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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

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A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.

Leslie Wren died of acute mixed drug intoxication in 2008 as she recovered from total abdominal colectomy with proctectomy and ileostomy performed due to complications from Crohn’s colitis.

In James E. Whitfield, M.D. and St. Joseph Primary Care, LLC v. Jerry Wren, Individually and As Personal Representative of The Wrongful Death Estate of Leslie Wren, et al., 34A02-1307-CT-660, Whitfield, who was director of the rehabilitation center where Wren died, claimed on interlocutory appeal that the trial court erred in denying summary judgment. Wren’s estate has named multiple other defendants in the wrongful death suit who are not parties to the instant case.

The court noted that a doctor provided an affidavit to a medical review panel asserting his opinion that Whitfield’s performance “was a breach in the standard of care and more likely than not caused or contributed to Leslie Wren’s death.”

“Wren’s Submission specifically stated that it was Dr. Whitfield’s responsibility ‘to intervene if something were to go wrong with Leslie’s fluid and electrolyte balance, blood sugars, and general medical condition,’ and accordingly it appears that among the defendant parties, the statement was directed to Dr. Whitfield. In any event, it is clear that evidence relevant to this breach was presented to the Panel as required by the Act,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel.




 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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