Where the defendant in an HCLA case did not plead comparative fault, but during his testimony at trial stated that the reason he failed to take certain actions was because the nurses never notified him of the patient’s chest pain, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that defendant attempted to shift blame to a non-party and ordering a retrial.
In Kanipe v. Patel, No. E2019-01211-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2020), plaintiff filed a healthcare liability suit after his mom died from “an undiagnosed aortic dissection while in the care of [defendant].” The patient had been taken to the ER by ambulance on the morning of December 31, 2012, and after being seen by the ER physician, she was transferred to defendant, a cardiologist. Defendant examined the patient and prescribed medication, then left the hospital before lunch with an order that he “be called for questions, orders, or changes in [the patient’s] condition.” Defendant received a call from Nurse Crepo at 3:30 p.m, which proved to be “one of the most contested parts of the case.” After this call, defendant ordered medications for pain and nausea for the patient, but he never re-evaluated her. At 1:47 a.m. that night, the patient was pronounced dead from an aortic dissection.