ILNews

Summary judgment proper on issue of causation, COA rules

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a doctor sued by a patient who claimed a delay in a diagnosis caused him to have increased pain and problems. The evidence doesn’t establish a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of causation.

Joseph Laycock was stabbed in the thigh with a red-hot welding wire at work and immediately treated by a work clinic nurse under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Sliwkowski. Three days later, Laycock went back to the clinic because of tightness and pain in his thigh. He was sent home and the next day, he went to the emergency room because of unbearable pain. He was diagnosed with compartment syndrome and underwent surgery for the condition.

Laycock filed a proposed medical malpractice complaint with the Department of Insurance, and a medical review panel unanimously ruled in favor of Sliwkowski. A year later, Laycock sued the doctor, alleging he had a duty to exercise reasonable care to see that Laycock obtained proper treatment.

Laycock’s expert witness, Dr. Herbert Hermele, testified that while it is important in general to not delay treatment regarding compartment syndrome, he could not say in Laycock’s case that his condition was worse because of the 24-hour delay in treatment.

The trial court granted Sliwkowski’s motion for summary judgment.

Laycock claimed on appeal there are questions of fact related to causation regarding the second time he went to the clinic regarding his thigh. He argued that the  approach outlined in Mayhue v. Sparkman, 653 N.E.2d, 1384, 1386 (Ind. 1995), should apply in his case, but the Court of Appeals judges rejected his claim. There is no claim or evidence that he had a 50 percent or worse chance of recovery from the original injury, so Mayhue is not applicable. Thus, traditional causation principles apply.

Hermele’s testimony was not sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Sliwkowski’s treatment was the proximate cause of Laycock’s injuries, so the appeals panel upheld summary judgment for the doctor in Joseph Laycock v. Joseph Sliwkowski, M.D., 79A04-1310-CT-521.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

ADVERTISEMENT