SUCCESSION OF RICHARD JAMES HICKMAN, SYLVIA SMITH, AS TUTOR FOR RICHARD JAMES HICKMAN, JOSEPH HICKMAN AND DARLENE HICKMAN, AND SUCCESSION OF MONICA LYNN BOUTTE HICKMAN
THE STATE OF LOUISIANA THROUGH THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE, LSU HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER, LSU HEALTH CARE SERVICES DIVISION, AND EARL K. LONG MEDICAL CENTER
Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Trial Court No.
637, 358, Sec. 24 The Honorable R. Michael Caldwell, Judge
E. Barber New Iberia, Louisiana Attorney for Appellant,
Sylvia Smith, duly appointed tutor of Richard James Hickman,
Jr., Alcibiade Joseph Hickman, and Darlene Monica Hickman.
Landry Attorney General Darius Q. Henderson Assistant
Attorney General Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorneys for
Appellee, State of Louisiana through the Board of Supervisors
of Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical
College d/b/a/ Earl K. Long Medical Center.
BEFORE: PETTIGREW, McDONALD, AND CALLOWAY , JJ.
Sylvia Smith,  the duly appointed tutor of the minors,
Richard James Hickman, Jr., Alcibiade Joseph Hickman, and
Darlene Monica Hickman, in the Succession of Monica Lynne
Boutte Hickman, appeals a judgment rendered by the trial
court granting the summary judgment of defendant, the State
of Louisiana, through the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana
State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College,
d/b/a Earl K. Long Medical Center. For the following reasons,
we affirm the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
James Hickman, Sr. and Monica Lynn Bouttee Hickman, both
currently deceased, had the three minor children named above.
Suit was filed on behalf of the minors following the death of
their mother against the defendant pursuant to the
Malpractice Liability for State Services Act, La. R.S.
40:1237.1, et seq. Monica Hickman was severely
injured in a motor vehicle accident in May of 2010, while she
was pregnant with twins. She was initially hospitalized at a
Lafayette hospital, transferred to a New Orleans hospital,
and subsequently transferred to Earl K. Long Medical Center
in Baton Rouge on July 30, 2010. On August 25, 2010, Monica
Hickman died at Earl K. Long Medical Center.
Monica Hickman's death, plaintiffs claimed that a
forensic pathologist, who performed her autopsy, and the
coroner concluded that she died of a meperidine overdose
while a patient at Earl K. Long Medical Center. A medical
review panel convened on December 2, 2014, and issued an
opinion that the evidence did not support the conclusion that
the defendant failed to meet the appropriate standard of care
as charged in the complaint.
filed this medical malpractice suit against defendant on
March 2, 2015. The defendant filed a motion for summary
judgment on December 16, 2015. After a hearing, the trial
court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and
dismissed the plaintiffs suit. It is from this judgment that
claims that the trial court erred in dismissing her suit
because there were genuine issues of material fact and that
there was not sufficient summary judgment evidence.
Code of Civil Procedure article 966(B)(2) provides that
summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith" when
"there is no genuine issue as to material facts, and
that mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." After adequate discovery, a motion for
summary judgment is properly granted if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions,
together with affidavits, if any, admitted for purposes of
the motion, show that there is no genuine issue as to
material fact and that the mover is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. La. C.C.P. arts. 966(B)(2) & (C)(1) (prior
to amendment by 2015 La. Acts, No. 422). The summary
judgment procedure is ...