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Minor v. Monroe Surgical Hosp., LLC

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 19, 2014

CLAUDE B. MINOR, JR., M.D., Plaintiff-Respondent
v.
MONROE SURGICAL HOSPITAL, LLC, Defendant-Applicant

On Application for Writs from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 2013-2353. Honorable Robert C. Johnson, Judge.

CRAWFORD & OGG, By: Brian Evan Crawford, Ramsey Lee Ogg, Counsel for Applicant.

BAKER, DONELSON, BEARMAN, CALDWELL & BERKOWITZ, P.C., By: Errol J. King, Jr., Layna S. Cook, Robert L. Blankenship, Counsel for Respondent.

Before STEWART, DREW and PITMAN, JJ.

OPINION

Page 666

[49,367 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] DREW, J.

Monroe Surgical Hospital (" MSH" ) applied for a supervisory writ with this court after its exception of prescription was denied. The writ was granted and the matter was docketed as an appeal.

Finding that the three-year prescriptive period in La. C.C. art. 3494 applies in this matter, we reverse the judgment denying MSH's exception of prescription.

FACTS

Dr. Claude Minor, a general surgeon, was an investor and founding manager of MSH when it began operations in June of 2002. Dr. Minor began serving as the medical director of MSH at that time, partly because it was felt that with his significant investment, he would work hard

Page 667

to advance MSH. A professional services agreement (" agreement" ) set forth the obligations of each party in their respective capacities. As medical director, Dr. Minor was to be paid a fee of $150 per hour for administrative services, up to a maximum of $60,000 per year. The agreement required Dr. Minor to document fully all services provided in his capacity as medical director on a monthly basis before he was to receive payment for his services. The agreement stated that it did not establish an employer-employee, principal-agent or partnership relationship.

According to Dr. Minor, the agreement was amended verbally to provide that he would receive $5,000 each month without having to give an account of the services he provided each month. Dr. Minor claimed the change was made because he was working more hours per month than the $5,000 would cover, and MSH was having financial problems at the time. [49,367 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] Dr. Minor stated that the amount of time required for him to perform his duties as medical director far exceeded what was originally envisioned in the agreement. Dr. Minor believed that he would not have worked so many hours as medical director for that level pay had he not been an investor for MSH.

In a letter dated October 14, 2008, Dr. Minor was informed by MSH's CEO that he was being given 30 days' notice of termination because MSH was ...


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