Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Barnes v. Connecticut Podiatry Group, P.C.

Appellate Court of Connecticut

January 14, 2020

KENNETH BARNES
v.
CONNECTICUT PODIATRY GROUP, P.C., ET AL.

         Argued October 8, 2019.

Page 917

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 918

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 919

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 920

          Appeal from the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Haven, A. Robinson, J., Lager, J.

          COUNSEL:

          Joseph R. Mirrione, for the appellant (substitute plaintiff).

          Ellen M. Costello, for the appellees (defendants).

          Alvord, Moll and Beach, Js. MOLL, J. In this opinion the other judges concurred.

          OPINION

Page 921

         [195 Conn.App. 214] MOLL, J.

         In this medical malpractice action, the substitute plaintiff, Sherry West Barnes, administratrix of the estate of Kenneth Barnes (administratrix),[1] appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Connecticut Podiatry Group, P.C., and Marc Daddio, a doctor of podiatric medicine. On appeal, the administratrix claims that (1) the court, [195 Conn.App. 215] A. Robinson, J., erred in precluding Barnes from disclosing additional experts, and (2) the court, Lager, J., erred in (a) adhering to Judge Robinson's order precluding Barnes from disclosing additional experts, (b) precluding the expert opinions of Barnes' disclosed expert, and (c) rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the summary judgment of the trial court.

          The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. On February 29, 2012, Barnes commenced this medical malpractice action against the defendants. In a revised two count complaint filed on April 17, 2012, Barnes alleged that, while he was a patient of the defendants in 2011, the defendants deviated from the applicable standard of podiatric care by failing to suspect and rule out the possibility of an impairment in the blood flow to Barnes' feet and by failing to refer Barnes to a vascular specialist, resulting, inter alia, in the partial amputations of Barnes' feet. On April 26, 2012, the defendants answered the revised complaint, denying the material allegations therein.

          On May 3, 2012, Barnes filed an expert witness disclosure identifying Jack B. Gorman, a podiatrist practicing in Pennsylvania, as his expert on the standard of care and causation. The disclosure indicated that Dr. Gorman was expected to testify that the defendants deviated from the applicable standard of care by failing to suspect and rule out the possibility of " vascular compromise" and make an appropriate and timely referral to a vascular specialist. In addition, per the disclosure, Dr. Gorman was expected to testify that the defendants' deviation from the applicable standard of care resulted in the partial amputations of Barnes' feet.

Page 922

          On June 25, 2013, the trial court, A. Robinson, J., approved a scheduling order, inter alia, setting September 1, 2013, as the deadline by which Barnes had to [195 Conn.App. 216] disclose all of his experts. The next day, a JDNO notice was issued providing that a jury trial was scheduled to begin on September 15, 2014. Barnes did not disclose any additional experts on or before September 1, 2013.

          On March 12, 2014, the defendants filed a motion to preclude the expert testimony of Dr. Gorman on the basis that, despite their multiple attempts to depose him, Dr. Gorman refused to attend a deposition without a prepayment of his fees. On April 7, 2014, Judge Robinson issued an order declining to preclude Dr. Gorman's expert testimony, but requiring the parties to select a date, no later than May 14, 2014, on which to conduct Dr. Gorman's deposition, for which the defendants were not required to remit a prepayment. Notwithstanding the court's order, Dr. Gorman was not deposed on or before May 14, 2014.

          On September 12, 2014, three days before the start of trial, Terence S. Hawkins, Barnes' prior counsel, filed a motion for a continuance of the trial, representing that Hawkins was scheduled to undergo an emergency medical procedure on September 15, 2014. The same day, Judge Robinson granted the motion and scheduled a status conference for October 15, 2014. On October 14, 2014, Hawkins filed a motion for a continuance of the status conference, representing that he was closing his legal practice on October 31, 2014.[2] The same day, Judge Robinson granted the motion and ordered the parties' counsel to select a new date for the status conference. Subsequently, Judge Robinson issued a separate order requiring an appearance to be filed on behalf of Barnes no later than November 21, 2014, or else the case would be dismissed. On November 17, 2014, [195 Conn.App. 217] Attorney Joseph R. Mirrione appeared on behalf of Barnes. On November 18, 2014, JDNO notices were issued providing, respectively, that a trial management conference was scheduled for December 22, 2015, and that the trial was rescheduled to January 19, 2016.

          On September 25, 2015, Barnes filed a motion for a continuance of the trial on the ground that Attorney Mirrione was " relatively new counsel" who had taken over Barnes' case from Hawkins. The same day, Judge Robinson denied the motion for a continuance without prejudice to the motion being renewed at the trial management conference. Notably, Judge Robinson also stated that, if a continuance were granted at that time, it would be marked final and no additional continuances would be permitted.

          On November 13, 2015, Barnes filed an amended expert witness disclosure with respect to Dr. Gorman. The amended expert witness disclosure indicated that Dr. Gorman was expected to testify that (1) " the history and physical were inadequate," (2) upon noting " gangrenous changes," the defendants failed to " take an adequate history and physical and did not order antibiotics or other appropriate tests," (3) the defendants failed to refer Barnes to a vascular surgeon in a timely manner, (4) the defendants failed to communicate with Barnes' family doctor and vascular surgeon, (5) the defendants allowed Barnes' condition to deteriorate, and (6) Barnes underwent multiple surgeries

Page 923

and amputations as a result of the defendants' conduct.

          On November 24, 2015, the defendants filed a motion to preclude the amendment to Dr. Gorman's expert witness disclosure, to which Barnes objected. On January 13, 2016, after hearing argument on January 11, 2016,[3] Judge Robinson issued an order denying, without prejudice, the motion to preclude. Judge Robinson [195 Conn.App. 218] determined that Barnes should be allowed to supplement Dr. Gorman's testimony, provided that Dr. Gorman be made available for a deposition within fourteen days of the order. Additionally, Judge Robinson ordered that Barnes was " precluded from disclosing any additional experts." Judge Robinson then assigned the case to Judge Lager for the management of any pending and future pretrial motions, as well as for trial, and directed the parties to report to Judge Lager to address the scheduling of trial. On January 19, 2016, following a status and scheduling conference, Judge Lager issued a scheduling order, inter alia, rescheduling the trial date to August 15, 2016. The January 19, 2016 scheduling order did not provide for the additional disclosure of experts by Barnes.

          On January 19, 2016, Barnes filed a motion for reargument and reconsideration of the portions of Judge Robinson's January 13, 2016 order precluding him from disclosing any additional experts and requiring Dr. Gorman's deposition to be conducted within fourteen days of the order. The defendants filed an objection to that motion later on the same day.

          On January 29, 2016, Dr. Gorman was deposed. On February 18, 2016, upon the filing of a request to amend and without objection from the defendants, Barnes' amended revised two count complaint was deemed filed. Therein, Barnes alleged that the defendants deviated from the applicable standard of podiatric care, causing, inter alia, the partial amputations of Barnes' feet, on the grounds that (1) the defendants failed to suspect and rule out the possibility of an impairment in the blood flow to Barnes' feet, (2) they failed to refer Barnes to a vascular specialist, (3) " the history and physical were inadequate," (4) upon noting " gangrenous changes," they failed to " take an adequate history and physical and [to] order antibiotics or other appropriate tests," (5) they failed to communicate with [195 Conn.App. 219] Barnes' treating kidney doctor and vascular surgeon, and (6) they allowed Barnes' condition to deteriorate. The defendants subsequently answered the amended revised complaint, denying the material allegations therein.[4]

          On February 29, 2016, Barnes filed a motion to modify the January 19, 2016 scheduling order, wherein he, inter alia, sought permission to disclose an additional expert, to which the defendants objected. On March 4, 2016, following argument, Judge Lager issued a modified scheduling order, inter alia, amending the dates by which certain witnesses had to be deposed. The modified scheduling order did not contain any provision for the disclosure of additional experts by Barnes.

          On March 9, 2016, notwithstanding the portion of Judge Robinson's January 13, 2016 order precluding Barnes from disclosing additional experts (January 13, 2016 order), Barnes filed an expert witness disclosure identifying Rakesh Shah, a cardiologist,

Page 924

as an additional causation expert.[5] On March 11, 2016, the defendants filed a combined objection to the expert witness disclosure of Dr. Shah and a motion to preclude Dr. Shah's expert testimony, asserting that the disclosure violated the January 13, 2016 order. Barnes subsequently filed a combined reply to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.