Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Mechele Greene appealed a district court's judgment dismissing her claim without prejudice for failure to serve an affidavit from an expert witness on Gary Matthys, M.D., within three months of commencing the action under N.D.C.C. 28-01-46. In 2013, Matthys performed a revision left total hip arthroplasty involving the femoral component, femoral head, and acetabular liner. In late 2015, Greene commenced this medical negligence action by serving a summons and complaint on Matthys. Matthys answered, denying that either he or any of his employees were the "proximate or legal cause of any alleged injury, loss or damage claimed by Plaintiff." Greene's attorney disclosed the existence of an expert witness willing to testify on Greene's behalf in a letter to Matthys' attorney in early 2016. Matthys moved to dismiss Greene's claim under N.D.C.C. 28-01-46, arguing Greene failed to provide an affidavit from an expert witness within three months of commencing this action. Greene opposed the motion. After review, the Supreme Court concluded, as to the use of the term "affidavit," N.D.C.C. 28-01-46 was clear on its face; the statute required Greene to serve Matthys with an affidavit from an expert; and Greene did not met the requirements of N.D.C.C. 28-01-46 as a matter of law. Therefore, the Court affirmed the district court's judgment dismissing Greene's claim against Matthys. View "Greene v. Matthys" on Justia Law

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Joan Johnson, as personal representative of the Estate of Herman B. Johnson, and Marguerite Johnson, Herman Johnson's widow, appealed a district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing their action against Mid Dakota Clinic. On the morning of December 18, 2012, Herman Johnson experienced confusion and swelling of his legs and calves. That morning, Joan Johnson, Herman Johnson's daughter and attorney-in-fact, called the Veteran's Administration Clinic to schedule an appointment for Herman, but the VA Clinic did not return her call. As a result, Joan Johnson called Mid Dakota to schedule an appointment. Although she had requested a specific doctor, she was advised she would not be able to see him that day and was given an appointment with Donald Grenz, M.D. later that afternoon. Upon arriving at Mid Dakota Clinic at Gateway Mall, Joan and Herman Johnson checked in with the receptionist approximately seven minutes late for the appointment. Because they were more than five minutes late, they were told Dr. Grenz would not see them but they could reschedule with Dr. Grenz for another day or go to the emergency room or the "Today Clinic," a walk-in clinic within Mid Dakota's main clinic downtown. Joan and Herman Johnson subsequently left the clinic to seek alternative care. Upon entering the east vestibule of the Gateway Mall, Joan Johnson decided to seek the assistance of the VA Clinic, which was located in the mall immediately adjacent to Mid Dakota. As Joan and Herman Johnson turned to re-enter the mall, Herman Johnson fell and hit his head on the floor of the vestibule. As a result, he suffered a laceration along his forehead. Joan Johnson then returned to Mid Dakota and announced that Herman Johnson had fallen and was injured. A registered nurse employed by Mid Dakota assisted Herman Johnson until he was taken by ambulance to St. Alexius Medical Center and was admitted for observation. While Herman Johnson was hospitalized, he suffered two episodes of respiratory arrest, and he died on December 27, 2012. The Johnsons sued Mid Dakota for negligence, breach of contract and professional negligence. Because the Johnsons failed to present sufficient evidence to raise genuine issues of material fact precluding summary judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Johnson v. Mid Dakota Clinic, P.C." on Justia Law