Shaw v. Infirmary Health System, Inc.

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Justia Opinion Summary

Ninety-year-old Mary Shaw was admitted to the emergency room at the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center in 2008. After surgery, she developed pressure sores while a patient at the Center. She was transferred to Defendant Infirmary Health System, Inc.'s (IHS) long term acute care center. Within a day of her transfer, she died. The Shaw family wanted to sue IHS for its alleged negligent care of Ms. Shaw. According to the attorney, The Shaws' counsel called IHS's counsel to ask which entity the Shaws should sue. IHS's counsel allegedly told him to sue IHS, and "the identity of the proper parties would be sorted out later." Subsequently the Shaws filed suit against IHS, which went unanswered. The Shaws attempted to amend their complaint to reflect the proper legal entity to sue, but IHS moved to dismiss, citing the expiration of the statute of limitations applicable in wrongful-death cases. The trial court denied IHS's motion. IHS in turn petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to compel dismissal of the case. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the Shaws' attorney did not exercise due diligence in attempting to ascertain the proper party to sue. The Court found that IHS established a clear right to have the wrongful-death action against it dismissed. Accordingly, the Court issued the writ of mandamus and directed the trial court to enter judgment in IHS's favor.

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Rel: 06/24/2011 Notice: T h i s o p i n i o n i s s u b j e c t t o f o r m a l r e v i s i o n b e f o r e p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e advance s h e e t s o f Southern R e p o r t e r . R e a d e r s a r e r e q u e s t e d t o n o t i f y t h e Reporter o f Decisions, A l a b a m a A p p e l l a t e C o u r t s , 300 D e x t e r A v e n u e , M o n t g o m e r y , A l a b a m a 3 6 1 0 4 - 3 7 4 1 ( ( 3 3 4 ) 2 2 9 ¬ 0 6 4 9 ) , o f a n y t y p o g r a p h i c a l o r o t h e r e r r o r s , i n o r d e r t h a t c o r r e c t i o n s may b e made b e f o r e t h e o p i n i o n i s p r i n t e d i n Southern R e p o r t e r . SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA OCTOBER TERM, 2010-2011 1091490 Ex p a r t e M o b i l e I n f i r m a r y A s s o c i a t i o n d/b/a M o b i l e Medical Infirmary Center PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS (In r e : E r n e s t Shaw, as a d m i n i s t r a t o r o f t h e e s t a t e o f Mary H. Shaw, d e c e a s e d v. Infirmary (Mobile PARKER, a writ System, I n c . , e t a l . ) C i r c u i t Court, CV-09-902363) Justice. Mobile Medical Health Infirmary Center ("Mobile Association d/b/a M o b i l e Infirmary") petitions this o f mandamus d i r e c t i n g t h e M o b i l e C i r c u i t C o u r t Infirmary Court f o r to grant 1091490 Mobile I n f i r m a r y ' s motion filed against estate of petition i t by Mary H. Ernest Shaw, and i s s u e t h e Facts M a r y H. the January room 29, Shaw, deceased was then 2008. She patient the Hospital, Hospital Center. sores. Mary transferred pressure Mary was the grant the admitted to We a Infirmary o l d , was surgery, sores f o r treatment patient Health there Center which while transferred I n f i r m a r y Long 20, 2008, remained to of Infirmary Medical underwent I n c . , d/b/a on F e b r u a r y ("Shaw"). 90 y e a r s at the Mobile b u t she d e v e l o p e d Health administrator writ. successful, at as action and P r o c e d u r a l H i s t o r y Shaw, who emergency to dismiss the wrongful-death was s h e was to Term department affidavit Coleman, at Mobile Acute Care of the pressure until she Hospital, Inc., labeled Center") were as b e i n g mailed of the medical Infirmary, s t a t e d i n her J u l y t h a t Mary's m e d i c a l clearly that manager records (several records of "Mobile t o Mary's was d/b/a day. records 21, 2010, of which were Infirmary Medical f a m i l y on A p r i l Shaw a l s o o b t a i n e d a c o p y o f M a r y ' s m e d i c a l 2 a Infirmary I n f i r m a r y W e s t on M a r c h 2 2 , 2 0 0 8 ; s h e d i e d t h e r e t h e n e x t Claudia on 7, 2008, records and from 1091490 Mobile Infirmary records, September action wrongful-death on and Shaw's a t t o r n e y Health System, Mobile Infirmary. attorney which attorney, that court, he contacted IHS's Shaw entity" claims should of the proper attorney, told [Shaw's Health and t h a t he s h o u l d Systems, IHS (hereinafter alleging also or should and negligently Medical causing Center injuries while to f i l e a IHS's t o Shaw's s u e IHS a n d with sorted out the trial stating that lawsuit against o f any h i m t h e name o f a n y other entity not sue." several the filed Inc. to the exclusion collectively that represents According differently, he d i d n o t " t e l l medical f o r Infirmary p a r t i e s w o u l d be attorney] this t o have asked sue. i n an a f f i d a v i t On D e c e m b e r 1 0 , 2 0 0 9 , against attorney filing Mary's the attorney remembered t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n Infirmary the reviewing Shaw's a t t o r n e y entity Before I H S ' s a t t o r n e y t o l d h i m t h a t Shaw s h o u l d IHS's "never that 2009. after I n c . ("IHS"); the i d e n t i t y later. 8, Shaw f i l e d a wrongful-death fictitiously r e f e r r e d t o as defendants caused named "the while and by negligently then defendants defendants"), Mary's her i n j u r i e s s h e was action death by a patient at treating those s h e was a p a t i e n t a t I n f i r m a r y H e a l t h H o s p i t a l , 3 1091490 Inc., d/b/a Infirmary Infirmary Health with complaint, the information information IHS as d i d not Mobile Mary's the Rule among legal 33(a), other entity Medical 2010, identifying Mobile April 12, 2010, Mobile fictitiously Shaw named to dismiss, period in the had additional legal and or that on March 30, P. seek 2010, IHS Infirmary as days, sent attempted as to regarding a party defendants. the statute, M a r c h 23, 2010, i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s or in place amended 4 to of one of the filed a limitations Ala. Shaw s e n t complaint. O n l y M o b i l e I n f i r m a r y has f i l e d a m o t i o n m o t i o n t o d i s m i s s was f i l e d r e g a r d i n g Shaw's 1 2, On 6-5-410, his the entity. two-year before a April Infirmary § the complaint his Mobile that on legal amend IHS specifically responded that any entity. Shaw information Center." wrongful-death expired Civ. a l l Those h o s p i t a l c o m m o n l y k n o w n as alleging and Along care. Infirmary name o f R. things, Infirmary motion 1975, treatment Ala. f o r the Infirmary substitute Hospital I n f i r m a r y West. mention Mobile correct Care i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s seeking i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s on requesting, d/b/a filed to Acute a n s w e r Shaw's i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s w i t h i n 45 by additional "proper Shaw d i d not about required Term H o s p i t a l , Inc., relevant interrogatories Long Code IHS the 1 The t o d i s m i s s ; no wrongful-death 1091490 trial court summary treated judgment. motion; Mobile the motion The trial to dismiss court denied as a m o t i o n Mobile for a Infirmary's I n f i r m a r y then f i l e d a motion to reconsider denial of i t s motion Mobile Infirmary then to dismiss, petitioned which this was Court also for a denied. writ mandamus. Standard of Review "A w r i t o f mandamus i s a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y a n d one p e t i t i o n i n g f o r i t m u s t show: (1) l e g a l r i g h t i n the p e t i t i o n e r to the order (2) a n i m p e r a t i v e d u t y on t h e r e s p o n d e n t t o a c c o m p a n i e d b y a r e f u s a l t o do s o ; (3) t h e another adequate remedy; and (4) t h e i n v o k e d j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e c o u r t . ... remedy, a clear sought; perform, l a c k of properly fi "The g e n e r a l r u l e i s t h a t '"a w r i t o f mandamus w i l l not issue to review the merits o f an order d e n y i n g a m o t i o n f o r a summary j u d g m e n t . " ' Ex p a r t e E m p i r e F i r e & M a r i n e I n s . C o . , 720 S o . 2 d 8 9 3 , 894 (Ala. 1998) ( q u o t i n g Ex p a r t e C e n t r a l Bank o f t h e S o u t h , 675 S o . 2 d 403 ( A l a . 1 9 9 6 ) ) . ... "... In a narrow c l a s s of cases i n v o l v i n g f i c t i t i o u s p a r t i e s and t h e r e l a t i o n - b a c k d o c t r i n e , this Court has r e v i e w e d the merits of a trial c o u r t ' s d e n i a l of a summary-judgment m o t i o n i n w h i c h a d e f e n d a n t a r g u e d t h a t t h e p l a i n t i f f ' s c l a i m was b a r r e d b y t h e a p p l i c a b l e s t a t u t e o f l i m i t a t i o n s . See Ex p a r t e Snow, 764 S o . 2 d 531 ( A l a . 1 9 9 9 ) ( i s s u i n g the w r i t and d i r e c t i n g t h e t r i a l c o u r t t o e n t e r a summary judgment i n f a v o r of the defendant); Ex action against IHS. 5 the of 1091490 p a r t e S t o v e r , 663 S o . 2 d 948 ( A l a . 1 9 9 5 ) ( r e v i e w i n g the m e r i t s of the t r i a l c o u r t ' s order denying the defendant's motion f o r a summary j u d g m e n t , b u t denying the defendant's p e t i t i o n for a writ of m a n d a m u s ) ; E x p a r t e FMC C o r p . , 599 S o . 2 d 592 ( A l a . 1992) ( s a m e ) ; E x p a r t e K l e m a w e s c h , 549 S o . 2 d 6 2 , 65 (Ala. 1989) ( i s s u i n g t h e w r i t and d i r e c t i n g t h e t r i a l court 'to s e t aside i t s order denying [ t h e defendant's] motion t o quash s e r v i c e o r , i n the alternative, to dismiss, and t o e n t e r an order granting the motion'). I n Snow, S t o v e r , FMC C o r p . , and K l e m a w e s c h , t h e p l a i n t i f f amended h i s o r h e r c o m p l a i n t , p u r p o r t i n g t o s u b s t i t u t e t h e t r u e name o f a f i c t i t i o u s l y named d e f e n d a n t . In each case, the p l a i n t i f f ' s c l a i m a g a i n s t t h e n e w l y named d e f e n d a n t would have been b a r r e d by t h e a p p l i c a b l e s t a t u t e o f l i m i t a t i o n s i f the p l a i n t i f f ' s amendment d i d n o t , p u r s u a n t t o R u l e 1 5 ( c ) , A l a . R. C i v . P., r e l a t e b a c k to t h e f i l i n g o f t h e p l a i n t i f f ' s o r i g i n a l c o m p l a i n t . As we e x p l a i n e d i n Snow, ' [ a ] w r i t o f mandamus i s proper i n a c a s e s u c h as t h i s i f t h e u n d i s p u t e d e v i d e n c e shows t h a t t h e p l a i n t i f f f a i l e d t o a c t w i t h due d i l i g e n c e i n i d e n t i f y i n g t h e f i c t i t i o u s l y named d e f e n d a n t as t h e p a r t y t h e p l a i n t i f f intended to sue.' Ex parte 764 S o . 2 d a t 5 3 7 . " Jackson, 780 S o . 2 d 6 8 1 , 6 8 3 - 8 4 (Ala. 2000). Discussion At issue complaint, year see his i n this admittedly petition filed i s whether after Shaw's t h e e x p i r a t i o n of t h e two- l i m i t a t i o n s period f o rbringing a wrongful-death § 6-5-410, A l a . Code 1975, r e l a t e d original complaint. diligence i n determining Because back Shaw action, to the f i l i n g failed to the true i d e n t i t y of Mobile 6 amended use of due Infirmary 1091490 as the f i c t i t i o u s l y complaint named d e f e n d a n t , we h o l d d i d not r e l a t e back complaint, and, thus, Infirmary's motion that to the f i l i n g the t r i a l court t h e amended of the erred i n denying date i n which to f i l e Code action 1975 ("A Mobile to dismiss. M a r y d i e d on M a r c h 2 3 , 2 0 0 8 ; Shaw h a d t w o y e a r s Ala. original a wrongful-death action. personal ... f o r t h e w r o n g f u l representative a c t , omission, from that See § 6-5-410, may commence or negligence an ... w h e r e b y t h e d e a t h o f h i s t e s t a t o r o r i n t e s t a t e was c a u s e d S u c h a c t i o n must be commenced w i t h i n two y e a r s the death amended of the t e s t a t o r complaint limitations whether that period Rule 9(h), or i n t e s t a t e . " ) . April 12, 2010, had e x p i r e d . amendment o r i g i n a l complaint 2 on from and a f t e r after filed the The d e t e r m i n a t i v e relates as p e r m i t t e d Shaw back to the by Rules 9 ( h ) A l a . R. C i v . P., 2 filing two-year issue i s of the and 1 5 ( c ) , 3 provides: "When a p a r t y i s i g n o r a n t o f t h e name o f an o p p o s i n g p a r t y and so a l l e g e s i n t h e p a r t y ' s p l e a d i n g , t h e o p p o s i n g p a r t y may be d e s i g n a t e d b y a n y name, a n d when t h a t party's true name i s d i s c o v e r e d , the p r o c e s s and a l l p l e a d i n g s and p r o c e e d i n g s i n t h e action may be a m e n d e d b y s u b s t i t u t i n g t h e t r u e name." 3 Rule 15(c), A l a . R. C i v . P., 7 provides: the Ala. 1091490 R. C i v . P. the In a case i n v o l v i n g f i c t i t i o u s l y answer to that question depends named d e f e n d a n t s , upon the plaintiff's conduct. As this Court (Ala. 1999), an place of a f i c t i t i o u s l y the filing acted with s a i d i n Ex p a r t e amendment Snow, 764 S o . 2 d 5 3 1 , 537 substituting a named defendant new will of the o r i g i n a l complaint "due diligence i n identifying as t h e p a r t y the p l a i n t i f f named d e f e n d a n t Ignorance o f t h e new d e f e n d a n t ' s plaintiff should have when t h e c o m p l a i n t was known only identity the i d e n t i t y defendant relate i f the the back plaintiff to sue." i s no e x c u s e of that i f the defendant filed: "The r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t t h e p l a i n t i f f be i g n o r a n t o f t h e i d e n t i t y o f t h e f i c t i t i o u s l y named p a r t y h a s b e e n g e n e r a l l y e x p l a i n e d a s f o l l o w s : 'The c o r r e c t t e s t i s w h e t h e r t h e p l a i n t i f f knew, o r s h o u l d h a v e known, o r was on n o t i c e , that the substituted defendants were i n fact the p a r t i e s described fictitiously.' D a v i s v . M i m s , 510 S o . 2 d 2 2 7 , 2 2 9 to the date "(4)relation back i s permitted by p r i n c i p l e s applicable to f i c t i t i o u s party p r a c t i c e pursuant to Rule 9(h)." 8 to fictitiously intended "An a m e n d m e n t o f a p l e a d i n g r e l a t e s b a c k o f t h e o r i g i n a l p l e a d i n g when in 1091490 (Ala. 1987). This Court has e l a b o r a t e d upon t h e r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t t h e p l a i n t i f f be i g n o r a n t o f t h e i d e n t i t y o f t h e f i c t i t i o u s l y named p a r t y b y h o l d i n g that the p l a i n t i f f must substitute the named defendant f o r the fictitious party within a reasonable time a f t e r determining the defendant's t r u e i d e n t i t y , s e e W a l d e n v . M i n e r a l E q u i p . C o . , 406 So. 2 d 385 ( A l a . 1 9 8 1 ) , a n d b y h o l d i n g t h a t ' t h e same p o l i c y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w h i c h r e q u i r e a p l a i n t i f f t o amend h i s c o m p l a i n t w i t h i n a reasonable time after learning the defendant's true i d e n t i t y also require the p l a i n t i f f to proceed i n a reasonably d i l i g e n t manner i n d e t e r m i n i n g t h e t r u e i d e n t i t y o f t h e d e f e n d a n t . ' K i n a r d v . C.A. K e l l y & C o . , 468 S o . 2d 1 3 3 , 135 ( A l a . 1 9 8 5 ) . " C r a w f o r d v . S u n d b a c k , 678 S o . 2 d 1 0 5 7 , 1060 Shaw points t o h i s i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s and o t h e r requests as e v i d e n c e discover the i d e n t i t y However, although indicate it i s true commonly lack of formal named discovery to defendants. Hensel C o . , 7 S o . 3 d 9 9 9 , 1004 formal discovery ( A l a . 2008) i s not the only ("Although method of t h e i d e n t i t y o f a f i c t i t i o u s l y named d e f e n d a n t , i t to demonstrating objective activity."), necessarily of the f i c t i t i o u s l y i n attempting often is vital provides diligence will that determining a o f h i s due discovery o f due d i l i g e n c e , s e e , e . g . , Ex p a r t e a lack Phelps Constr. ( A l a . 1996). the evidence presence of of due d i l i g e n c e b e c a u s e i t the formal plaintiff's discovery does i n d i c a t e t h e due d i l i g e n c e o f an a m e n d i n g 9 case not party, 1091490 see, e.g., Jones v. R e s o r c o n , (finding the p l a i n t i f f ' s due-diligence The motion diligence. family Shaw months, which When including Mobile that Shaw filed the identify Medical Mary's various that medical information the corporation Center should by providing Clark's complaint until name after Mobile admitted and business had and but and least 3 Infirmary, been diligent Medical treated plaintiff attempted to as M o b i l e Infirmary See F u l m e r v . ( A l a . 1995) (holding that defective forklift was possessed d i d not the l i m i t a t i o n s 10 due Mary's to the i t as a d e f e n d a n t . the a l l e g e d l y "Clark" act with f o r at have a t l e a s t C o . , 654 S o . 2 d 4 5 , 46 knew from there, summary- f o r 20 m o n t h s , A reasonably doing and i n c l u d e plaintiff manufactured satisfy complaint, records had been surgery d i d not records paperwork Mary undergone that Clark Equip. to Infirmary's original her medical f o l l o w i n g her surgery. possessing where he possessed had insufficient to indicates indicated Center, there attached had possessed had discovery ( A l a . 1992) standard). evidence judgment I n c . , 604 S o . 2 d 370 forklift attempt period to had manuals amend the run, the 1091490 plaintiff " d i d not Equipment's act d i l i g e n t l y identity"). As in attempting this Court has to l e a r n Clark said, "[i]f the plaintiff knows the identity of the f i c t i t i o u s l y named p a r t i e s o r p o s s e s s e s s u f f i c i e n t f a c t s to l e a d to the d i s c o v e r y of t h e i r i d e n t i t y at the time of the f i l i n g of the c o m p l a i n t , relation back under fictitious party practice is not p e r m i t t e d and t h e r u n n i n g o f t h e l i m i t a t i o n s p e r i o d i s not tolled." C l a y v. Walden J o i n t V e n t u r e , Shaw his argues delay Mobile that death Mobile in identifying Infirmary's action in So. 2d Infirmary i t as counsel his 611 is 256 not a defendant received role 254, as of for 1992). prejudiced because, notice counsel (Ala. the he by says, wrongful- IHS. However, p r e j u d i c e b e c o m e s a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o n l y when an amendment w o u l d otherwise to the r e l a t e back to the non-amending p a r t y w i l l relation back proper, party is lacking. (Ala. 1986)("The when t h e r e plaintiff time time of f i l i n g ; l a c k of of has See where been actual an the make an otherwise due diligence by W a l l a c e v. D o e g e , 484 So. relation-back learned the not principle will inordinate delay fictitious party's s u b s t i t u t i o n , i f the defendant."). 11 prejudice the not between true delay 2d be improper amending 404, 406 applied the time the name and the prejudiced the 1091490 Shaw a l s o a r g u e s t h a t M o b i l e writ of mandamus Infirmary comes t o Bd. of Admin. 760 (1928) hands, on the the the that state: with notify We January the writ of of unclean Ala. he 120, to provide 124, See 117 this alleged Shaw of Medical must note that 1, 2 0 1 1 , b y be statutory of the unexcused delay of to well Shaw Ala. Code in this same as IHS's proper with office. any of "). noncompliance, promises points as maintain the or failure (2) A r e g i s t e r e d a g e n t identity the its 10-2B-5.01, t h a t may clean filings Center," continuously 757, conduct Shaw Infirmary's violated § So. invites [of mandamus]."). Mobile State with issue including unfulfilled the at a r e g i s t e r e d a g e n t and and alleged matter the Mobile inequitable Infirmary failures corporation or for says, hands. State, name " M o b i l e t i m e l y manner and 4 the of b u s i n e s s ; that the because, dishonest, (1) A r e g i s t e r e d o f f i c e i t s places argues with 218 of inadequacy these ("Each 4 respect Secretary i t s failure 1975 Court fraudulent, a d e n i a l of Alabama argues this denied Roquemore, in alleged register as any part requires to v. be petition ( " [ T ] h e p e t i t i o n e r m u s t come i n t o c o u r t and his should Infirmary's He combined attorney defendants i n responding to in to a Shaw's this p r o v i s i o n was repealed effective A c t No. 2 0 0 9 - 5 1 3 , A l a . A c t s 2 0 0 9 . 12 1091490 original i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s , made Shaw's d u e - d i l i g e n c e to d i s c o v e r Mobile error. Infirmary's Shaw c i t e s State, this conduct invite previously original doing stated that error noted, Valley Title 214 n.5 680 S o . 2 d 8 7 9 , 892 Court i d e n t i t y u n a v a i l i n g and i n v i t e d Mississippi H o o p e r , 707 S o . 2 d 20 9, as M o b i l e S l a t o n v. App. 1 9 9 5 ) ) , i n which voluntary seek Shaw to profit failed to Infirmary Medical thereby.'" As include in his the legal i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s any i n q u i r y about business Co. v . ' c a n n o t b y h i s own "a p a r t y and then Insurance ( A l a . 1997 ) ( q u o t i n g (Ala. Crim. however, attempts entity Center; therefore, e v e n i f IHS h a d r e s p o n d e d t o t h o s e i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s i n a t i m e l y manner, Shaw w o u l d n o t h a v e h a d a n y new i n f o r m a t i o n t o amend h i s c o m p l a i n t in place Infirmary o f one o f t h e f i c t i t i o u s l y Shaw a r g u e s State's t o add M o b i l e Web s i t e identity; that same p u r p o s e ; that h i s attorney named as a d e f e n d a n t defendants. searched the Secretary i n an a t t e m p t t o d e t e r m i n e M o b i l e h i s attorney and t h a t identity of the process. However, Infirmary i s a contacted h i s attorney correct the complaint subsidiary of 13 IHS's through or an f o r the to discern the the does n o t a l l e g e IHS of Infirmary's attorney attempted defendants on w h i c h discovery that otherwise Mobile related 1091490 entity of IHS, Infirmary even diligence may sufficient. the take relied on medical 732 (2008 ) . and those 985 relation-back This was period that cause of a c t i o n case, Shaw before 930 , 941 d i l i g e n c e " when determine the Marsh Weber and Weber, Court of answered). v. Freeman, this he identity See M a r s h contents v. Wenzel, 3 So. 3d held was not a p p l i c a b l e when, expired, the p l a i n t i f f s i n each though i t was the p l a i n t i f f s against marked as Medical Center." being Mobile the that before case Infirmary the 825 the the knew limitations that they had a physicians. Mary's action. records 14 after discovered reviewed the wrongful-death clearly only the defendant and h i s a t t o r n e y filing So. 2d i n i t s possession. 1 998); Due d e f e n d a n t was o n e o f t h e t r e a t i n g p h y s i c i a n s . so, even expired due Mobile was n o t f o r knowing the doctrine period to 848 clearly i s responsible (Ala. that the omitted but t h i s O i l Co., is discovery. i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s were n e v e r a party In both limitations v. Kayo Nor initial " d i d not exercise records So. 2d i n Shaw's interrogatories Finally, defendant. d i f f e r e n t forms, See C r o w l (plaintiff of named mentioned (2002) defendants only of medical Those that this records records "Mobile argues In were Infirmary this was 1091490 sufficient to give Shaw knowledge of Mobile Infirmary's identity. Shaw a r g u e s t h a t O l i v e r v . W o o d w a r d , 824 S o . 2 d 693 ( A l a . 2001), i s t h e more patient, her O l i v e r , knew when medical present harmed applicable records, that i n the emergency h e r was determine harmful she f i l e d room until after 824 S o . 2 d a t 6 9 8 . complaint d i d r e l a t e back had which doctor "diligently of those authorized the harmful Woodward's argument doctors present responsible and without a justification O l i v e r was the This i n the Oliver factual authorized the period should complaint had attempted to emergency verify room had rejected Court have because Dr. sued to identify a l l the h i m as t h e forfictitious basis or a defendants substantial f o r t h e s u b s t i t u t i o n w o u l d have s u b j e c t e d 15 to " s u b s t i t u t i o n o f Dr. Woodward emergency-room d o c t o r reasonable This waiting that that C o u r t h e l d t h a t t h e amended treatment. than doctors not able limitations reasonably" present noting who the b a s e d on the treatment to the o r i g i n a l and that rather party, the other at the time However, expired. Oliver Oliver, her complaint, D r . W o o d w a r d was t h e d o c t o r treatment In D r . W o o d w a r d was o n e o f t h e authorized. that precedent. Oliver 1091490 to s a n c t i o n s under Rule 1 1 , A l a . R. C i v . P., and t h e Alabama L i t i g a t i o n A c c o u n t a b i l i t y A c t . " 824 S o . 2 d a t 6 9 9 . Shaw a r g u e s , he knew t h a t M o b i l e I n f i r m a r y A s s o c i a t i o n was a n IHS e n t i t y b u t d i d n o t know t h a t M o b i l e was doing therefore business as Infirmary Association Mobile Infirmary liable potentially Similarly, Medical f o r Mary's Center and alleged wrongful were multiple potential Oliver, however, Shaw death. Like Oliver, defendants Shaw i n this from Mary's m e d i c a l knew case. there Unlike records t h a t Mary had been i n t h e care o f an e n t i t y d o i n g b u s i n e s s as M o b i l e the time she Infirmary wrongful-death the Infirmary Medical Center at suffered the i n j u r i e s Shaw t h e r e f o r e h a d a r e a s o n a b l e Mobile Medical that l e d to her Center as a c o r r e c t name o f t h e a p p r o p r i a t e l e g a l Shaw Mobile Infirmary d i d not act with as the death. f a c t u a l b a s i s on w h i c h t o name defendant a c t i o n a n d l a t e r amend h i s c o m p l a i n t because knew due entity. diligence fictitiously named in in this to r e f l e c t Therefore, identifying party i n the o r i g i n a l c o m p l a i n t , h i s amended c o m p l a i n t does n o t r e l a t e b a c k to the time wrongful-death of filing action of the o r i g i n a l against Mobile 16 complaint, and h i s Infirmary i s barred by 1091490 the expiration wrongful-death of the two-year limitations period i n the statute. Conclusion B a s e d on t h e f o r e g o i n g , has we c o n c l u d e t h a t M o b i l e established a clear legal death a c t i o n against right i tdismissed. t o have Shaw's Accordingly, Infirmary wrongful- we g r a n t petition and i s s u e t h e w r i t d i r e c t i n g t h e M o b i l e Circuit to a summary Infirmary. enter judgment i n favor of Mobile Court P E T I T I O N GRANTED; WRIT I S S U E D . Cobb, C . J . , and S t u a r t , Shaw, 17 and Wise, JJ., the concur.