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George v. University of Toledo Medical Center

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

February 27, 2018

Frederick George, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
University of Toledo Medical Center, Defendant-Appellee.

         APPEAL from the Court of Claims of Ohio Ct. of Cl. No. 2016-00116

          On brief: Oglesby & Oglesby, Danielle C. Kulik and Geoffrey L. Oglesby, for appellant. Argued: Danielle C. Kulik.

          On brief: Michael DeWine, Attorney General, Anne Berry Strait and Stacy L. Hannan, for appellee. Argued: Stacy L. Hannan.

          DECISION

          KLATT, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Frederick George, appeals the judgment of the Court of Claims of Ohio that granted summary judgment for defendant-appellee, University of Toledo Medical Center ("UT"). Because UT has established that there are no issues of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law based upon the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, we affirm.

          FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On March 9, 2012, George was a truck driver for Penske Logistics in Clyde, Ohio, when he injured his left shoulder while loading landing gear on his truck. After initially receiving ineffective conservative treatment, George was referred to an orthopedic doctor for surgery. That surgical repair did not resolve George's pain, so a second repair was performed. The second surgery also did not resolve George's symptoms. Therefore, George went to see Dr. Sohn, a shoulder specialist and chief of the division of sports medicine at UT.

         {¶ 3} Dr. Sohn performed another surgery on George's shoulder in an attempt to resolve his symptoms. However, George continued to experience pain and lack of function in his left shoulder. Therefore, Dr. Sohn recommended that George undergo a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty-a replacement of the shoulder joint in a reverse configuration. Dr. Sohn performed that surgery in December 2013.

         {¶ 4} George continued to experience pain in his left shoulder despite the shoulder arthroplasty. George last saw Dr. Sohn on August 5, 2014. Dr. Sohn recommended that George seek another opinion. George went to see Dr. Gobezie in Cleveland, Ohio.

         {¶ 5} George was first seen by Dr. Gobezie on September 16, 2014. During that visit, Dr. Gobezie and his physician assistant examined George's left shoulder and took X-rays. Dr. Gobezie then explained his findings to George and recommended that he perform surgery to revise the shoulder implant. George admitted multiple times during his deposition that during this initial visit with Dr. Gobezie on September 16, 2014, Dr. Gobezie told him that his "shoulder had been butchered" and "they put the wrong stuff in your shoulder."

         {¶ 6} Dr. Gobezie operated on George's left shoulder on November 21, 2014. According to George, following that surgery George learned that he was the victim of medical malpractice based upon the previous surgery performed by Dr. Sohn.

         {¶ 7} On November 19, 2015, George filed a complaint in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas for medical negligence against UT and others. His medical negligence claim was based upon his contention that Dr. Sohn used an improperly sized implant when he performed the reverse total shoulder replacement. Thereafter, UT filed a motion to dismiss the Erie County action based upon lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. In response, George voluntarily dismissed the Erie County case without prejudice and filed the instant action in the Court of Claims asserting the same claim of medical negligence against UT.

         {¶ 8} After the parties conducted some discovery, UT filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that George's complaint was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. UT also filed a second motion for summary judgment on the ground that George's expert witness was not qualified to render an opinion on the standard of care issues in the case. The trial court granted UT's summary judgment motion based upon the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.

         {¶ 9} George appeals assigning ...


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