Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Smith v. The Laurels of Canton, LLC

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

June 18, 2018

PRISCILLA SMITH, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF HELEN MAE RININGER, DECEASED Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
THE LAURELS OF CANTON, LLC, ET AL. Defendants-Appellees

          Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016CV02526

          For Plaintiff-Appellant STACIE L. ROTH SEAN R. STEWARD

          For Defendants-Appellees PAUL W. MCCARTNEY CHRISTOPHER F. MARS

          JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J., Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J., Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, Earle, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Priscilla Smith, Administrator of the Estate of Helen Mae Rininger, Deceased, appeals the October 26, 2017 decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Stark County, Ohio, dismissing her case. Defendants-Appellees are The Laurels of Canton, LLC, and Laurel Health Care Company dba The Laurels of Canton.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} The decedent, Helen Mae Rininger, was a resident of a nursing home care facility operated by appellees herein. Ms. Rininger passed away at the facility on June 7, 2013.

         {¶ 3} On November 17, 2016, appellant filed a wrongful death complaint against appellees (a refiling). Appellant claimed on or about May 26, 2013, the decedent was given an antibiotic for a urinary tract infection. She alleged the decedent suffered a severe allergic reaction, causing her death. Appellant alleged appellees' agents and/or employees were negligent in administrating the antibiotic and in failing to timely recognize and treat the allergic reaction.

         {¶ 4} On December 6, 2016, the trial court entered a nunc pro tunc order giving appellant until January 20, 2017, to file an affidavit of merit. On said date, appellant filed the affidavit of Michele Carson, R.N. Ms. Carson averred appellees breached the acceptable standards of medical care, and such breach directly and proximately caused Ms. Rininger's death.

         {¶ 5} On June 19, 2017, appellees filed a motion to dismiss under Civ.R. 12(B)(6), failure to state a claim, because the affidavit failed to comply with Civ.R. 10(D)(2). Appellees claimed "a nurse cannot testify on the seminal issue of proximate cause because a nurse is not competent or qualified to render an opinion on the issue of proximate cause." In response, appellant claimed because proximate cause was not an issue based upon the cause of death contained in the death certificate, Ms. Carson was competent to testify on liability issues in an ordinary negligence case.

         {¶ 6} On July 27, 2017, the trial court issued an order, finding the affidavit of Ms. Carson was inadequate under Civ.R. 10, and gave appellant until August 25, 2017, to cure the defect.

         {¶ 7} On September 18, 2017, appellees again filed a motion to dismiss for appellant's failure to cure the defect. In response, appellant claimed Ms. Carson, as a nurse practitioner, was competent to render an opinion on causation. Appellant submitted the death certificate, Ms. Rininger's discharge papers from Aultman Hospital issued by Robert Sabota, M.D. on June 6, 2013, and history and physical notes by Awais Ahmed, M.D. and Chadi Bouserhal, M.D. dated May 26, 2013. By judgment entry filed October 26, 2017, the trial court agreed with appellees and dismissed the complaint. The trial court found Ms. Carson's affidavit to be inadequate as she was a nurse practitioner and could not opine as to proximate cause of death.

         {¶ 8} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. ...


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.