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Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth Appellate District, Franklin County
March 3, 2022, Decided
[*P1] Plaintiff-appellant, Machelle Everhart, individually and as the administrator of the estate of Todd Everhart, deceased, appeals from the January 26, 2021 decision of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the motion of defendant-appellee, Joseph J. Mendiola, M.D., for judgment on the pleadings based on the four-year statute of repose set forth in R.C. 2305.113(C).
[*P2] For the reasons that follow, we reverse.
I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
[*P3] The underlying facts of this case were discussed extensively in Everhart v. Coshocton Cty. Mem. Hosp., 10th Dist. No. 12AP-75, 2013-Ohio-2210 ("Everhart I"). Briefly, appellant is a widow and administrator [**2] for the estate of her late husband, Todd Everhart. On December 21, 2003, Mr. Everhart was in an automobile accident and transported to the emergency room at Coshocton County Memorial Hospital ("Coshocton Hospital"). According to appellant, Drs. Rajendra Patel and Mohamed Hamza treated Mr. Everhart. Chest x-rays were ordered on Mr. Everhart at that time. Mr. Everhart was later transported by Life Flight from Coshocton Hospital to The Ohio State University Emergency Department ("Ohio State"). At Ohio State, new x-rays were taken of Mr. Everhart. Appellant alleged the chest x-rays showed opacity in the lung that required additional follow-up treatment to rule out malignancy. Mr. Everhart recovered from the injuries sustained in the automobile accident and was discharged from the hospital.
[*P4] On August 11, 2006, nearly three years after the automobile accident, Mr. Everhart presented at Coshocton Hospital. Mr. Everhart obtained a CT scan, which revealed masses on the right lung that were later diagnosed as advanced stage lung cancer. Mr. Everhart passed away on October 28, 2006.
[*P5] On January 25, 2008, appellant filed the initial complaint alleging causes of action for medical malpractice1 and [**3] wrongful death against Coshocton Hospital and several physicians. Appellant argued Coshocton Hospital and physicians deviated from the standard of medical care by failing to send, receive, or act on Mr. Everhart's x-ray films and radiology report as to the lung opacity. On October 2, 2008, Dr. Hamza filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that there was no physician-patient relationship with Mr. Everhart and, therefore, Dr. Hamza did not owe him a duty of care.2 Appellant requested additional time to conduct discovery before responding to the motion. Appellant ultimately filed a memorandum in opposition with an affidavit by Dr. Harlan D. Meyer. Dr. Meyer stated that Dr. Hamza had a duty to review reports that are distributed to him, regardless of whether he saw the patient. On April 21, 2010, the trial court granted Dr. Hamza's motion for summary judgment. Appellant filed a motion for reconsideration of the trial court's decision on August 25, 2011. On January 3, 2012, the trial court denied appellant's motion for reconsideration but issued a nunc pro tunc entry as to the April 21, 2010 decision and entry granting summary judgment with Civ.R. 54(B) certification.
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2022-Ohio-629 *; 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 548 **; 2022 WL 624841
Machelle Everhart, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Todd Everhart, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Coshocton County Memorial Hospital et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Prior History: [**1] APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. (C.P.C. No. 08CV-1385).
Everhart v. Coshocton County Mem. Hosp., 2013-Ohio-2210, 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 2128 (Ohio Ct. App., Franklin County, May 30, 2013)
Disposition: Judgment reversed; cause remanded.
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