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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:This is a medical malpractice case. John Meier was hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Columbia Medical Center Subsidiary, LP d/b/a North Central Medical Center following surgeries for gallstones and bowel obstruction. While gravely ill and in the ICU, he developed a decubitus ulcer (pressure ulcer or bed sore) on his coccyx (tailbone). He sued North Central for damages, claiming North Central was negligent by failing to provide pressure relief, which proximately caused the development of the decubitus ulcer, and by failing to provide proper care and treatment for the decubitus ulcer after it was discovered. North Central argued the development of the decubitus ulcer was unavoidable and was caused by Meier’s grave medical condition. The jury found in favor of Meier. HOLDING:Affirmed. Meier was treated at Life Care after he was transferred from North Central. He developed decubitus ulcers on his heels at Life Care. North Central argues the medical records from Life Care, and the related expert testimony were relevant to prove its negligence was not a proximate cause of Meier’s injuries because they show Meier would have developed the decubitus ulcer even if North Central’s nurses had turned him every two hours. Debora Simmons, a senior clinical quality analyst at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, testified as a nursing expert for Meier. Although North Central made an offer of proof for the Life Care medical records through Nurse Simmons, she did not testify that the conditions at Life Care were reasonably similar to the conditions at North Central or that Meier’s condition was reasonably similar at both facilities. there was no testimony comparing North Central’s facilities to Life Care’s facilities, such as quality of care, the type of care, the support surfaces used, the nursing staff, or how the development of decubitus ulcers on the heels was reasonably similar to the development of a decubitus ulcer on the tailbone. An expert for North Central testified that the fact that Meier developed heel ulcers while at Life Care, despite the use of pads and boots, reinforced his opinion that the ulcer he developed at North Central was unavoidable. But he also testified he did not review the records to know what the nurses did or did not do each day at Life Care. In short, North Central’s offers of proof did not establish the incidents were reasonably similar. As a result, North Central did not prove the Life Care records and the related expert testimony were relevant to show its negligence did not proximately cause Meier’s decubitus ulcer on his tailbone. North Central did not show how the Life Care records were controlling on the issue of proximate cause or how those records were not cumulative of other evidence. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by not admitting the Life Care medical records and the related expert testimony and, even if it was error, the error was harmless, the court holds. The court reviews the testimony and expert testimony. Noting that it is the province of the jury to resolve inconsistences in the experts’ testimonies and judge the credibility of the witnesses, the court concludes that the evidence is both legally and factually sufficient to support the jury’s finding that North Central’s negligence proximately caused Meier’s injuries. OPINION:Lang-Miers, J.; FitzGerald, Francis and Lang-Miers, J.J.

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