Gaye Lynn Harris-Miles, et al.. Appellants
Lakewood Hospital, et al. Appellees
Court No. 2015 CV 0622
Danielle C. Kulik and Geoffrey L. Oglesby, for appellants.
Michael P. Murphy and Taylor C. Knight, for appellees.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
1} Plaintiffs-appellants, Gaye Lynn Harris-Miles,
Timothy Miles, Amanda Kaye Miles, and Alexis Renee Miles,
appeal the June 20, 2017 judgment of the Erie County Court of
Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of
defendants-appellees, Alfred Serna, M.D. and the Cleveland
Clinic. For the following reasons, we affirm.
2} Defendant-appellant, Alfred Serna, M.D., is an
orthopedic surgeon who practices with the Cleveland Clinic.
On August 29, 2014, Gaye Harris-Miles presented to Dr. Serna
for a surgical consult relative to her left shoulder. After
evaluating Harris-Miles, and because more conservative
treatment had failed, a plan was made to go forward with an
arthroscopic rotator cuff procedure, a routine surgical
procedure performed on an outpatient basis.
3} Harris-Miles had a history of interstitial lung
disease ("ILD") and bronchiectasis, so the
anesthesiology department-which worked alongside Dr. Serna as
part of Harris-Miles' medical team-sought clearance from
Cleveland Clinic's pulmonology department before
proceeding to surgery. On September 8, 2014, the
pulmonologist-Dr. Highland-cleared Harris-Miles for surgery, but
noted that the procedure needed to be performed at a hospital
rather than a surgical center because of the potential need
for supplemental oxygen. The anesthesiology department
classified Harris-Miles as ASA2, meaning that she was
low-risk and had been cleared to undergo surgery.
4} On September 26, 2014, a physician's
assistant from Dr. Serna's department performed a
detailed examination of Harris-Miles, and her surgery was
scheduled to proceed on October 6, 2014, at Cleveland
Clinic's Lakewood Hospital ("Lakewood"). Dr.
Serna successfully performed the procedure without
complication. After the surgery, however, Harris-Miles began
coughing up blood and experienced desaturations in her oxygen
levels. Dr. Serna ordered anesthesiology and pulmonology
consults. It was determined that Harris-Miles had suffered an
alveolar hemorrhage. She was admitted to Lakewood, and on
October 9, 2014, she was transferred to the Cleveland
Clinic's main campus where she remained until her
discharge on October 14, 2014.
5} Harris-Miles, her husband, and her two minor
children, filed a complaint against Fairview Hospital (later
amended to Cleveland Clinic-Lakewood Hospital), Dr. Serna, and
Drs. John Doe anesthesiologists. They alleged that Dr. Serna
and the John Doe anesthesiologists rendered negligent care to
Harris-Miles, and that as employees or agents of the
hospital, Cleveland Clinic was responsible for their actions
under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Harris-Miles'
husband and children asserted claims for loss of consortium.
After a number of requests for extensions, Harris-Miles
provided an affidavit of merit, as required by Civ.R.
10(D)(2), from Casey Darrah, M.D., a physician who practices
family medicine. The John Doe defendants were never
6} On December 20, 2016, Cleveland Clinic and Dr.
Serna filed a motion for summary judgment. They claimed that
(1) Dr. Darrah was not critical of the care and treatment
rendered by Dr. Serna; (2) Dr. Darrah is not qualified to
render standard-of-care opinions applicable to either Dr.
Serna, the anesthesiologist, or the pulmonologist, Dr.
Highland; (3) Harris-Miles cannot establish a causal nexus
between her injuries and the actions of Dr. Serna, the
anesthesiologist, or Dr. Highland; (4) the statute of
limitations has expired relative to Dr. Highland's
treatment of Harris-Miles, so no claim can be brought against
her; and (5) because Harris-Miles cannot maintain a claim
against Dr. Highland, Cleveland Clinic is entitled to
dismissal. Harris-Miles opposed the motion for summary
7} On February 13, 2017, in a one-sentence judgment
entry, the trial court granted summary judgment to Dr. Serna
and Cleveland Clinic. Without explanation, it also denied
Harris-Miles' request for findings of facts and
conclusions of law in an order journalized on March 21, 2017.
Harris-Miles appealed. In a decision dated June 13, 2017, we
found that the February 13, 2017 judgment was not a final,
appealable order, and we remanded the matter to the trial
court for entry of a final, appealable order. The trial court
amended its judgment entry, and it was journalized on June
8} Harris-Miles assigns the following errors for our
Assignment of Error No. I:
Defendant, Dr. Serna failed to show how summary judgment was
proper and the Court Erred in Granting the Same.
Assignment of Error No. II:
Defendant, The Cleveland Clinic failed to show how summary
judgment was proper and the Court Erred in Granting the Same.
Standard of Review
9} Appellate review of a summary judgment is de
novo, Grafton v. Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St.3d 102,
105, 671 N.E.2d 241 (1996), employing the same standard as
trial courts. Lorain Natl. Bank v. Saratoga Apts.,
61 Ohio App.3d 127, 129, 572 N.E.2d 198 (9th Dist.1989). The
motion may be granted only when it is demonstrated:
(1) that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact;
(2) that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law; and (3) 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, who is
entitled to have the evidence construed most strongly in his
favor. Harl ...