Harmon v. Star Valley Med. Ctr.Annotate this Case
Appellant, acting as the personal representative for her deceased mother’s estate, sued Star Valley Medical and Care Centers and several of their employees (collectively, Appellees), alleging that Appellees’ negligence caused her mother’s death. Before filing her complaint, Appellant submitted a governmental claim as required by the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act (WGCA). Appellees filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that Appellant’s claim was defective because it was not signed under oath or penalty of perjury as required by the current WGCA and the Wyoming Constitutions. The district court found that, for these reasons, the claim was invalid and granted summary judgment to Appellees. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the claim requirements set forth in the WGCA and Wyoming Constitution are nonjurisdictional substantive requirements that can be waived; and (2) although the claim in this case did not meet statutory and constitutional requirements, Appellees failed to adequately raise the claim’s deficiencies as an affirmative defense and therefore waived that defense.