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.

Collins v. Herring Chiropractic Center, LLC

Supreme Court of Alabama

February 17, 2017

Betty Collins
v.
Herring Chiropractic Center, LLC, and Ricardo Herring, D.C.

         Appeal from Jefferson Circuit Court (CV-14-902835)

          BOLIN, Justice.

         Betty Collins appeals from a summary judgment in favor of Ricardo Herring, D.C., and Herring Chiropractic Center, LLC, the defendants in her action seeking damages for alleged medical malpractice.

         Facts and Procedural History

         The evidence, viewed, as we are required to do, in a light most favorable to Collins as the nonmovant shows the following. Beginning in June 2012, Collins was being treated by Dr. Herring for injuries to her knee, shoulder, and lower back. The treatment for her knee injury included applying a "cold pack"[1] to her knee. Collins received treatment from Dr. Herring on several occasions during June 2012.

         On July 9, 2012, Collins sought treatment from Dr. Herring for her knee injury. During that appointment, Dr. Herring's assistant retrieved a cold pack from the refrigerator and placed it directly on Collins's knee. On Collins's previous appointments, the cold pack had been sitting out on a table when she arrived and was later placed on her knee. Collins noticed that the cold pack applied on July 9 was harder than the cold packs that had been applied to her knee during previous appointments. Collins's appointment that day was in the morning, and the chiropractic center had been closed the previous seven days. Collins felt heat when the cold pack was removed from her knee; during her previous treatments her knee felt cold when the cold pack was removed. A few hours later, Collins developed blisters on her knee where the cold pack had been. Subsequently, scars developed on Collins's knee where the cold pack had been.

         On July 7, 2014, Collins sued the defendants alleging medical malpractice arising out of the application of the cold pack to her knee. The defendants timely filed an answer. Subsequently, the defendants filed a motion for a summary judgment. They supported their summary-judgment motion with an affidavit from Dr. Herring. In the affidavit, Dr. Herring stated in pertinent part:

"At all time when I provided care and treatment to Ms. Collins I did so in keeping with the standard of care that applied to me and to other similarly situated chiropractors.
"....
"As a part of the care and treatment of Ms. Collins a cold pack was used. There were two types that are used in my practice. ... The manner and method that these types of packs are used in my office did not cause any injury and the area claimed to have been affected by Ms. Collins exceeds the area over which the cold pack would have been place[d]. The use of a cold pack in the care and treatment of Ms. Collins's condition is a recognized and standard treatment by chiropractors. It was not a deviation from the appropriate standard of care to use a cold pack.
"I provided appropriate chiropractic care and treatment when treating Ms. Collins. I did not fall below the standard of care in providing care or treatment to Ms. Collins in any respect. I did not cause any injury to Ms. Collins."

         In their summary-judgment motion, the defendants argued that Collins had not produced any evidence demonstrating that Dr. Herring's treatment fell below the applicable standard of care. The defendants argued that Collins failed to present testimony from a similarly situated expert witness because Collins had not designated an expert witness as required under the Alabama Medical Liability Act ("the AMLA"), § 6-5-480 et seq. and § 6-5-540 et seq., Ala. Code 1975, to testify that Dr. Herring breached his duty of care in treating Collins. They also argued that Dr. Herring's affidavit affirmed that he did not breach the required standard of care in treating Collins and that his treatment was not the cause of Collins's injuries.

         In response to their motion, Collins argued that it was not necessary for her to present expert testimony in opposition to the summary-judgment motion because Collins's claims fell within an exception to the AMLA, i.e., Collins's claims could be readily understood by a layperson. Collins further argued that her deposition testimony provided substantial evidence of her claims and that it was up to a jury to determine whether the application of the cold pack on July 9, 2012, was the cause of her injuries.

         On June 24, 2016, the trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Collins timely filed ...


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.