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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, Ceasar Davis Jr., as attorney-in-fact for his mother, Audrey Davis, sued the appellees, Spring Branch Medical Center Inc. (the hospital), and Modern Health Systems Inc. (the nursing home) under the former Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act, based on their treatment of his mother over a five-month period. During that time, the mother developed pressure ulcers on both feet and ultimately had to have both legs amputated above the knees. In the suit, Davis asserted claims of negligence, gross negligence and malice against the hospital; and claims of negligence, negligence per se (violation of regulations and statutes and injury to an elderly person), negligent hiring, gross negligence and malice against the nursing home. The hospital and the nursing home each filed a motion to dismiss Davis’ claims with prejudice on the ground that his expert reports were inadequate. Davis responded, arguing that the reports of both his experts, Donald M. Gibson and Dr. J.R. Steinbauer, met the statutory requirements. In the alternative, he requested a 30-day grace period within which to file additional reports if the court determined the reports on file were inadequate. The trial court granted the motions of the hospital and the nursing home and denied Davis’s request. Davis appealed. The court subsequently granted Davis’ motion to consolidate the two cases for purposes of appeal. HOLDING:Affirmed. On appeal, Davis challenges the trial court’s orders 1. granting appellees’ motions to dismiss Davis’ claims with prejudice because he failed to file adequate expert reports as required by the MLIIA, 2. denying his requests for a 30-day grace period in which to file conforming expert reports, and 3. declining to enter findings of fact and conclusions of law. Under former MLIIA 10.01(d), not later than the 180th day after filing suit or the last day of any extended period under subsection (f) or (h), a health care liability claimant who wished to pursue a claim was required to furnish an expert report for each physician or health care provider against whom he asserted a claim. If the claimant failed to comply within the time allowed, the court should, on the defendant’s motion, enter an order dismissing the claim with prejudice as a sanction against the claimant. A defendant could challenge the adequacy of a timely filed report, and the trial court was to grant the motion only if it appeared to the court, after a hearing, that the report did not represent a good faith effort to comply with the definition of an expert report set out in subsection (r)(6). The court states that the expert report has to set out, in nonconclusory language, the expert’s opinions about three elements of the claim: the standard of care, breach and causation. A fair summary of the standard of care must set out what care was expected, but not given. As an example, the court notes Am. Transitional Care Ctrs. of Tex., Inc. v. Palacios, 46 S.W.3d 873, 875 (Tex. 2001), which held that a statement that precautions were not taken to prevent a patient’s fall was not a statement of the standard of care. The court finds that the statement given by Davis’s expert Gibson with regard to the hospital’s standard of care is even less informative than that provided by the expert in Palacios. Consequently, the court holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it concluded the expert reports relating to the hospital did not represent a good faith effort to meet the requirements of the MLIIA. In responding to the nursing home’s motion, Davis relied only on the report of his second expert, Steinbauer. Steinbauer observed three aspects of the mother’s care in which the nursing home did not follow her doctor’s orders: 1. the schedule of the mother’s feedings; 2. the failure to obtain routinely ordered weights; and 3. lack of evidence that every shift checked the mother’s G-tube. Nowhere in his report, however, does Steinbauer equate following the specific orders given in the present case with what an ordinarily prudent hospital would do under the same or similar circumstances. The court finds that even if it assumes Steinbauer’s report, by implication, sufficiently set forth the standard of care, the report fails to adequately address the element of causation. The court holds that Steinbauer’s opinion that the quality of care at the nursing home “robbed Ms. Davis of quality of life, and hastened the loss of her legs” is conclusory. Therefore, the court holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it concluded Steinbauer’s report relating to the nursing home did not represent a good faith effort to meet the requirements of the MLIIA. The court next addresses Davis’ argument that the trial court “committed reversible error” in denying his requests for 30-day extensions under former MLIIA 13.01(g). Davis based his request for both extensions on the difficulty he had obtaining records from the hospital and the nursing home. But the court points out that Davis did not request a 13.01(g) grace period in either case until after the respective health care provider filed a motion to dismiss based on the inadequacy of the reports. Even then, Davis requested a grace period only as an alternative to his argument that the filed reports were adequate. Davis also presented the trial court with no evidence of how the two experts might have cured the deficiencies in their reports had they been able to view the missing records. Given the timing and nature of Davis’ requests and the evidence before the trial court, the court holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the requests for a 13.01(g) grace period in both cases. Finally, the court concludes that the trial court was not required to file findings of fact and conclusions of law and, therefore, did not abuse its discretion in declining to do so. OPINION:Guzman, J.; Edelman, Seymore, and Guzman, JJ.

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