CHARLES H. PARKER #336890 Plaintiff-Defendant
KRISTEN WOLKART, RN, MHA, PRESIDENT/CEO, ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER Defendants-Appellees
from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2016-0779 Honorable
Robert C. Johnson, Judge
CHARLES H. PARKER Pro Se Appellant
BREAZEALE, SACHSE & WILSON, L.L.P. By: Thomas R. Temple,
Jr. Jordan L. Faircloth Counsel for Appellees
DREW, GARRETT, and COX, JJ.
H. Parker appeals from a judgment sustaining the
defendants' exceptions of prescription and dismissing all
of his claims against St. Francis Medical Center, Inc., and
Kristin Wolkart (collectively referred to as
"defendants"). We affirm the judgment of the trial
H. Parker was an inmate at the Ouachita Parish Jail under the
supervision of the Louisiana Department of Corrections. While
in custody, Parker began experiencing severe stomach pains.
He was taken to a specialist, who recommended that Parker be
prepared for emergency surgery at once to remove his gall
bladder. Due to the unavailability of E.A. Conway Medical
Center, Parker underwent surgery on January 10, 1995, at St.
Francis Medical Center. During his stay at St. Francis,
Parker alleges that an employee approached him to discuss
payment of his bill. The employee asked Parker if he would
like to pay his bill up to the current date and later be
refunded by the Sheriff's Department after the hospital
billed the department. According to Parker, he agreed to this
suggestion and wrote a check for $8, 361.25 on January 16,
1995. He was then discharged from St. Francis on
January 17, 1995.
was sent once more to St. Francis for treatment associated
with the previous surgery on March 4, 1995. While there, a
St. Francis employee allegedly asked Parker to pay a deposit
on his bill. Parker agreed and wrote a second check to St.
Francis in the amount of $15.00.
allegedly wrote his first letter to St. Francis demanding a
refund of the money he had paid on May 25, 1996. From 1996
until the time he filed suit in March 2016, he has sent an
estimated 44 letters requesting a refund. St. Francis never
responded to any of these letters until president and C.E.O.
of St. Francis, Kristin Wolkart, replied in a letter dated
June 16, 2015, stating that St. Francis was not going to
refund Parker. In response to the letter, Parker filed suit
on March 15, 2016, against defendants claiming that they
should be required to refund the money pursuant to La. R.S.
15:824(B)(1)(c). Subsequently, defendants filed exceptions of
prescription, no cause of action, nonconformity, and
vagueness, seeking dismissal of the claims.
exceptions came for hearing before the trial court on
September 21, 2016. The court denied the exceptions of
vagueness and nonconformity.
being continued, the exceptions of prescription and no cause
of action came for hearing on October 25, 2016. In regard to
the exception of prescription, the defendants argued that the
latest Parker could have filed was May 2006, 10 years after
the first letter was sent to St. Francis seeking a refund. In
response, Parker called Kristin Wolkart as a witness and
contended that the doctrine of contra non valentem
rendered his lawsuit timely. Parker argued that the
prescriptive period did not begin running under this doctrine
until June 16, 2015, when he became aware that St. Francis
would not be refunding the money.
trial court granted the exception of prescription filed by
the defendants, dismissed the petition seeking refund, and