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Court upholds judgment for doctor, health care center

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A woman who challenged the grant of summary judgment on her negligence claims in favor of the doctor who performed her breast reduction surgery and the heath care center where it was performed lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Ivelisse Martinez challenged the grant of summary judgment to Dr. Jung Park and St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center on her claim for medical negligence against Park and her negligent credentialing claim against St. Margaret. Park performed bilateral breast reduction surgery on Martinez in 2000. He is board certified as an otolaryngologist and a cosmetic surgeon, and she knew him because he was her daughter’s ear, nose and throat doctor.

After the surgery, Martinez was displeased with the results and filed a proposed complaint against Park and St. Margaret. The medical review panel found Park “failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care as charged in the complaint as it relates to the lack of appropriate recognized post-graduate training and residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery,” and the health care center “failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care as charged in the complaint by granting hospital privileges to a physician who lacked appropriate recognized post-graduate training and residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery.”

Martinez filed a medical malpractice complaint; only her negligence claims are at issue on appeal.

Her complaint raised an issue with regard to the manner in which Park performed the surgery, and Park argued that he didn’t breach the standard of care in which he performed the surgery or provided pre- and post-operative care. The medical review panel opinion and Martinez’s expert affidavit only addressed the fact of the surgery; neither addressed the manner in which he actually performed the surgery itself.

In Ivelisse Martinez v. Jung I. Park, M.D., and St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers, Inc., No. 45A05-1012-CT-799, the appellate court found Martinez failed to come forth with any evidence to rebut Park’s expert opinion that his medical treatment of Martinez met the applicable standard of care. And for Martinez to succeed on her negligent credentialing claim, she must show that the doctor to whom the hospital allegedly negligently extended privileges breached the applicable standard of care in treating Martinez and proximately caused her injuries. Because she failed to rebut the expert testimony that Park didn’t breach the applicable standard of care, St. Margaret can’t be liable for the negligent credentialing of him, the judges held.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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