In its decision filed on January 13, 2015, the Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi (“Court of Appeals”) decided that the plaintiff who allegedly suffered injuries as a result of a laser treatment for pimples on his face failed to establish the standard of care and therefore the defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
The plaintiff alleged that on December 17, 2008, he had a laser treatment done to his face at the defendant skin care business in Flowood, Mississippi, to remove pimples from his face. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the facial laser treatment, he suffered laser burns that left scars of his cheek and nose. He subsequently filed a laser malpractice lawsuit against the business and others, claiming that medical negligence led to his injuries. The Mississippi medical negligence lawsuit also alleged negligent training and supervision and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that material facts were not in dispute and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In particular, the defendants alleged that the plaintiff failed to establish who had performed the laser procedure on him: during the plaintiff’s deposition, he failed to testify who had performed the laser procedure and even testified that his designated physician expert, who worked at another salon, had performed the laser facial treatment on him (which he also told his attending physician).
In responding to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff failed to provide a sworn affidavit from his designated physician expert that established the standard of care and that the defendants’ breach of that standard of care was the proximate cause of his injuries. After hearing arguments with regard to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the trial court granted the motion and entered judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that the plaintiff “has not provided an expert doctor’s opinion as to causation here,” as required in medical malpractice cases. The plaintiff appealed from that decision, arguing that the lower court erred when it granted summary judgment due to the plaintiff’s inconsistent statements in regard to who had actually performed the laser procedure and that his remaining claims were improperly dismissed even if summary judgment was proper in his medical negligence claim.
The Court of Appeals held that despite the plaintiff’s claim that the grant of summary judgment was based solely on his inconsistent statements and his failure to address the issue of causation in his brief, it was clear that the lower court based the grant of summary judgment on the plaintiff’s failure to substantiate the causation element of his medical malpractice claim with expert medical testimony, which was proper, and that this issue was dispositive of the plaintiff’s case.
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a laser treatment in Mississippi or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in Mississippi or in your state who may investigate your laser injury claim for you and represent you in a laser malpractice case, if appropriate.
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