The Western Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals recently upheld a trial court’s determination that all of the claims brought against a nursing home sounded in medical malpractice.

In Johnsey v. Northbrooke Manor, Inc., et al., No. W2008-01118-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 2009)(copy below), the Court of Appeals (1) found that all of the claims against a nursing home sounded in medical malpractice and (2) overturned the trial court’s grant of summary judgment on other grounds.  Don Allen was the Trial Judge, T.J. Emison, Jr. represented the Plaintiff, and Howard Hayden represented the Defendants.

When addressing the medical malpractice nature of the claims, the Court of Appeals held:

In the case, the plaintiff alleged that Northbrooke was negligent in: dropping Mr. Johnsey or failing to provide the necessary support to prevent Mr. Johnsey from falling; failing to provide adequate staff to support Mr. Johnsey; failing to provide adequate training for its staff to know how to support Mr. Johnsey and prevent him from falling; failing to report the hip injury to Mr. Johnsey’s family; failing to report the hip injury to Mr. Johnsey’s doctor; and failing to make a timely referral for medical diagnosis and care.  We conclude that these claims sound in medical malpractice, as the decisions, acts, or omissions complained of "require the assessment of a patient’s medical condition" and were "based upon medical science, specialized training or skill."

The Court overturned summary judgment on other grounds, noting the Defendants did not demonstrate the Plaintiff could not prove her claims at trial.


Author: Larry Brock/Ryan Malone from Chambliss Bahner and Stophel