RICHARD JEANSONNE, JR., M.D.
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NUMBER
2015-10067, DIVISION F, PARISH OF ST. TAMMANY STATE OF
LOUISIANA HONORABLE MARTIN E. COADY, JUDGE
Michael E. Holoway Folsom, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff-Appellant Richard Jeansonne, Jr., M.D.
Elisabeth Wolfe Ramirez Covington, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant-Appellee Ferdinand Bonano.
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD, AND CHUTZ, JJ.
Dr. Richard Jeansonne, Jr., appeals the trial court's
judgment, which sustained peremptory exceptions raising
objections of no cause of action and prescription and
dismissed claims of malicious prosecution and defamation
against defendant-appellee, Ferdinand Bonano. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
the death of his wife while she was hospitalized, Mr. Bonano,
in proper person, requested the formation of a medical review
panel (MRP), on May 8, 2012, naming Dr. Jeansonne, among
other medical health care providers, as a defendant. In
response to a request for specific allegations of negligence
elicited by the Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund,
Bonano stated the following:
Elaine Bonano was seen by Dr. Jeansonne after being admitted
through the ER. He then agreed with the UTI diagnosis and
began the treatment for the infection. She was then sent home
after a short stay with oral medications. Within a day or two
Elaine returned to the ER and again was admitted. Mr. Bonano
was told that Elaine's doctors no longer came to [the
hospital]. Therefore ... [another doctor] ... was called in
and properly diagnosed Elaine with kidney infection not UTI.
Mr. Bonano feels that the missed diagnosis was the beginning
of the end.
was convened and met by telephone conference on December 3,
2013. The MPR unanimously concluded that Dr. Jeansonne had
appropriately treated Mrs. Bonano when he had last seen her
and that Dr. Jeansonne had not seen Mrs. Bonano during her
final admission to the hospital.
Mr. Bonano did not institute a medical malpractice lawsuit,
Dr. Jeansonne subsequently filed a petition for damages
alleging malicious prosecution and defamation claims on
January 7, 2015. According to Dr. Jeansonne, "[u]pon
information and belief, Mr. Bonano knew Dr. Jeansonne could
not have been responsible for Mrs. Bonano's death, and he
had no evidence to support or even suggest such a claim when
he requested the formation of the [MRP]."
Bonano filed an answer to Dr. Jeansonne's lawsuit in
proper person, generally denying the allegations against him.
After he obtained legal counsel, Mr. Bonano filed peremptory
exceptions objecting on the basis of no cause of action and
prescription. After a hearing, the trial court sustained an
exception of no cause of action as to Dr. Jeansonne's
malicious prosecution claim and an exception of prescription
as to the defamation claim. Expressly concluding that an
amendment to Dr. Jeansonne's petition would not cure the
deficiency in the malicious prosecution claim, the trial
court dismissed the lawsuit. Dr. Jeansonne appeals.
CAUSE OF ACTION
function of an exception of no cause of action is to test the
legal sufficiency of the petition by determining whether the
law affords a remedy on the facts alleged in the pleading. No
evidence may be introduced to support or controvert an
exception of no cause of action. La. C.C.P. art. 931. Every
reasonable interpretation must be accorded the language of
the petition in favor of maintaining its sufficiency and
affording the plaintiff the opportunity of presenting
evidence at ...