from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the Parish
of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Case No. 622-688 The
Honorable Donald R. Johnson, Judge Presiding
D. Sileo Casey W. Moll New Orleans, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiffs/ Appellants Flora and Richard Turner.
Lorraine P. Mcinnis E. John Litchfield New Orleans, Louisiana
Counsel for Defendant/ Appellee East Baton Rouge Medical
Center, LLC d/b/a Ochsner Medical Center.
BEFORE: McCLENDON, WELCH, AND THERIOT, JJ.
and Richard Turner (collectively known as
"Appellants") appeal the judgment of the Nineteenth
Judicial District Court granting the motions for summary
judgment filed by Robert David Rabalais, M.D. ("Dr.
Rabalais") and East Baton Rouge Medical Center, L.L.C.
d/b/a Ochsner Medical Center ("Ochsner"), and
denying Appellants' motion for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
28, 2013, Appellants filed a medical malpractice suit against
Dr. Rabalais and ABC Insurance Company. Dr. Rabalais is a
practicing physician in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; ABC Insurance
Company is his insurer. In their petition, Appellants alleged
that on July 24, 2012, Mr. Turner sought treatment from Dr.
Rabalais because of pain in his left knee.According to
Appellants, x-rays were ordered prior to Mr. Turner's
visit with Dr. Rabalais. Appellants alleged that proper care
was not used to transfer Mr. Turner from his mobile scooter
to a walker when Mr. Turner was being x-rayed. Appellants
further alleged that the walker given to Mr. Turner was too
short, and that the combination of these actions resulted in
Mr. Turner falling. According to Appellants, Dr. Rabalais
reviewed the x-rays, which were taken after Mr. Turner's
fall, found that there was nothing broken and/or that Mr.
Turner was not severely injured, and released Mr. Turner.
his release, Mr. Turner returned home and stayed in his
reclining chair for five days, but was in pain the entire
time. Mr. Turner was brought to the emergency room at
Ochsner, where additional x-rays confirmed that he had two
broken bones in his leg. As a result of the broken bones, Mr.
Turner was admitted to the hospital for a few days and then
released. At some point prior to release, Mr. Turner's
right leg was placed in either a cast or a splint. Appellants
alleged that his right leg was placed in a hard cast, while
Ochsner contended that Mr. Turner's right leg was
actually placed in a removable long leg splint.
alleged that, after several days, Mr. Turner was brought to
the Bone & Joint Clinic in Baton Rouge and that Mr.
Turner vomited twice during the ride. Appellants further
alleged that when Mr. Turner's cast (or splint) was
removed, it was discovered that Mr. Turner had three sores on
his right foot and left leg, his skin had turned black, and
he experienced blood clots behind his knee.
this discovery, Appellants alleged that Mr. Turner was next
seen by Dr. Lawrence Messina, who placed Mr. Turner in a soft
cast and confirmed that his bones were broken. According to
Appellants, Mr. Turner was subsequently seen by Dr. Cravens,
a vascular surgeon, who opined that Mr. Turner was in danger
of "losing his left foot, left leg, and possibly his
life." A filter was placed to deal with the clot in Mr.
Turner's leg and surgery was later performed to harvest
his veins in an attempt to re-vascularize his foot.
his surgery, Mr. Turner underwent hyperbaric treatment at the
Advanced Wound Clinic at Baton Rouge General Hospital. Mr.
Turner also sought treatment at Our Lady of the Lake Regional
Medical Center Wound Care Center. Appellants alleged that Mr.
Turner now suffers from osteomyelitis and peripheral
neuropathy. Appellants further alleged that Mr. Turner
subsequently had his right leg amputated above the knee.
result, Appellants submit that Dr. Rabalais breached his
standard of care by failing to properly diagnose and treat
Mr. Turner. According to Appellants, this alleged breach led
to Mr. Turner suffering severe and debilitating damages,
needing medical care and additional surgeries, and being
permanently disabled and disfigured. Further, Appellants
alleged that Mrs. Turner had suffered loss of consortium
damages as a result of Mr. Turner's injuries.
Turner's case proceeded to a medical review panel. On
September 2, 2015, the panel unanimously found that the
evidence in this case did not support the conclusion that the
defendants failed to meet the applicable standard of care as
charged in the complaint. The panel specifically stated:
The patient was appropriately x-rayed, observed, treated, and
the appropriate immobilizer was provided. He was
appropriately discharged with proper followup instructions.
He presented to the [emergency room] the next day following
this discharge. He was admitted to the hospital and an
orthopedic consult was provided. He was discharged and
referred to see ...