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Stewart v. Kentuckiana Medical Center, LLC

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

June 7, 2019

KIMBERLY STEWART APPELLANT
v.
KENTUCKIANA MEDICAL CENTER, LLC; CARDIOVASCULAR SPECIALISTS, P.S.C.; CARDIOVASCULAR SURGICAL CARE P.L.L.C.; DR. ANIS G. CHALHOUB; AND DR. JOHN D. RUMISEK APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE MARY M. SHAW, JUDGE ACTION NO. 17-CI-002575

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Hans G. Poppe, Jr. Scarlette Burton Kelty

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE, Kentuckiana Medical Center, LLC: Ryan T. Wood David B. Gazak

          ORAL ARGUMENT FOR APPELLANT: Scarlette Burton Kelty

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE, Anis G. Chalhoub, M.D.: Tracy S. Prewitt Rachel A. Stratton

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE, John D. Rumisek, M.D.: Donald K. Brown, Jr. Mark E. Hammond Whitney R. Kramer

          ORAL ARGUMENT FOR APPELLEES: Tracy S. Prewitt Mark E. Hammond

          BEFORE: ACREE, COMBS, AND MAZE, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          MAZE, JUDGE:

         Kimberly Stewart appeals from an order of the Jefferson Circuit Court which dismissed her medical malpractice and related claims against Kentuckiana Medical Center (KMC), Dr. Anis G. Chalhoub, Dr. John D. Rumisek and their practice groups. We agree the claims against KMC were barred by lack of personal jurisdiction. We further conclude that Stewart's malpractice claims against Dr. Chalhoub and Dr. Rumisek were subject to Indiana law. However, we find that her claims were not barred for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction or particular-case jurisdiction because the medical-panel review requirements of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act only apply to actions filed in an Indiana court. Nevertheless, we conclude that these claims were properly subject to dismissal under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Hence, we affirm the order dismissing the claims for this reason.

         The relevant facts of this action are as follows: Stewart is a resident of Indiana. KMC is a Florida corporation that operated a hospital in Clarksville, Indiana. Dr. Chalhoub and Dr. Rumisek are both licensed to practice medicine in Indiana and Kentucky. Their practice groups, Cardiovascular Surgical Care, PLLC and Cardiovascular Specialists, PSC, are located in Louisville, Kentucky.

         On May 30, 2014, Stewart presented herself to the emergency room at KMC, complaining of a headache and a single fainting episode. The admitting physician called in Dr. Chalhoub for a cardiology consult. He diagnosed Stewart with bradycardia and sick sinus syndrome. Based upon this diagnosis, Dr. Chalhoub recommended that Stewart have a pacemaker installed. Dr. Chalhoub called in Dr. Rumisek for an additional consult and to perform the procedure.

          On June 2, 2014, Dr. Rumisek implanted a pacemaker in Stewart's heart. The following day, Dr. Rumisek performed a second surgery to adjust the lead placement. Subsequently, Stewart developed an infection at the surgical site. On June 18, 2014, Dr. Rumisek performed a surgical debridement to treat the infection. After each of the surgeries, Stewart followed up with both doctors at their Louisville offices. Stewart's last follow-up visit with Dr. Chalhoub was in September 2014, and her last follow-up visit with Dr. Rumisek was in August 2014.

         On July 1, 2016, Stewart began treating with a new cardiologist, who advised her that she never had sick sinus syndrome and that the pacemaker was not medically necessary. Based on this information, Stewart filed the current complaint in Jefferson Circuit Court, naming KMC, Dr. Chalhoub, Dr. Rumisek, and their respective practice groups. In lieu of an answer, all of the defendants filed motions to dismiss pursuant to CR[1] 12.02. They argued that Stewart's action was barred due to her failure to comply with the medical review panel requirements of the Indiana Medical Malpractice ...


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