CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast v. Carswell (Opinion)Annotate this Case
Carswell’s estate alleged that CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital and others committed medical malpractice causing him to die in the hospital in 2004 and that the hospital took post-mortem actions to cover up the malpractice, including failing to properly notify the county medical examiner of the patient’s death and improperly obtaining the widow’s consent for a private autopsy. The jury did not find against the hospital on the malpractice claim, but found that the hospital improperly obtained the widow’s consent and awarded damages on that claim. The trial court concluded the autopsy claims were not health care liability claims and, therefore, not untimely. The court of appeals affirmed the damages award but reduced the amount of prejudgment interest and vacated discovery sanctions. The Texas Supreme Court held that the claims based on the hospital’s post-mortem actions were health care liability claims and were barred by limitations because they were not asserted until over three years after the operative facts took place. The court of appeals did not err by reversing and rendering as to the discovery sanctions.