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Chen v. Shope

Supreme Court of Mississippi

September 12, 2019

DR. TIMOTHY CHEN
v.
DANIEL SHOPE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/27/2018

          HINDS COUNTY COUNTY COURT HON. LARITA M. COOPER-STOKES JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: REX MORRIS SHANNON, III EUGENE RANDOLPH NAYLOR

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ABBY GALE ROBINSON

          BEFORE RANDOLPH, C.J., ISHEE AND GRIFFIS, JJ.

          RANDOLPH, CHIEF JUSTICE

         ¶1. This interlocutory appeal is taken from the trial court's denial of Dr. Timothy Chen's motion to transfer venue from Hinds County to Madison County and the denial of his motion to strike the affidavit of Daniel Shope. We find that the trial court abused its discretion in denying both motions, that the trial court's order should be reversed, and that this case should be remanded with instructions to transfer venue to the County Court of Madison County.

         FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

         ¶2. Shope filed his original complaint against Chen in the County Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, alleging that Chen "medically aided and contributed" to Shope's opioid drug dependency by prescribing Shope Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen and Tramadol after he was hospitalized for an opioid overdose. In his complaint, Shope admits that a separate doctor was the "initial tort feasor [sic]" and that Chen had exacerbated Shope's injuries. Chen was the only defendant in the original complaint.

         ¶3. Chen immediately moved to transfer venue to Madison County because Chen only practiced in Madison County, where he saw Shope. In support of his motion, Chen filed an affidavit stating that

The only location where I ever saw Plaintiff Daniel Shope as a patient was at the Baptist Medical Clinic-Madison located at 401 Baptist Drive, Suite 104, Madison, Madison County, Mississippi, 39110.

         In response, Shope filed his own affidavit which stated, in full,

1. My name is Daniel Shope. I am a citizen of Hinds County.
2. When I overdosed on Opioids, I went to the Baptist ...

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