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TX: expert reports of RN & MD amended: court upheld admission of amended reports.

CASE FACTS: HealthSouth Corporation and Colin County Rehab Associates Limited Partnership d/b/a HealthSouth Plano Rehabilitation Hospital (HealthSouth) claimed a trial judge abused his discretion in denying its motion to dismiss the Suit of Paul Searcy. In its first issue, HealthSouth claimed that the trial judge abused his discretion in denying its motion to dismiss Searcy's suit. Its second issue was whether it was an abuse of discretion for the trial judge to grant Searcy an extension of time to file amended expert witness reports. A review of the record indicated that Searcy filed two expert witness reports and curriculum vitae of its experts Dr. Koslow and Nurse Harper, to which HealthSouth filed its "Objections to the Sufficiency of Plaintiff' Expert Reports and Motion to Dismiss." The court clerks's record reflected that Searcy filed amended reports and curriculum vitae of its expert witnesses. HealthSouth again filed objections and a motion to dismiss. The clerk's record also showed that Searcy then filed a response to HealthSouth's objections and motion to dismiss and a seconded amended expert report of Dr. Koslow after which the trial judge denied HealthSouth's objections and motion, HealthSouth filed an interlocutory appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeal of Texas. While the appeal was pending, Searcy filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction over HealthSouth's appeal. Searcy based the motion on the fact that interlocutory appeals are allowed only when a trial judge denies all or part of the relief sought by a motion, except that an appeal may not be taken from an order granting an extension of time, or grants relief sought by a motion tinder a section of Texas Procedure, which was not applicable in this case.

COURT'S OPINION: Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed the order of the lower court. The court held, inter alia, that Searcy's contention that the first provision applies only in instances involving the first provision applies only in instances involving "the absolute failure to file an expert report." Because Searcy filed two expert reports, his claim that the section was inapplicable was followed by the court. The court found that with respect to Nurse Harper's expert report the fact that she could not meet the causation standard did not affect the admissibility of her report since the expert report of Dr. Koslow established the causation criteria as it applied to HealthSouth. Thus, the court concluded that the combination of Nurse Harper's expert report, coupled with the expert report of Dr. Koslow (which specifically addressed causation), was more than sufficient to support the order of the trial judge. HealthSouth Corp. v. Searcy, 2007 TXCA 05-06-01537 (06/29/2007) S.W.3d--TX

Meet the Editor & Publisher: A. David Tammelleo, JD, is a nationally recognized authority on health care law. Practicing law for over 40 years, he concentrates in health care law with the Rhode Island firm of A. David Tammelleo & Associates. He has presented seminars on medical, nursing and hospital law throughout the United States. In addition to his writings as Editor of Medical Law's, Nursing Law's & Hospital Law's Regan Reports, his legal articles have been published in the most prestigious health law journals. A prolific writer, his thousands of articles, as well as his achievements as an attorney and lecturer, have won him recognition in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
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Title Annotation:Legal Case Briefs for Nurses
Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Publication:Nursing Law's Regan Report
Article Type:Case overview
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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