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Flournoy v. Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

May 2, 2018

MAZELLA SHAHAN FLOURNOY
v.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC. AND KEITH COLOMB, M.D.

          APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. C-20094550 HONORABLE PATRICK LOUIS MICHOT, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Jason M. Welborn, Joseph F. Garr, Jr., APLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Mazella Shahan Flournoy

          Douglas K. Williams, Kelsey A. Clark, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, John D. Saunders, Shannon J. Gremillion, John E. Conery, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.

          Saunders, J., dissents.

          CANDYCE G. PERRET, JUDGE.

         This medical malpractice action was originally heard by a panel of this court consisting of Judge Shannon J. Gremillion, Judge John E. Conery and Judge David E. Chatelain, Judge Pro Tempore. [1] In that opinion, Judges Chatelain and Gremillion affirmed the trial court's judgment that granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Inc., and Judge Conery dissented, finding genuine issues of fact that warranted a trial.

         On June 1, 2017, an application for rehearing was filed on behalf of Plaintiff. At that time, Judge Candyce G. Perret, who was elected to the bench on April 29, 2017, replaced Judge Chatelain on the panel. The panel granted the rehearing on August 9, 2017. After oral argument, two judges proposed to reverse the judgment of the trial court and one judge proposed to dissent from that decision. Thus, the case was resubmitted and argued to a panel of five judges prior to rendition of judgment. La.Const. art. 5, §8(B).

         Upon rehearing, and after a further review of the affidavits and depositions of Dr. Christopher Chaput and Dr. Donald Breech, the majority of the five-judge rehearing panel adopts as its opinion the dissenting opinion on the original hearing, which found that "at minimum, there are questions of material fact as to whether the hospital personnel in both the ER and Intensive Care Unit . . . promptly and correctly reported the severity and intensity of Ms. [Niki Lynn] Gannard's headaches and deteriorating condition to her attending physician, Dr. [Keith] Colomb." Accordingly, we agree with Judge Conery that, "in a case such as this, it will be up to the jury to assess credibility and weigh the evidence, decide the facts, and assign liability, if any, to the doctor and hospital."

         DECREE

         The trial court judgment that granted summary judgment in favor of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Inc. is reversed and the matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

         REVERSED AND REMANDED.

          Gremillion, J., dissents.

         A properly constituted panel of this court agreed with the trial court, and correctly found that the claims against the hospital and its nurses should be dismissed on summary judgment. This majority reverses the ruling of that panel based on "a further review of the affidavits and depositions of Dr. Christopher Chaput and Dr. Donald Breech." From this explanation, one could infer that these two doctors had offered testimony to help a jury answer the only important questions here; namely, whether the ...


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