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.

Patrick v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division

May 6, 2019

SONIA PATRICK, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER

          KRISTI K. DuBOSE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's summary judgment motion (Doc. 36) and Plaintiff's Response (Doc. 39).

         I. Findings of Fact[1]

         On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff Sonia Patrick (Patrick) underwent a root canal procedure performed by Dr. Adrian Rowe (Dr. Rowe), a staff dentist employed by Whatley Health Services, Inc. (Whatley) in Hale County, Alabama at the Hale County Dental Clinic. On November 29, 2017, Patrick initiated this litigation against Defendants the United States of America (United States) and Whatley, [2] alleging violations of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1), and asserting two (2) claims: 1) negligence (First Cause of Action) regarding her medical treatment/care; and 2) vicarious liability, respondeat superior, ostensible agency/agency (Second Cause of Action). (Doc. 1).

         As alleged, during the root canal procedure Dr. Rowe perforated the buccal surface of Patrick's tooth and attempted to correct the perforation over several painful return visits to the clinic without informing her that the continued treatment was due to his error. The clinic administrator sent Patrick to a specialist to repair the damaged tooth. Patrick suffered extensive tissue loss in the gum area surrounding the damaged tooth, and the tooth was eventually extracted. Patrick also had to receive painful treatment to the bone and gums to prepare the area for a dental implant and crown. Dr. Rowe prescribed Patrick opioid pain medication after the tooth perforation. Patrick, who has limited mobility due to a spinal cord injury, takes medication to aid her bowel movements. Complications arose when Patrick developed pneumonia after being bedridden with severe constipation resulting in hospitalization. Dr. Rowe allegedly failed to warn Patrick of the possible complications of the prescribed opioid, and to understand the risks particular to spinal cord injury patients with regard to the use of opioids.

         On April 23, 2018, the United States moved to dismiss Patrick's claims. (Docs. 12, 13). On May 3, 2018, Whatley moved to dismiss Patrick's claims. (Doc. 18). On July 24, 2018, the undersigned adopted the Magistrate Judge's July 6, 2018 Report & Recommendation (Doc. 27) resulting in the dismissal of: all of Patrick's claims against Whatley; Patrick's second cause of action (vicarious liability, respondeat superior, ostensible agency and/or agency); and Patrick's tort claims relating to Dr. Rowe's prescription of opioids (that Dr. Rowe failed to warn her of the dangers of opioid treatment). (Doc. 29). This left Patrick's negligence claims against the United States (with regard to her medical treatment and care), which are before the Court.

         II. Standard of Review

         “The 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). Rule 56(c) provides as follows:

(c) Procedures
(1) Supporting Factual Positions. A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
(2) Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by Admissible Evidence. A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.
(3) Materials Not Cited. The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other ...

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.