Thursday, January 28, 2010

Medical malpractice suit remanded, reversing summary judgement

ROSE JOHNSEY, Widow of Frederick Johnsey v. NORTHBROOKE (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 2009).

The plaintiff filed suit against a nursing home after her husband allegedly suffered a broken hip while he was a resident there. The nursing home filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiff could not prove the elements of her claim. The trial court concluded that the plaintiff''s claims were for medical malpractice rather than ordinary negligence, but the court found that under either theory summary judgment was appropriate. We agree with the court's conclusion that the plaintiff's claims sound in medical malpractice, but we find that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment. Therefore, we reverse and remand this case for further proceedings.

"In distinguishing between medical malpractice and ordinary negligence claims, courts have also looked to “whether the decision, act, or omission complained of required the assessment of a patient’s medical condition and whether the decision, act, or omission required a decision based upon medical science, specialized training or skill.” Id.

The full text of this opinion may be found at the TBA website.

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