State appeals court allows woman to add claim against SRHS in lawsuit

A woman who claims she was misdiagnosed by a doctor at Singing River Health System has won the right to sue the hospital after it was dismissed by a lower court.

The state Court of Appeals said Tuesday that Wanda St. Andrie could add an independent negligence claim against SRHS in a lawsuit she filed against Dr. Terrence Millette and the hospital.

St. Andrie said in the lawsuit that Dr. Terrence Millette, while working for SRHS, misdiagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, causing her to undergo ‘painful, expensive and unnecessary treatments for several years.

She fined a medical malpractice suit in 2018 against Millette and SRHS, saying the hospital was vicariously liable for the doctor’s negligence.

In 2020, she filed an amended complaint that added independent negligence, claiming that SRHS had actual or constructive knowledge of Millette’s negligence for many years but failed to notify or protect his patients.

SRHS filed for summary judgment on the claim, saying she had filed outside the statute of limitations under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. The circuit court agreed and granted summary judgment and dismissed the independent negligence claim.

The Appeals Court found that St. Andrie’s independent negligence claim is not barred by the statute of limitations because it arose out of the same conduct, transaction or occurrence complaint.

“Likewise, in this case, SRHS’s alleged failure to protect St. Andrie from Millette’s negligence “arose out of the [same] conduct, transaction, or occurrence” as Millette’s negligence,” the court wrote in its opinion. “Therefore, St. Andrie’s independent negligence claim relates back to the date of the original complaint under Rule 15(c)(1) and is not barred by the statute of limitations.”

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