The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion yesterday in Kidd v. Dickerson, No. M2018-01133-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 5, 2020). The syllabus reads:
In this health care liability action, the surviving daughter of a woman who died as a result of a stroke brought suit as executrix of her mother’s estate and as her next-of-kin against two physicians and their practice group as well as a pharmacist who filled a prescription for her and the pharmacist’s employer. Plaintiff alleged that the death occurred due to a stroke her mother suffered as a result of taking the drug Pradaxa, which had been prescribed by the defendant doctors and filled by the defendant pharmacist and the defendant pharmacy (the “pharmacy defendants”). The trial court granted summary judgment to the pharmacy defendants on all claims, holding that the proof submitted by Plaintiff was insufficient to establish the element of causation; the court granted summary judgment to the defendant doctors on Plaintiff’s claims that their negligence caused and hastened the decedent’s death, and the claim that the doctors did not have the decedent’s informed consent to administer Pradaxa; the court granted summary judgment to one doctor on all claims; and the court denied summary judgment to one doctor and the practice group on the remaining claims. Plaintiff appeals the grant of summary judgment to the pharmacy defendants and the doctors; the remaining doctor and practice group appeal the denial of their motions for summary judgment on the remaining claims. Upon our de novo review, we affirm the grant of summary judgment to the pharmacy defendants; we affirm the grant of summary judgment to Dr. Thomas Farmer in toto; we affirm in part the grant of partial summary judgment to the doctors and their group and remand for further proceedings on whether the nurse practitioner’s actions caused Ms. Grimes’ injury and suffering during the period of October 20 until she was stabilized in the hospital, as well as whether the remaining doctor and practice group are liable for that negligence under a respondeat superior theory.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:
NOTE: This opinion is long for a state-court opinion. However, it is a good read if one handles health care liability cases (f.k.a. medical malpractice cases) governed by Tennessee substantive law.