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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In June 2003, Dr. Elbert Thames, an employee at Covenant Medical Group (CMG), performed surgery on Nancy Stovall for a right inguinal hernia. Stovall had undergone three other surgeries, for heart-related conditions, in the previous 13 years. After the surgery, Stovall experienced chest pains. Dr. Howard Hurd and a physician assistant, Stacy Boone, both employees of Cardiologists of Lubbock (COL), consulted on the case and monitored her anti-coagulation medications. Three days after the surgery, on her way to the bathroom, Stovall fell. She was placed in the intensive care unit, because her blood pressure and blood count had dropped. Dr. Mark Pessa oversaw Stovall’s care in the ICU, but Stovall died of multisystem failure three days later. Stovall’s family sued Thames, Hurd, Boone, Pessa, CMG and COL for medical malpractice based on Stovall’s post-operative anti-coagulation therapy and related care. In support of their claim, the family members supplied an expert report from Dr. Howard Bush, a cardiologist. The trial court denied two motions to dismiss � one filed by Boone and COL, the other filed by Thames, Pessa and CMG. Both motions argued for dismissal based on the expert report’s insufficiency. Four of the defendants now seek a writ of mandamus each, asking this court to order the trial court to dismiss the family’s lawsuit. Thames has since been dismissed from the underlying suit. HOLDING:Writs denied. The court first addresses the report as it applies to Boone and COL. Noting that Bush is board certified in cardiovascular diseases, has performed annually more than 800 heart-related diagnostic procedures and interventions, and is familiar with the type of care that Stovall would have needed, the court finds Bush competent to testify to the standard of care of a physician assistant like Boone. Since Bush was qualified to testify about the standard of care as related to Boone, and because the defendants do not dispute that Bush is qualified to testify about the standard of care as related to Hurd, the court concludes that Bush is thus also qualified to testify about the standard of care as related to COL. The court notes that the Professional Association Act �24 imputes Hurd’s and Boone’s alleged liability to COL, so COL cannot argue that Bush is unqualified to testify about COL’s vicarious liability. The court then reviews the report to see if it adequately states the standard of care applicable to Boone and COL. The court agrees with the defendants that the report does not set forth a separate standard of care for Boone, but the court finds that Bush ascribes the same standard of care to her as to the physicians. As all the individual defendants were involved in the administration of Stovall’s post-operative anti-coagulation therapy, the same standard of care applies across the board. “While [the defendants] may disagree with Bush’s opinions concerning the standard of care applicable to each of those individual defendants, the report contains a fair summary of his opinions and adequately informs them of the specific conduct called into question.” As for the standard of care and causation, the court finds the report adequately informs Boone and others of the specific conduct that is being challenged by Stovall’s family. Furthermore, the report links the harm to the alleged breach of duty in a more than mere conclusory fashion. The court next turns to CMG’s motion to dismiss. Noting that Bush’s active medical practice encompasses post-operative anti-coagulation therapy and related care, Bush is qualified to testify about CMG’s standard of care. The court observes that the family is not basing its med-mal claim on the initial hernia surgery. Finally, as with its discussion about Boone and COL, the court finds the report adequately addresses the applicable standards of care, the manner in which Bush finds the care fell below those standards, and the resulting harm. OPINION:Campbell, J.; Reavis and Campbell, JJ. and Boyd, SJ.

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