Alabama Medical Liability Act & Judgment As A Matter Of Law

Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc. v. Murphy, [Ms. 1190463, June 25, 2021] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2021). The Court (Shaw, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bryan, Mendheim, and Mitchell, JJ., concur) reverses a judgment entered on a jury’s verdict by the Montgomery Circuit Court against Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc., upon concluding the circuit court erred in denying Jackson Hospital’s motion for judgment as a matter of law when there was a complete absence of proof presented by Plaintiff that Jackson Hospital had breached the applicable standard of care. Both Plaintiff’s expert witness, the Defendant surgeon, and the Defendants’ expert witness concurred that the surgeon’s handling of a glidewire to establish the correct surgical path to the Plaintiff’s kidneys through his urinary tract for a ureteroscopy procedure to remove kidney stones was within the standard of care and that Jackson Hospital’s procedure for selecting and presenting the glidewire to the surgeon was likewise within the standard of care. Plaintiff presented no evidence that anything done by the hospital relative to the glidewire deviated from the required standard of care. Accordingly, there was a complete absence of proof by Plaintiff of a breach of the applicable standard of care such that Jackson Hospital’s motion for judgment as a matter of law should have been granted. See HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. of Gadsden, LLC v. Honts, 276 So. 3d 185, 193 (Ala. 2018)(“ ‘ “ ‘A judgment is a matter of law is proper ... where there is a complete absence of proof on a material issue....’ ” ’ ”).

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