Tucker, Jr. v. Tombigbee Healthcare AuthorityAnnotate this Case
Defendants Dr. Gerald Hodge and Tombigbee Healthcare Authority d/b/a Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital separately petitioned for a writ of mandamus directing the Marengo Circuit Court to dismiss the claims asserted against them by Gertha and David Tucker. In 2012, Gertha sued Dr. Hodge, Tombigbee, and others, alleging claims under the Alabama Medical Liability Act. Gertha alleged that Dr. Hodge performed a hysterectomy on her in 2005; that Dr. Hodge negligently failed to account for and to remove a surgical hemostat clamp from her abdomen; she did not discover the presence of the clamp until 2011 when she first started experiencing pain; and that as the proximate result of the negligent failure to remove the clamp she was made to suffer pain, life- threatening medical problems, including severe infections, and mental anguish. "Although the situation with which [the Supreme Court was] presented here [did] not involve the statute-of-limitations defense in the context of fictitious-party practice and the relation-back doctrine, the defendants . . . [were] faced with the extraordinary circumstance of having to further litigate this matter after having demonstrated from the face of the plaintiff's complaint a clear legal right to have the action against them dismissed based on the four-year period of repose found in 6-5-482(a). Having concluded that an appeal pursuant to Rule 5 or an appeal from a final judgment following further litigation is not an adequate remedy in this case, [the Court] conclude[d], based on the particular circumstances of this case, that mandamus is necessary in order to avoid the injustice that would result from the unavailability of any other adequate remedy."