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Ex parte Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc.

Supreme Court of Alabama

November 7, 2014

Ex parte Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc., et al.
v.
Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc., et al); (In re: Joanne Anderson Ex parte Joanne Anderson

Released for Publication July 22, 2015.

Page 325

(Montgomery Circuit Court, CV-12-1044). Eugene W. Reese, Trial Judge.

1130342 -- PETITION DENIED. 1130357 -- PETITION DENIED.

For Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc., Capital Cardio-Thoracic, P.C. and Stephen K. Kwan, M.D., Petitioners/Respondents: Bethany L. Bolger, L. Peyton chapman III, Philip A. Sellers II, Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett, P.A., Montgomery.

For Joanne Anderson, Petitioner/Respondent: Victoria D. Relf, The Relf Law Firm, LLC, Montgomery; Tamika R. Miller, Ashley N. Smith, Miller Smith, LLC, Montgomery.

For Daniel Hamm: Gerald C. Brooks, Brooks, Hubbard & James, P.C., Birmingham.

STUART, Justice. Bolin, Shaw, Main, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur. Murdock, J., concurs specially. Moore, C.J., concurs in the result. Parker, J., recuses himself.

OPINION

Page 326

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

STUART, Justice.

Joanne Anderson sued Jackson Hospital and Clinic, Inc., Dr. Stephen K. Kwan, and Dr. Kwan's practice group, Capital Cardio-Thoracic, P.C. (hereinafter referred to collectively as " the Jackson Hospital defendants" ), in the Montgomery Circuit Court, asserting medical-malpractice claims against them. Thereafter, the trial court granted a motion to substitute bankruptcy trustee Daniel G. Hamm for Anderson as the real party in interest pursuant to Rule 17, Ala. R. Civ. P., because Anderson had filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. after her medical-malpractice claim had accrued. The Jackson Hospital defendants subsequently petitioned this Court for permission to file an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Rule 5, Ala. R. App. P., arguing that Hamm's attempt to be substituted as the real party in interest was untimely under Rule 17; Anderson filed a separate Rule 5 petition for permission to appeal, challenging the trial court's decision to remove her as the plaintiff in this case. We granted both petitions; however, as explained infra, we now treat the parties' petitions for permissive appeals as petitions for writs of mandamus, and we deny those petitions.

I.

On October 5, 2010, Anderson presented herself at the Jackson Hospital emergency room complaining of chest pain. Anderson had previously been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and it was ultimately determined that she now needed coronary-artery-bypass surgery; on October 8, 2010, Dr. Kwan performed the procedure. Anderson thereafter had circulation issues in her feet; however, she was discharged from the hospital on October 25, 2010. Dr. Kwan conducted follow-up examinations with Anderson on November 2, 2010, and November 23, 2010, and on those visits she complained of continuing pain and circulation issues with her feet. During those examinations, Dr. Kwan determined that parts of Anderson's feet, including at least some ...


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