D. AND JEFF ALMAND, M.D.
OF JUDGMENT: 05/25/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WINSTON L. KIDD TRIAL JUDGE.
COURT ATTORNEYS: ALTON LAMAR WATTS D. COLLIER GRAHAM, JR.
MILDRED M. MORRIS TIMOTHY LEE SENSING STEPHEN P. KRUGER
THURMAN LAVELLE BOYKIN, III
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: GAYE NELL LOTT CURRIE D. COLLIER
GRAHAM, JR. MILDRED M. MORRIS TIMOTHY LEE SENSING STEPHEN P.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ALTON LAMAR WATTS
RANDOLPH, P.J., KING AND BEAM, JJ.
This medical-malpractice suit comes before the Court on
Defendants' interlocutory appeal from the Hinds County
Circuit Court's order denying Defendants' motions for
summary judgment. Finding that the plaintiff, Janice Phelps,
failed to support her medical-malpractice claims with sworn
expert testimony on whether Defendants breached any
applicable standard of care owed to Phelps, we reverse the
trial court's denial of summary judgment and render
judgment in favor of Defendants.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On May 2, 2013, Dr. Jeff Almand performed a left-knee
arthroscopy on Phelps at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center
("MBMC"). Shortly after surgery, Phelps experienced
shortness of breath, and Dr. Jeffrey LeDuff ordered a chest
x-ray and placed her on oxygen. Dr. LeDuff subsequently
discharged her on May 4, 2013. Two days later, Phelps's
shortening of breath worsened, and she went to the emergency
room at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center
("SMRMC"). There, she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
After being placed on a ventilator, she exhibited signs of a
stroke. On May 24, 2013, SMRMC discharged Phelps with a
diagnosis of Cebrovascular Accident and Ventilator Dependence
and transferred her to Baton Rouge Rehabilitation Hospital.
On April 30, 2015, Phelps filed suit against MBMC, Drs.
Almand and LeDuff and others (collectively,
"Defendants") alleging medical malpractice arising
out of her care and treatment at MBMC. After Defendants
answered Phelps's complaint by denying the allegations,
they served her with written discovery requests. Fourteen
months later, when Defendants filed motions for summary
judgment, Phelps answered the discovery, providing the name
of her expert witness and a brief description of his expected
testimony. The day before the hearing on the motions, Phelps
responded to Defendants' motions for summary judgment,
again providing only the name of her expert witness and a
brief description of his expected testimony.
On May 25, 2017, Judge Kidd entered an order, without
opinion, denying Defendants' motions for summary
judgment. Defendants thereafter petitioned this Court for
interlocutory appeal, claiming that the trial court erred in
denying their motion for summary judgment and in providing
Phelps additional time to provide her medical-expert
affidavit without a specific request. Although Defendants
raised these two issues on appeal, we find the second issue
moot because, even with the extension of time, Phelps never
submitted a medical-expert affidavit. Therefore, the sole
issue on appeal is whether the court erred in failing to
grant summary judgment in favor of Defendants despite
Phelps's failure to provide any sworn expert testimony to
support her medical-malpractice claim.
I.Standard of ...