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.

Thompson v. Coleman

Supreme Court of Kentucky

April 26, 2018

MIKI THOMPSON, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF KARA VANCE AND DARBY JANE VANCE, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN MIKI THOMPSON APPELLANTS
v.
HONORABLE EDDY COLEMAN (JUDGE, " PIKE CIRCUIT COURT) APPELLEEANDTIMOTHY R. LAVENDER, D.O. AND PIKEVILLE DERMATOLOGY & COSMETIC CENTER, PSC REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST

          ON APPEAL FROM COURT OF APPEALS CASE NO. 2017-CA-001118 PIKE CIRCUIT COURT NO. 13-CI-01349

          COUNSEL FOR APPELLANTS: Herman Michael Lucas Carter 8b Lucas Honorable Eddy Coleman, Judge Pike Circuit Court

          COUNSEL FOR REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST: TIMOTHY R. LAVENDER, D.O. AND PIKEVILLE DERMATOLOGY 8b COSMETIC CENTER:

          OPINION

          MINTON, CHIEF JUSTICE

         The Court of Appeals denied Miki Thompson's petition for a writ prohibiting the trial court from enforcing discovery orders entered for inspection and discovery in a wrongful death and negligence action pending in the Pike Circuit Court. The Court of Appeals declined to issue the writ because Thompson failed to show irreparable injury without the writ or the existence of facts sufficient to justify issuance of a writ under the special-case exception. Accordingly, we affirm the result reached by the Court of Appeals.

          I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND.

         Kara Vance committed suicide by hanging. Miki Thompson, Administratrix of the Estate of Kara Vance, and Darby Jane Vance, by and through her guardian, Miki Thompson, sued Timothy Lavender, D.O., and Pikeville Dermatology and Cosmetic Center, P.S.C., claiming that Lavender's negligent prescribing of the acne medicine, Accutane, caused Vance's suicide.

         Thompson resisted Lavender and Pikeville Dermatology's requests for pretrial inspection of Vance's cellphone, computer, and social media account. The trial court entered three separate orders allowing inspection, which provided (1) inspection by a third-party specialist of Lavender and Pikeville Dermatology's choosing, (2) the information subject to inspection would be limited to a time limit of one year before Vance's suicide, and (3) a protective order limiting the use of information gleaned from the inspections. In the writ action that followed, the Court of Appeals declined to issue a writ prohibiting the trial court from enforcing these orders.

         II. ANALYSIS.

         A writ is an extraordinary remedy that we apply with great caution. When ruling on a writ petition, we must first determine whether issuance of a writ is an available remedy. Only if a writ is available will we then look to the merits of the petition to review the trial court's decision. The decision to issue a writ is entirely within this Court's discretion.[1] We have recognized two specific situations where this type of relief is appropriate:

[U]pon a showing that (1) the lower court is proceeding or is about to proceed outside of its jurisdiction and there is no remedy through an application to an intermediate court; or (2) that the lower court is acting or is about to act erroneously, although within its jurisdiction, and there exists no adequate remedy by appeal or otherwise and great injustice and irreparable injury will result if petition is not granted.[2]

         As the Court of Appeals noted, Thompson asserted the trial court proceeded erroneously within its jurisdiction. Thompson argues that the trial court's computer-inspection order fails to limit the parameter of topics to be searched, is overbroad with respect to the time period to be inspected and fails to provide an opportunity for review by Thompson's counsel or for Thompson to request an in-camera review of the potentially captured materials before delivery to Lavender and Pikeville Dermatology. Thompson also asserts that that the discovery order for Vance's Facebook account is inappropriate and makes other general objections.

         We agree with the Court of Appeals that complying with the trial court's orders will not lead to an irreparable injury for Thompson, so we must decline to exercise our supervisory power to interrupt the trial court's orderly process.[3]Thompson's assertion that our holding in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dickinson requires the trial judge to specify the relation of the premises to be inspected as it relates to personal property is meritless.[4] We believe the relevancy of the requested discovery is self-evident because Thompson has placed Vance's mental state at issue by filing this claim.

         A. The Computer-Inspection ...


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.