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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Sept. 20, 2002, LaQuida Ballan filed a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Gary Gibson over the death of Ballan’s husband and Gibson’s patient, Erik Ballan. At the time she filed her suit, Ballan also filed expert reports from Dr. Jeffery Michael Kopita and Dr. Ethan Podet. Kopita’s report explained that Erik Ballan died in the emergency room while undergoing CPR performed by EMS personnel. The cause of death was listed as arteriorsclerotic cardiovascular disease. Kopita also identified five untreated cardiac risk factors Mr. Ballan had, including tobacco abuse and obesity. Gibson filed a challenge to the two expert reports, which the trial court granted, though the trial court also granted Ballan a 30-day grace period to bring her reports into compliance with 13.01 of the med-mal statute. Ballan timely filed new reports, and Gibson again challenged them. In response, Ballan presented another report from Podet. The trial court sustained Gibson’s challenges and dismissed the case with prejudice, ruling the reports were not made in good faith. Ballan appeals, arguing among other things that Kopita’s report was adequate because Kopita is an expert. HOLDING:Affirmed. Whether or not Kopita was qualified as an expert in this case or not, his report was inadequate, the court finds. The report describes someone in poor health who died in the ER. Some of the risk factors Mr. Ballan had were beyond Gibson’s control and may have played a significant role in Mr. Ballan’s death. Kopita’s statement of causation is conclusory and did not provide a basis for the trial court to conclude whether the claims have merit. Podet’s report is also deficient, the court concludes, as it contains no statement regarding the standard of care Gibson allegedly breached. OPINION:Bridges, J.; Moseley, Bridges and Lang-Miers, JJ.

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