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Mississippi Supreme Court overturns malpractice case ruling

A medical malpractice case made it all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court. After hearing the case, the justices ruled in the defendants' favor.

The plaintiff underwent orthoscopic knee surgery back in May 2013 at Jackson's Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. After the surgery, she reported shortness of breath. After taking a chest X-ray, an internist put her on oxygen but then was discharged.

The woman later went to the emergency room at another hospital -- Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center. Doctors there determined that she had pneumonia and had suffered a cerebrovascular accident (a stroke). She was put on a ventilator and then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Two years later, in 2015, the woman sued the orthopedic surgeon and the internist as well as Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center and Premier Medical Group of Mississippi for medical malpractice. Another two years later, a circuit court judge issued what's called an "order without an opinion."

He denied the motion by the defendants for a summary judgment. The defendants argued that the judge gave the plaintiff additional time to get an affidavit from a medical expert supporting her case even though she hadn't specifically requested more time.

Ultimately, the plaintiff never provided expert testimony to support her claim. Therefore, the state's high court reversed the lower court's summary judgment denial.

It wasn't reported why no expert testimony was provided in this case. Testimony by physicians and other experts is often a key component of medical malpractice cases.

The statute of limitations here in Mississippi on malpractice cases is two years. Therefore, if you believe you may have a case, it's essential to talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible so that you don't risk losing your chance of filing a malpractice suit.

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