LAKE CHARLES — An appeals court has ruled a trial court properly granted a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit against a hospital regarding the birth of a stillborn child.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal also determined no error was made by the trial court in denying a motion by the plaintiff for an extension of time.
The court is composed of Judges John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett and Shannon J. Gremillion. Pickett authored the opinion.
Kayla Arceneaux filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Lafayette General Medical Center and Dr. Bobby Nevils after her child died before delivery while she was staying in the hospital.
Arceneaux's child was found to have hydrocephalus, a condition involving fluid accumulation in the brain, according to information in the ruling.
Arceneaux claimed the hospital failed to monitor her child's fetal heart rate and, after the delivery of the stillborn child, she was forced to get out of bed when she still could not feel her legs due to an epidural, causing her to fall and injure her neck.
After filing the claim, three physicians on the medical review panel unanimously determined that there was no breach in the standard of care in Arceneaux's treatment at the hospital, background information in the ruling said.
LGMC filed a motion for summary judgment in the case and included the decision of the medical review panel in support of its motion, and a hearing was held May 1, 2017, regarding the motion.
Arceneaux was given 90 days to produce an expert report to support her claim that the hospital breached its standard of care by the trial court. Arceneaux filed a motion for extension of time on Sept. 15, which was denied three days later at another hearing.
The trial court granted LGMC's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case on Oct. 16.
In her appeal, Arceneaux claims the trial court erred when it found that no genuine issue of material facts existed and by not allowing her an extension of time to introduce an expert's report.
Pickett said in the court's opinion that they did not file an instance where layperson's testimony was sufficient to show a breach in the standard of care of the hospital.
The effects of anesthesia on Arceneaux and the care provided by staff at the hospital involved complex medical issues and required expert testimony instead of that from a layperson.
The appeals court affirmed the trial court's judgment and ordered costs associated with the appeal to be assessed to Arceneaux.