Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Estate of Adams v. Trover

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

March 2, 2018

ESTATE OF GENEVA ADAMS, BY AND THROUGH HER PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE, SHARON MITCHELL APPELLANT
v.
DR. PHILLIP TROVER AND THE TROVER CLINIC FOUNDATION, INC. D/B/A BAPTIST HEALTH MADISONVILLE, INC. APPELLEES

         APPEAL FROM HOPKINS CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JOHN L. ATKINS, JUDGE ACTION NOS. 04-CI-00025 & 05-CI-00974

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: John C. Whitfield Madisonville, Kentucky Roger N. Braden Florence, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEES: Michael B. Dailey Katherine Kerns Vesely Caitlin E. Housley Louisville, Kentucky Ronald G. Sheffer Louisville, Kentucky J. William Graves Paducah, Kentucky

          BEFORE: ACREE, CLAYTON AND J. LAMBERT, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          ACREE, JUDGE:

         Appellant, Estate of Geneva Adams, by and through her personal representative, Sharon Mitchell, appeals the Hopkins Circuit Court's January 17, 2017 Order granting the motion of Appellees, Phillip C. Trover, M.D., and Trover Clinic Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Baptist Health Madisonville, to enforce a settlement agreement executed by Geneva Adams prior to her death. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         As Appellee notes, this case has a long and complex procedural history, beginning as an effort to certify a class of more than four dozen plaintiffs to pursue claims against the Appellees. This is the second appeal of this particular case by these specific parties. For an in-depth discussion of the common background giving rise to the proposed class action, see Estate of Crutcher by and through Qualls v. Trover, 2012-CA-001841-MR, 2016 WL 106283 (Ky. App. Jan. 8, 2016), review denied (June 8, 2016). For the full background of this Appellant's first appeal, see Estate of Adams v. Trover, 2012-CA-001877-MR, 2016 WL 100297 (Ky. App. Jan. 8, 2016).

         The relevant facts of this second appeal are as follows.

         Geneva Adams was born December 3, 1942. In May 2001, she was diagnosed with breast cancer; that cancer later metastasized to her shoulder. Dr. Trover participated in her treatment, having read a March 10, 2000 mammogram, a July 18, 2003 nuclear scan, and August 20, 2003 MRIs of her cervical and lumbar spine.

         Coincident to the events specific to Geneva, an oncologist familiar with and reliant upon Dr. Trover's practice became concerned that his body of work as a whole was substandard. The oncologist reported his concerns to his superiors and the matter was referred for investigation to the Foundation's Medical Executive Committee.

         Before the Committee's investigation was complete, the concerns about Dr. Trover became the subject of news reports. Geneva learned of these news reports and, in March 2004, asked medical personnel at the Foundation "to have some of [her] films reread." (Geneva Adams Dep., Sept. 29, 2005, p. 54).

         The following month, on April 20, 2004, the Medical Executive Committee issued a report outlining its findings and concluding that Dr. Trover's rate of error when interpreting mammographic slides was "unacceptable." That same month, Dr. Trover resigned and relocated to Michigan to practice medicine.

         After that report became public, discussions began between Geneva and a representative of the Foundation, Karen Renfro. The record does not reveal who initiated the contact; Renfro cannot recall who contacted whom first. (Karen Renfro Dep., Dec. 19, 2007, p. 18). Geneva never was asked whether she recalled. However, according to Renfro, Geneva "was making an allegation that there was negligence or malpractice . . . I don't know what word she, you know, used." (Id. at p. 20). Before the middle of June, Geneva and Renfro met at least two and, perhaps, three times. (Id. at pp. 30, 32). They discussed Geneva's potential claim and how to resolve it. Renfro had also contacted the Foundation's legal counsel.

         About that time, on advice of legal counsel, Renfro asked Geneva if she would agree to be evaluated by a physician of her choice before she executed any release. Geneva agreed and selected as her evaluator Dr. Kenneth Hargrove, a physician she had last seen in December 2002.

         Renfro made the initial contact with Dr. Hargrove, but she did not direct him in any way. He was not paid directly; the Foundation paid Multicare Specialists, PSC, Dr. Hargrove's employer, for his evaluation of Geneva.

         Dr. Hargrove examined Geneva on June 17, 2004, and then wrote to Renfro with his results. He began by noting Geneva's history of breast cancer and mastectomy about two years earlier. Then, he described the purpose for his evaluation, before getting to the evaluation itself:

She subsequently had metastatic disease to the right shoulder. There is a question as to the time required to diagnose that and she is working with the [Foundation] for an evaluation settlement. I was asked to evaluate whether I thought she was competent to make any financial decisions.
Other than a breast cancer this is a fairly healthy lady. . . .
[She said] she never gets lost. She still drives . . . . [and] goes everywhere she wants . . . . She does not do her taxes. She sends those to H & R Block but otherwise takes care of all of her financial cares. She takes care of her own house and does her own housework, her own cooking and cleaning and laundry and has no problems doing so.
. . . .
Her mental status is normal. She has good insight to what is going on and I think she is capable of making any financial decisions and settlements.
She understands that these will be difficult decisions but she is as capable as anyone of making those difficult decisions. . . .

         (R. 63-64). In his cover letter to this evaluation, he said: "It is understood that th[ese] would be very difficult decisions to make and people will agree or disagree with her decisions but she will be capable of making them as well as anyone." (R. 62). When asked whether she agreed with Dr. Hargrove's statement, Geneva said, "I agree." (Adams Dep., p. 52).

         The record shows that Geneva actively participated in negotiations. Three times in her deposition she said ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.