Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Eades v. Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic, PA

Supreme Court of South Carolina

February 28, 2018

Johnny Eades and Barbara Eades, Respondents,
v.
Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic, PA; James M. Benner, MD; Mark J. Epler, MD; Trident Medical Center, LLC; Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation of South Carolina; HCA Healthcare-South Carolina; Trident Medical Center; Trident Health System; Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, LLC; Trident Emergency Physicians; LLC; Brian R. Whirreth, MD; Patricia Campbell, MD; Christine E. McNeal, MD; Matthew Wallen, MD; Charleston Radiologists, PA; Joseph M. Mullaney, MD; Tri-County Radiology Associates, PA; and Troy Marlon, MD, Defendants, Of whom Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, LLC and Trident Emergency Physicians, LLC are Petitioners. Appellate Case No. 2015-001967

          Heard December 1, 2016

         ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

         Appeal From Charleston County The Honorable Kristi Lea Harrington, Circuit Court Judge

          Thomas C. Salane and R. Hawthorne Barrett, both of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA, of Columbia, for Petitioner.

          Gary Lane Cartee, of North Charleston, for Respondents.

          HEARN JUSTICE

         This case requires us to decide whether an expert witness affidavit submitted prior to the commencement of a medical malpractice action complied with section 15-36-100(A) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2016). The trial court found the affidavit insufficient based on the expert's practice area and dismissed the Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI). We reverse, finding the statute permits the production of an affidavit from an expert who does not practice in the same area of medicine as the allegedly negligent doctor.

         BACKGROUND

         This medical malpractice action arose after Johnny Eades sought treatment from numerous healthcare providers, including Petitioners Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, LLC and Trident Emergency Physicians, LLC, for a blockage and aneurysm of the left iliac artery in July and August of 2009. Three years later, Mr. Eades and his wife filed an NOI to bring the medical malpractice action in Charleston County. Two days after filing the NOI, the Eades filed answers to interrogatories listing Dr. Paul A. Skudder as an expert witness, along with an affidavit from Skudder pursuant to section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2016).

         All defendants, including Petitioners, filed motions to dismiss the Eades' NOI. Following a hearing, the trial court granted the defendants' motions on two grounds, holding: (1) section 15-79-125 requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to file expert affidavits in compliance with section 15-36-100 contemporaneously with the NOI; and (2) the Eades' expert affidavit was defective because it did not conform to the requirements of section 15-36-100(A). Specifically, the trial court found the expert affidavit was insufficient because it did not indicate that Skudder had "actual professional knowledge and experience" in the same practice areas as Dr. Campbell and Dr. Wallen.[1] The order further stated, "Dr. Skudder's affidavit fails to provide the proper qualifications, required by section 15-36-100, that would permit Dr. Skudder to present an expert opinion about Dr. Campbell and Dr. Wallen."

         The court of appeals reversed in an unpublished opinion pursuant to this Court's decision in Ranucci v. Crain, 409 S.C. 493, 763 S.E.2d 189 (2014), which held that section 15-79-125 incorporates the safe harbor provision of 15-36-100(C)(1) and extends the time for filing the expert witness affidavit in medical malpractice actions where the statute of limitations is in danger of expiring.[2] In a footnote, the court of appeals summarily concluded the question of the sufficiency of the expert affidavit was not preserved for review and declined to address the issue. This Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision.

         ISSUES PRESENTED

         Did the court of appeals err in failing to affirm the dismissal as to Petitioners because the expert affidavit ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.