Atlanta Womens Specialists, LLC et al. v. Trabue et al.Annotate this Case
The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari to the Court of Appeals in five consolidated appeals to address two discrete issues – one related to pleading vicarious liability, and the other related to vicarious liability and apportionment. In 2009, Shannon Trabue suffered a catastrophic brain injury resulting from pulmonary edema leading to full cardiac arrest within days of giving birth to her daughter at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. At the hospital, Shannon was treated by physician-employees of AWS, including Dr. Stanley Angus and Dr. Rebecca Simonsen. Kenneth Trabue (husband) and the bank serving as his wife’s conservator (Plaintiffs) later filed a medical malpractice action naming as defendants only Dr. Angus and Atlanta Women’s Specialists, LLC (AWS), although the complaint contained allegations regarding Dr. Simonsen’s conduct and alleged that AWS was vicariously responsible for the acts and omissions of both Dr. Angus and Dr. Simonsen. The complaint did not allege any independent acts of negligence on the part of AWS. The issues the appellate court presented for the Supreme Court's review were: (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that plaintiffs sufficiently pled a claim for vicarious liability against AWS based on Dr. Simonsen's conduct; and (2) whether the appellate court erred in holding that, to obtain apportionment of damages with regard to the negligence of Dr. Simonsen, the defendants were required to comply with OCGA 51-12-33 (d) by filing a pretrial notice of nonparty fault? The Supreme Court answered both questions in the negative and affirmed the Court of Appeals’ judgment.