Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

George v. University of Toledo Medical Center

Court of Claims of Ohio

July 19, 2017


          Sent to S.C. Reporter 9/8/17

          Magistrate, Anderson M. Renick



         {¶1} On May 11, 2017 and May 25, 2017, defendant, the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC), filed motions for summary judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 56(B). On June 1, 2017 and June 9, 2017, plaintiff filed responses to defendant's motions. The motions for summary judgment are now before the court for a non-oral hearing.

         {¶2} Civ.R. 56(C) states, in part, as follows:

         {¶3} "Summary judgment shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, written admissions, affidavits, transcripts of evidence, and written stipulations of fact, if any, timely filed in the action, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. No evidence or stipulation may be considered except as stated in this rule. A summary judgment shall not be rendered unless it appears from the evidence or stipulation, and only from the evidence or stipulation, that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made, that party being entitled to have the evidence or stipulation construed most strongly in the party's favor." See also Gilbert v. Summit Cty., 104 Ohio St.3d 660, 2004-Ohio-7108, citing Temple v. Wean United, Inc., 50 Ohio St.2d 317 (1977).

         {¶4} Plaintiff's claims arise from orthopedic surgery that was performed to repair an injury to his left shoulder. Plaintiff alleges that defendant's employee David Sohn, M.D., performed the surgical procedure improperly. In its May 11, 2017 motion for summary judgment, defendant argues that plaintiff failed to commence this action within one year of the date when the cause of action accrued, as required by R.C. 2743.16 and 2305.113(A). In its May 25, 2017 motion, defendant contends that plaintiff cannot sustain his burden of proof because he does not have a qualified medical expert who is competent to testify in support of his claims.

         Plaintiff's expert

         {¶5} Defendant contends that plaintiffs medical expert, Casey Darrah, M.D., is not an orthopedic surgeon and, therefore, is neither competent nor qualified to opine regarding plaintiffs shoulder surgery because he admitted that he has not performed the surgery and that he has observed only one such procedure as the "second assist" during the first year of his residency.

         {¶6} The Tenth District Court of Appeals has observed that "[u]nder Ohio law, any doctor licensed to practice medicine is competent to testify on medical issues * * *." Rouse v. Riverside Methodist Hosp., 9 Ohio App.3d 206, 212 (10th Dist.1983). The fact that a medical expert has a specialty that is different from the specialty of the doctor at issue "bears only upon the weight to be given the evidence, not its admissibility." Id.

         {¶7} The court finds that, although Dr. Darrah is not an orthopedic surgeon, construing the evidence most strongly in plaintiffs favor, the court is not convinced that he is not qualified to render an opinion as to the allegations of medical malpractice concerning the surgical procedure that Dr. Sohn performed. Accordingly, defendant's May 25, 2017 motion for summary judgment shall be denied.

         Statute of limitations

         {¶8} Pursuant to R.C. 2305.113, the applicable statute of limitations for medical claims is one year after the cause of action accrues. Theobald v. Univ. of Cincinnati, 10th Dist. No. 09AP-269, 2009-Ohio-5204, ¶ 9. A cause of action accrues and the statute of limitations begins to run when: 1) "the patient discovers or, with the exercise of reasonable care should have discovered, the resulting injury"; or 2) "the physician-patient relationship for the condition for which care was sought terminates, whichever occurs later." Id., citing Frysinger v. Leech, 32 Ohio St.3d 38 (1987).

         {¶9} Plaintiff testified that he was working as a truck driver when he injured his shoulder while loading a trailer. Plaintiff was initially treated at a local hospital and he subsequently had two shoulder surgeries that were performed by Dr. Olexa. After plaintiff continued to experience pain, he was referred by Dr. Olexa for an examination by Dr. Sohn, a shoulder specialist and chief of the sports medicine division at UTMC. According to plaintiff, Dr. Sohn reviewed his MRI and informed him that his shoulder was "really bad" and that he would attempt a surgical repair, but advised plaintiff that "it may not hold." (Plaintiffs deposition, p. 28.) Another MRI confirmed that the repair ...

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.