Handy v. Madison County Nursing HomeAnnotate this Case
Tomeka Handy filed a complaint alleging medical negligence against Madison County Nursing Home and Madison County. Handy filed her complaint for wrongful death on October 4, 2012, individually and in her capacity as the administratrix of the estate of her mother, Willie Handy, who was a resident of the nursing home from August 25, 2008, through the date of her death on April 12, 2011. The suit was filed on behalf of all the decedent’s wrongful death beneficiaries. After the county was dismissed, the nursing home filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that it was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law because Handy had not designated an expert witness. Before the summary judgment hearing, Handy filed designations of two expert witnesses. The Circuit Court of Madison County granted the motion for summary judgment because Handy had failed to produce sworn expert testimony in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Handy filed a motion for reconsideration along with expert witness affidavits, but the circuit court denied the motion for reconsideration. Handy appealed, arguing that the circuit court dismissed her case as a sanction for a discovery violation, and the harsh sanction of dismissal amounted to an abuse of discretion. Because the record established that Handy failed to meet her burden of production on summary judgment, and the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by denying Handy’s motion for reconsideration, the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court.