Johnson v. OmondiAnnotate this Case
Thelma Johnson took her 15-year-old son Shaquille to the emergency department at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital; a week earlier, Shaquille had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery. Shaquille complained of chest pain; was first seen by a nurse; and then examined by Dr. Price Omondi. The doctor noted that Shaquille had undergone surgery a week earlier; he inquired about Shaquille's medical history and family history and conducted a physical examination. Dr. Omondi ruled out multiple ailments, specifically, pulmonary embolism as causes of Shaquille's pain. Dr. Omondi diagnosed Shaquille with pleurisy and discharged him from the hospital with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, and instructions to return to the emergency department if his symptoms continued. Two weeks later, Shaquille returned to the emergency department, and died of a bilateral pulmonary embolism. Thelma Johnson and her husband sued Dr. Omondi and Southwest Emergency Physicians, P.C., for medical malpractice. Dr. Omondi moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals in to determine whether the appellate court properly applied the standards for a medical malpractice claim in a hospital emergency department as found in OCGA 51-1-29.5 (c). Finding that the plurality opinion of the Court of Appeals erred, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.