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Summary judgment proper on issue of causation, COA rules

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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.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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