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Billeaudeau v. Opelousas General Hospital Authority

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

April 11, 2018

BRANDI BILLEAUDEAU, ET AL.
v.
OPELOUSAS GENERAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY, ET AL.

          APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. LANDRY, NO. 11-C-5112 C/W 13-C-0097 HONORABLE D. JASON MECHE, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Kara Hadican Samuels Tiffany A. Morales Kara Hadican Samuels & Associates, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS: Veronica Billeaudeau, individually and as curatrix of Brandi Billeaudeau Joseph Billeaudeau

          Jennifer L. Thornton Christian S. Chaney Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS: Veronica Billeaudeau, individually and as curatrix of Brandi Billeaudeau Joseph Billeaudeau

          J. Gregory Vidrine Mahtook & LaFleur COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Opelousas General Hospital Authority

          Joseph L. McReynolds J. Jerry Glas Karen P. Holland Deutsch, Kerrigan, L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Opelousas General Hospital Authority

          Nicholas Gachassin, III Gary J. Delahoussaye Brandon M. Rhodes Gachassin Law Firm COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Opelousas General Hospital Authority

          George P. Hebbler, Jr. Frances Irene McGinnis Hebbler & Giordano, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Nautilus Insurance Company

          George D. Fagan Anton L. Hasenkampf Leake & Anderson LLP COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA

          William H. Parker, III Jacob E. Favaron Allen & Gooch COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Louisiana Patients' Compensation Fund (Opelousas General Hospital) Louisiana Patients' Compensation Fund (Dr. K. Skirlis-Zavala)

          Alexander T. Reinboth COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Court composed of Phyllis M. Keaty, John E. Conery, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          VAN H. KYZAR, JUDGE.

         The plaintiffs, Veronica Billeaudeau, individually and as curatrix of Brandi Billeaudeau, and Joseph Billeaudeau, along with the defendant, Opelousas General Hospital Authority, appeal from the trial court's grant of a partial motion for summary judgment, dismissing Nautilus Insurance Company as a party to the Billeaudeau's negligent credentialing claim against Opelousas General Hospital. For the reasons assigned, we affirm.

         DISCUSSION OF THE RECORD

         The Billeaudeaus initially filed a claim under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act (MMA), La.R.S. 40:1231.1, et seq., and later brought suit alleging medical malpractice and general negligence against Opelousas General Hospital (OGH), among other defendants, for serious injuries allegedly sustained by their daughter, Brandi, while she was being treated in the emergency department at OGH. Also named as a defendant was Nautilus Insurance Company (Nautilus), the general liability insurer of OGH. The facts of this matter were set forth in detail by this court in Billeaudeau v. Opelousas General Hospital Authority, 15-1034 (La.App. 3 Cir. 4/6/16), 189 So.3d 561, writ granted, 16-846 (La. 6/28/16), 192 So.3d 781, wherein we held that the Billeaudeaus' negligent credentialing claim sounded in general negligence, as opposed to a claim for medical malpractice, which would have to be pursued under the MMA. The supreme court reviewed the case and affirmed. Billeaudeau v. Opelousas Gen. Hosp. Auth., 16-846 (La. 10/19/16), 218 So.3d 513.

         Thereafter, Nautilus filed a motion for partial summary judgment, claiming that its policy of general liability insurance issued to OGH did not provide coverage for losses sustained as a result of negligent credentialing, as claimed by the Billeaudeaus. Following a hearing on the motion, the trial court granted Nautilus' motion, dismissing it from the suit. The written judgment, which was rendered on July 26, 2017, certified that the judgment was a partial final judgment. It is from this judgment that both the Billeaudeaus and OGH appeal

         On appeal, the Billeaudeaus set forth one assignment of error, as follows:

The trial court ignored unrebutted evidence submitted by the Plaintiffs demonstrating that OGH's negligence in the improper credentialing of Dr. Zavala was not limited to the conduct of its formal credentialing committee in evaluating her application for privileges, but included acts, omissions, and multiple careless oversights by hospital employees and staff that do not constitute "healthcare professional services" as defined by Nautilus in the GL policy.

         OGH also raises one assignment of error on appeal, arguing that "[t]he District Court erred in granting Nautilus Insurance Company's Motion for Partial Summary ...


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