JORDAN FRANKLIN-MANSUO, ET AL.
AMISUB (SFH), INC. D/B/A SAINT FRANCIS HOSPITAL, ET AL.
Session June 28, 2017
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No.
CT-004266-13 Rhynette N. Hurd, Judge
a health care liability case. Appellant filed suit against
Appellee, a medical doctor, alleging that Appellee's
supervision of a physician assistant fell below the standard
of care, which resulted in the injury and death of
Appellant's mother. Appellee moved for summary judgment
on the basis that Appellant had not provided competent expert
testimony regarding the applicable standard of care or a
causal link between Appellee's actions and the subsequent
injury and death of the patient at issue. The trial court
granted Appellee's motion due to Appellant's lack of
expert testimony to satisfy the requirements of Tennessee
Code Annotated section 29-26-115. After a thorough review of
the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded
Jonathan Mark Benfield and Martha C. Burgett, Memphis,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Jordan Franklin-Mansuo.
R. Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, and John O. Alexander, IV,
Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Muhammad Abushaer, M.D.
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and W. Neal McBrayer,
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE
Facts & Procedural History
approximately 12:30 p.m. on June 10, 2012, Suzi Franklin
presented to the emergency department at Saint Francis
Hospital complaining of a sore throat, difficulty breathing,
a cough, and difficulty swallowing. While in the emergency
department, Ms. Franklin was treated by Preston Embrey, a
physician assistant. Dr. Muhammad Abushaer was Mr.
Embrey's supervising physician in the emergency
department that day. In an attempt to determine the nature of
Ms. Franklin's condition, Mr. Embrey ordered a CT scan of
Ms. Franklin's neck. After receiving the results of Ms.
Franklin's CT scan, Mr. Embrey accurately diagnosed Ms.
Franklin with epiglottitis, which is the inflammation of the
epiglottis and structures above the vocal cords.
Embrey consulted with an ear, nose, and throat physician, Dr.
Mark Clemons, at approximately 4:20 p.m. regarding Ms.
Franklin's epiglottitis diagnosis. Dr. Clemons advised
that Ms. Franklin needed to be admitted to the ICU. In his
deposition, Mr. Embrey testified that, based on his telephone
conversation with Dr. Clemons, he believed that Dr. Clemons
was going to come to the hospital to admit Ms. Franklin to
the ICU. According to Dr. Clemons, he was not asked to be Ms.
Franklin's physician, and he never agreed to admit Ms.
Franklin to the ICU. At any rate, Dr. Clemons did not come to
the hospital to treat Ms. Franklin while she was in the
emergency department or to admit her to the ICU.
waiting for Dr. Clemons to arrive, Mr. Embrey testified that
he kept Ms. Franklin under constant observation. Around 7:00
that evening, when Dr. Clemons had still not arrived, another
doctor at the hospital, Dr. Kelinda Ramsay, admitted Ms.
Franklin to the IC U.Shortly after Ms. Franklin left the
emergency department, Ms. Franklin lost her airway and
suffered a significant hypoxic event. The record is not clear
regarding whether she was in the process of being transported
to the ICU or if she had already arrived when she suddenly
lost her airway. Ms. Franklin remained in the hospital and
ultimately died ten days later on June 22, 2012. Appellant
asserts that brain damage resulting from Ms. Franklin's
hypoxic event on June 10, 2012 led to her death. However, the
cause of death listed on Suzi Franklin's death
certificate is "acute cerebrovascular
Franklin-Mansuo ("Appellant") filed the instant
lawsuit on behalf of himself, the estate of Suzi Franklin,
and "all wrongful death beneficiaries" on October
2, 2013. Appellant named AMISUB (SFH), Inc. d/b/a/ Saint
Francis Hospital, physician assistant Preston Embrey, Dr.
Mark Clemons, Dr. Muhammad Abushaer, and Dr. Kelinda Ramsay,
as defendants. In the complaint, Appellant alleged that the
defendants' "failure to properly treat, evaluate,
and monitor Suzi Franklin on June 10, 2012 [caused her] to
suffer a severe brain injury on June 10, 2012 and die on
June 22, 2012."
expert disclosures, Appellant identified Dr. Douglas Holmes
and Dr. Sandy Craig as experts on the standard of care
required by the medical professionals in this case and how
their alleged deviations from that standard of care caused
the death of Ms. Franklin. ...