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Medical Review Panel Claim of Wright v. Christus Health Ctr. Louisiana

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

February 4, 2015

IN RE: MEDICAL REVIEW PANEL CLAIM OF DON CLAYTON WRIGHT, ET UX.
v.
CHRISTUS HEALTH CENTER LOUISIANA, ET AL

Page 1148

APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 248,353. HONORABLE HARRY F. RANDOW, DISTRICT JUDGE.

AFFIRMED.

James R. Shelton, Durio, McGoffin, Stagg & Ackermann, Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES: Gary Jones, M.D., Craig Manzer, N.P.

Randall E. Hart, Lake Charles, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS: Don Clayton Wright, Patricia C. Wright.

Court composed of Jimmie C. Peters, Marc T. Amy, and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

OPINION

Page 1149

[14-970 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] AMY, Judge.

The plaintiff and his wife filed an initial medical malpractice claim against a number of health care providers alleging various negligent acts resulting in a stroke that caused partial paralysis. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed a supplemental and amending complaint, adding additional health care providers as defendants and expanding the alleged period of negligence. Two of the additional defendants filed an exception of prescription, noting that the dates of the purported negligence occurred more than one year prior to the filing of the claim. The trial court granted the exception of prescription. The plaintiffs appeal. For the following reasons, we affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

The record indicates that, on November 24, 2010, Don Wright began a period of hospitalization due to endocarditis. Although Mr. Wright was released from the hospital on December 6, 2010, he continued to suffer difficulties and, on December 15, 2010, reported to the emergency room of Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital with stroke symptoms. Mr. Wright alleges that, bye December 16, 2010, his condition continued to deteriorate and resulted in a seizure and the discovery of a major left-side bleed, allegedly due to the negligent use of Heparin. Mr. Wright was ultimately discharged into the care of a nursing facility due to what he refers to as a catastrophic and permanent brain injury caused by the series of events. Notably, Mr. Wright is paralyzed on his left side and is unable to verbally communicate.

By letter dated December 15, 2011, Mr. Wright and his wife filed a request for the formation of a Medical Review Panel with the Commissioner of Administration, for consideration of the allegations of medical malpractice against [14-970 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] a number of health care providers. Subsequently, by letter dated July 26, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a First Supplemental and Amending Complaint Letter, which they stated was intended " to completely replace the previously filed complaint." By that letter, the plaintiffs generally asserted that Mr. Wright " suffered a massive stroke and hemiplegia, resulting in severe impairment." Although they were not among the defendants listed in the initial complaint letter, the plaintiffs added Nurse Practitioner Craig Manzer and Dr. Gary P. Jones as defendants in the amended complaint. With regard to these two defendants, the plaintiffs alleged that:

On November 30, 2010, Craig Manzer, N.P. saw Mr. Wright on behalf of Dr. Robert DeWitt - the cardiothoracic surgeon to whom Mr. Wright had been referred. Craig Manzer, N.P., supervised by Dr. Robert DeWitt and/or Gary P. Jones, failed to 1) discuss treatment options with Mr. Wright, including immediate surgery to address the large mitral valve vegetations and/or 2) immediately refer Mr. Wright to a qualified cardiothoracic surgeon capable of providing [sic] with information concerning IE and the treatment options available, including immediate surgery and the risks of delayed treatment, including septic emboli.
Dr. Gary P. Jones saw Mr. Wright on December 4, 2010. Dr. Jones failed to discuss treatment options with Mr. Wright, including immediate surgery to address the large mitral valve vegetations and the ...

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