United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
reasons below, the Court denies Defendant
Advanced E.M.S., Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment
a wrongful death and medical malpractice case arising from an
apparent single-vehicle accident. A state trooper at the scene
of the incident reported that Taylor “lost control of
the vehicle, left the roadway and collided with an
embankment” which “ejected him from the truck, as
there was no driver's door on the vehicle.”
p.m., employees of Defendant Advanced E.M.S., Inc.
(“AEMS”) - Brooke Beam, an EMT, and Reba Reese, a
paramedic - responded to the call. Taylor told Beam and Reese
that he had been drinking, and that his back hurt. A
Sheriff's deputy told Beam and Reese that Taylor was
drunk. They performed an evaluation, taking his
heart rate and oxygen saturation, looking for visible
injuries, and observing his respiration. But they did not
perform hands-on palpitation of his abdomen, back, or torso.
They also did not use a stethoscope to listen to his heart or
breathing. In fact, they did not take their equipment bag out
of the ambulance.
refused further examination and would not permit them to take
his blood pressure. He also refused to be transported to the
hospital because he would not be able to take his hunting
dogs with him. Beam and Reese tried to call Online Medical
Direction to get instructions from a physician, but they had
no cell service. Taylor signed an acknowledgment that he had
refused transport after being informed of the risk, and Beam
and Reese released him to law enforcement.
trooper arrested Taylor for driving under the influence and
transported him to the Covington County Jail at approximately
9:33 p.m. The next morning, Taylor complained of pain, but he
said he would be okay until the nurse arrived. Between 6:00
a.m. and 7:00 a.m., law enforcement called Defendant to
transport Taylor to the hospital, but he died en route.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Taylor had internal
injuries consistent with a motor vehicle accident, including
fractured ribs, a lacerated liver, and a lacerated lung.
is the administrator of Taylor's estate. He asserted
several medical malpractice claims against Defendant AEMS.
Among other things, he claims that AEMS failed to perform an
adequate medical assessment, failed to inform Taylor of the
risks of refusing transport to the hospital, and failed to
diagnose and properly assess that Taylor had suffered
traumatic injuries after being ejected from his vehicle.
Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment , which
the Court now considers.
Standard of Review
provides that “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment
if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also
Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Ins. Inc., 833 F.3d 1299,
1306 (11th Cir. 2016). “A genuine issue of material
fact does not exist unless there is sufficient evidence
favoring the nonmoving party for a reasonable jury to return
a verdict in its favor.” Fla. Int'l Univ. Bd.
of Trs. v. Fla. Nat'l Univ., Inc., 830 F.3d 1242,
1252 (11th Cir. 2016). “In deciding whether a material
disputed fact precludes summary judgment, a court generally
must view all evidence and make all reasonable inferences in
favor of the party opposing summary judgment.”
Id. But “conclusory allegations without
specific supporting facts have no probative value. One who
resists summary judgment must meet the movant's
[evidence] with opposing [evidence] setting forth specific
facts to show why there is an issue for trial.”
Leigh v. Warner Bros., 212 F.3d 1210, 1217 (11th
asserted claims of medical malpractice against Defendant
AEMS. Under Alabama law, “any action for injury or
damages or wrongful death . . . against a health care
provider for breach of the standard of care” is
governed by the Alabama Medical Liability Act
(“AMLA”). Ala. Code § 6-5-548(a); see
also M. C. v. Tallassee Rehab., P.C., 201 So.3d 525, 533
(Ala. 2015). In such cases, the “plaintiff shall have
the burden of proving by substantial evidence that the health
care provider failed to exercise such reasonable care, skill,
and diligence as other similarly situated health care
providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily
have and exercise in a like case.” Ala Code §
6-5-548(a). Defendant raised several arguments in favor of
summary judgment. The Court shall address each in turn.
Admissibility of Expert Testimony
Defendant argues that Plaintiff has no admissible expert
testimony to support his claims. To maintain a
medical-malpractice action, the plaintiff ordinarily must
present expert testimony from a ‘similarly situated
health-care provider' as to (1) ‘the appropriate
standard of care, ' (2) a ‘deviation from that
standard [of care], ' and (3) ‘a proximate causal
connection between the [defendant's] act or omission
constituting the breach and the injury sustained by the
plaintiff.'” Lyons v. Walker Regional Med.
Ctr., 791 So.2d 937, 942 (Ala. 2000) (alterations
original) (quoting Pruitt v. Zeiger, 590 So.2d 236,
238 (Ala. 1991)); see also Jackson v. Pleasant Grove
Health Ctr., 980 F.2d 692, 695 (11th Cir. 1993).
Defendant argues that Plaintiff's experts - Dr. Richard
Sobel and Peter Gonzalez - should be barred from providing
expert testimony at trial for the reasons provided in its
Motions to Exclude [114, 115] their testimony.
Court already addressed Defendant's Motions to Exclude
[114, 115]. See Memorandum Opinion and Order at 5-6,
Taylor v. Hughes, No. 2:14-CV-1163-KS-WC (M.D. Ala.
Aug. 18, 2017), ECF No. 170. First, the Court denied
Defendant's Motion to Exclude  Sobel's
testimony, finding that his experience in the area of
emergency medicine rendered him a “similarly situated
health care provider.” Id. Next, the Court
deferred ruling on Defendant's Motion to Exclude 
Gonzalez's testimony until trial because it had
insufficient information. Id. at 6. Therefore,
having already addressed ...