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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Willie Ray Shults, who suffers from diabetes, was admitted to Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital for a surgical procedure. Shults was told to take a shower before the procedure on April 28, 2000. While in the shower, Shults stepped on a paint chip and cut his foot. A nurse bandaged Shults’ foot, and the bandage was changed before Shults was released from the hospital a few days later. The cut became infected and eventually required surgery. Shults sued the hospital on June 25, 2002, for failing t 1. provide a reasonably safe shower; 2. inspect the shower; 3. adequately supervise the renovation of the shower; 4. properly diagnose and treat the cut to his left foot; 5. provide appropriate emergency treatment for the injury; 6. provide medical specialists to treat the injury; 7. provide accurate information to the hospital to which Shults was transferred; 8. document the medical care that was provided; 9. follow medical directives; and 10. provide appropriate follow-up treatment. The hospital filed for summary judgment on the basis of limitations. The hospital argued that Shults’ claims were all ordinary premises liability claims subject to the two-year statute of limitations for negligence cases. Shults, on the other hand, contended that his claims were health-care liability claims entitled to a longer statute of limitations. The trial court granted the hospital’s motion. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court agrees with the hospital’s characterization of Shults’ claims as being ones involving premises liability and other medical negligence. Though recognizing that personal injury claims that result in the deviation from standards of safety may be included as health-care liability claims, the deviations must be inseparable parts of the provision of medical services and the standards of safety within the health-care industry to be covered by the medical-malpractice statute. “We do not believe that the presence of a sharp paint chip in the shower of Shults’s hospital room could be considered in any way an inseparable part of the medical services rendered to Shults. We must, therefore, conclude that [the hospital] has established that Shults’s claims relating to the shower are barred by limitations as a matter of law.” The court also agrees with the hospital’s alternative argument that there was no evidence to support any of the essential elements of a health-care claim as governed by the med-mal statute. Shults’ expert gave his opinion that the cut on Shults’ foot “led to” the later surgical procedure, but the court finds that his statements do not address any inadequate treatment by the hospital that may have caused the infection. “An expert’s statement that the standard of care was breached and that, but for the breach, the claimant possibly would have had a better outcome is not sufficient,” the court holds. The court adds that the testimony of two of Shults’ expert witnesses did not address any causal connection between the nurse’s or the hospital’s treatment of the cut and the subsequent infection. OPINION:Boyd, S.J.; Quinn, C.J., Reavis, J., and Boyd, S.J.

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