Ligons v. Crittenton HospitalAnnotate this Case
Edris Ligons underwent a colonoscopy. Four days later, she developed vomiting, diarrhea, chills and fever. She was admitted to the emergency room at Defendant Crittenton Hospital. Ms. Ligons refused to be admitted to the hospital. The hospital discharged her after giving her antibiotics, treating her for dehydration and giving her instructions to follow up with her treating physician the next day. Tests and exploratory surgery would reveal that Ms. Ligons suffered from a perforated colon, inflamed pelvic mass and an abscess. She had advanced liver failure brought in part by 30 years of alcoholism. Removal of the colon was impossible due to Ms. Ligons' preexisting conditions. Ms. Ligons never recovered from the surgery and died in early 2002. Plaintiff was the personal representative of Ms. Ligons' estate. He delivered a notice of intent (NOI) to sue to the Hospital and the doctors involved ("Defendants"). Plaintiff delivered a supplemental NOI providing more detail regarding proximate cause. Plaintiff then filed suit accompanied by two affidavits of merit (AOM). Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the NOIs and AOM did not comply with the governing statutes. The trial court denied Defendant's motions, and the Court of Appeals found that the AOMs were insufficient. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the AOMs at issue in this case were filed after both the limitations and saving periods had expired. The Court held in such cases, dismissal with prejudice must follow because "allowing amendment of the deficient AOM would directly conflict with the statutory scheme governing medical malpractice actions, the clear language of the court rules and precedent of this Court." The Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals which dismissed Plaintiff's case with prejudice.