Samples v. Hanson

David and Jayme Samples (“the Samples”) appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Ray Hanson and Bingham Memorial Hospital in a medical malpractice action. Mr. Samples was admitted to Bingham Memorial Hospital (“BMH”) in Blackfoot with abdominal pain and was found to have acute cholecystitis. Dr. Hanson performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy on Mr. Samples. Dr. Birkenhagen was a practicing surgeon at PMC in 2009 when Dr. Hanson performed the laparoscopic cholecystectomy on Mr. Samples. Dr. Birkenhagen was a member of the American College of Surgeons and board certified at the time. At PMC, Dr. Birkenhagen re-opened the surgical site and discovered sepsis. Dr. Birkenhagen removed significant amounts of pus and later operated in order to repair a hole in the colon, which had allowed stool to leak out of the incision at the surgical site. The sepsis had caused Mr. Samples’ respiratory distress. Samples filed suit against BMH and Dr. Hanson for medical malpractice. The district court granted summary judgment after it determined that the Samples failed to establish the necessary foundation under Idaho Code sections 6-1012 and 6-1013 to admit testimony from the Samples’ only medical expert. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded: "This is not a complicated standard of care. It merely calls for basic post-operative care to ensure that the patient does not suffer infection or complications. It is not a standard of care that requires detailed specialization, intricate treatments, expensive equipment, or detailed knowledge of drug interactions. One would hope that any surgeon, regardless of whether operating in the backwoods or a metropolitan hospital, would monitor the patient post-operatively to ensure a decent recovery without infection or complications. That didn’t happen with Mr. Samples, as outlined by Dr. Birkenhagen." View "Samples v. Hanson" on Justia Law