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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In September 1998, Marie Langley brought suit alleging that the death of her 46-year-old husband, John Langley, resulted from the negligence of Providence Hospital in Waco and several physicians, including Dr. Floyd Jernigan. The trial court dismissed Langley’s suit against Jernigan for failure to provide an expert report that satisfied the requirements of �13.01 of the MLIIA. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal. HOLDING:The court reverses the judgment of the court of appeals and dismisses with prejudice Langley’s claims against Jernigan. Under Texas Revised Civil Statutes �13.01(l), the court limits its adequacy analysis to the four corners of Langley’s two timely-filed expert reports. The court notes that one report does not mention Jernigan at all, and the other report only mentions him in this single sentence: “At 4:30 p.m. [John Langley's] case was discussed with Dr. Jernigan and at 4:50 p.m. a lactulose enema was ordered.” Jernigan appears in only one line of one report that does not identify with specificity any action or inaction by Jernigan that breached the applicable standard of care. This mention alleges no misconduct whatsoever. As to the standard of care applicable to Jernigan, the court of appeals found that the following stand-alone statement in one of the reports captured the standard of care for each defendant-physician: “surgical consultation should have been obtained once the x-rays demonstrated obstruction.” Assuming arguendo that the standard of care applicable to every doctor reviewing such x-ray results is to obtain an immediate surgical consult, neither of Langley’s expert reports asserts that Jernigan was ever provided with the x-ray results or had any independent duty to review them. Instead, the court states, the court of appeals indulges multiple inferences that are simply unsupported by the scant reports. Moreover, according to the reports, the x-rays were taken on John’s first visit to Providence Hospital at 6:40 a.m. on Oct. 6, 1996, whereas Jernigan did not become involved in John’s treatment until the case was “discussed” with him at 4:30 p.m., nearly 10 hours later. The expert reports state that the surgeons were called at 6:40 p.m., but do not assert that Jernigan personally failed to order a surgical consult prior to that time or that the roughly two-hour gap between when the surgeons were called and when they arrived at 8:30 p.m. was attributable to Jernigan. The court agrees with the dissent below that neither report addresses how Jernigan breached the standard or how his unstated breach of duty caused John’s death with sufficient specificity for the trial court, and Jernigan, to determine that the allegations against Jernigan had any merit. A glancing statement that John’s case was “discussed” with Jernigan sheds no light whatsoever on what Jernigan allegedly did wrong, much less how his alleged error(s) proximately caused John’s death. The court concludes that the reports omitted statutory elements of Marie’s claim against Jernigan. The trial court had no discretion but to conclude, as it did here, that Langley’s claims against Jernigan must be dismissed. OPINION:Per curiam.

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