LEONARDO C. MARIANO, Appellant,
SWEDISH CARDIAC SURGERY, Respondent.
Leonardo Mariano appeals the summary judgment dismissal of his medical malpractice and informed consent claims against Swedish Cardiac Surgery. We affirm, holding that summary judgment was appropriate because Mariano failed to provide required expert testimony for his claims.
On April 4, 2006, Mariano underwent a quadruple coronary artery bypass graft procedure at Swedish Medical Center. On May 2, 2011, Mariano filed this lawsuit against Swedish, alleging medical malpractice and failure to obtain his informed consent to the surgery. The complaint was based on Mariano's belief that a bypass of his left coronary artery was unnecessary. Mariano argued that he suffered damages from the procedure, including a lengthy recovery period, lack of appetite, difficulty hearing, negative impacts on his employment opportunities and social life, and "writer's block."
The parties conducted discovery. In responding to interrogatories, Mariano admitted, "I have no expert/medical witnesses at this time. I reserve my right to name some after discovery and during the trial." He never named any such experts.
Swedish moved for summary judgment, arguing that Mariano's complaint should be dismissed because he had not identified any expert support for his claims. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Swedish. Mariano moved for reconsideration. When the trial court denied Mariano's motion, it clarified its order granting summary judgment:
Summary Judgment was granted on March 2, 2012 on the grounds that Plaintiff did not have the required [evidentiary] support for his claims. In addition his claims are barred by the statute of limitations, which expired April 2009.
A defendant can move for summary judgment by showing that there is an absence of evidence to support the plaintiff's case. If the defendant shows an absence of evidence to establish the plaintiff's case, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff to set forth specific facts showing a genuine issue of material fact for trial. While we construe all evidence and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, if the plaintiff "fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial, " summary judgment is proper. The plaintiff may not rely on mere speculation or unsupported assertions, facts not contained in the record, or inadmissible hearsay. This court reviews summary judgments de novo. We review the denial of a motion for reconsideration for abuse of discretion.
Actions for damages occurring as a result of health care are controlled exclusively by statute, regardless of how the claim is characterized. There are three bases for such a claim:
(1)That injury resulted from the failure of a health care provider to follow the accepted standard of care;
(2)That a health care provider promised the patient or his or her representative that the injury ...