Decisions – COA – Oct. 25, 2016

William Henson, Individually and on Behalf of the Estate of Bonita G. Henson, and the Estate of Bonita G. Henson v. Grenada Lake Medical Center medical malpractice.nurse can’t testify as to causation – Bonita Henson was a patient at Grenada Lake Medical Center.  While there she fell and fractured her ankle. She sued the hospital alleging  that its nurses failed to prevent her from falling and failed to provide appropriate wound care, which she claims  led to an infection in her ankle and ultimately required amputation of her left leg below her knee. The circuit court granted GLMC’s motion for summary judgment because Henson’s only expert witness—a registered nurse—could not testify as to causation.  The COA affirms.  “And although a nurse may be competent to 4 testify as to some issues in a medical negligence case, our Supreme Court has ‘explicitly [held] that nurses cannot testify as to medical causation.'”

Mississippi Department of Employment Security v. Arders Matthews –  unemployment – An ALJ denied Arders Matthews’s claim for unemployment benefits after finding that he had been discharged for misconduct. Matthews attempted to appeal to the MDES Board of Review but the Board dismissed the appeal as untimely because it was filed thirty days after the deadline for appealing the ALJ’s decision. Matthews then appealed to the Washington County Circuit Court, and the circuit court reversed the Board on the merits without addressing the untimeliness of Matthews’s appeal to the Board.  The COA reverses and renders finding that Matthews offered no reason or justification for his untimely appeal.

Hinds County Economic Development District v. W & G Properties, LLC and Magnolia Label Co., Inc. –  breach of contract with public body – In 2004,  W&G purchased  four acres in the Sonny McDonald Industrial Center for  $64,000 for the purpose of relocating the business operations of  Magnolia Label. Two years later, W&G sued the Hinds County Economic Dev. Dt. for fraudulent inducement, etc. claiming that it would not have purchased the property had it not been led to believe that the property would come with sewer and power lines. They began construction and eventually sent a request to Entergy to have the power connected and were told there was no power.  W&G sued.  Judge Winston Kidd presided over a bench trial and found that HCEDD “agreed to sell the property in the McDonald Park with sewer lines running through the frontage road portion of said property and 3-phase electrical power on-site.” The court awarded Magnolia Label $137,034.95 in lost profits between January and April 2005 and  $1,120.00 for expenses that W&G incurred for plumbing charges, a sewer permit, and portable toilets, all as a result of the lack of utilities. The Court also awarded $56,000 as the difference between what W&G paid for the property and what it was worth. The HCEDD appealed.

The COA reverses and renders.   First of all, W&G proceeded to trial on a theory of fraud or mistake.  HCEDD made the court aware it was not trying the case on the theory of mutual mistake.  The court looked at HHCEDD’s minutes and other writings  to determine the terms.   At issue was whether the parties agreed to the terms of a May 10 closing or rather the terms in an April 12 agreement.   The trical court ruled that the May 10 closing was teh contract.  But this was error because those documents were not attached to teh Board’s minutes.  Instead the contract at issue was the April 12 agreement.  Magnolia Label was not a party to that contract and  that contract provided that the property would be sold as is.

Vishnu S. Soni, Harjinder K. Soni and Swamy LLC v. Jeetpal S. Dhaliwal, Kanwarjit Singh and Anil Patel – breach of contract –  Soni owned a convenience store in Tennessee.  He was interested in buying one in Mississippi that and Patel introduced Suni to Dhaliwal.  Dhaliwal had a store in Canton he owned with Singh.  According to Patel, the store was worth $1,300,000. Soni ended up buying the store for $1,160,000.   Later, Soni mentioned to a realtor that the store was worth $1,300,000.  The realtor told him it was only worth $700,000 to $850,000. Soni demanded his money back.  Dhaliwal refused and the parties ended up signing more agreements.  Finally, Dhaliwal threatened to  to kick Suni out for non payment of rent and Suni sued.  The court grants summary judgment for Dhaliwal and his codefendants.  The COA affirms.  Frankly, there were so many contracts between these people, it would take a book to recount them all.


Monica Ashbrook Darby and Andrew Ross Darby v. Harold Combs, Karron Combs and Crystal Johanna Combs – custody – Addie, born in February 2013, is the child of Crystal Combs and Drew Darby.  A few months after she was born,  Monica (Drew’s mother) filed a petition for custody  or  visitation with Addie on the grounds her parents could not care for her. A GAL was appointed and substantiated abuse.  Crystal was arrested for drugs.  Crystals parents intervened. The chancellor awarded joint custody of Addie to both Monica and the Combses. Monica and Drew appealed. Monica asserts that joint custody is not an appropriate remedy between two nonparent third parties. The COA disagrees.  SHe also complains she got no holiday visitation.  The COA finds no problem with the trial court’s decison with regard to who has Addie when.  Finally, she argues that it was unfair to make her pay one-half of the GAL fees when she did not request a GAL. Again, the court finds no error.

Michael Powell v. Clinton F. Meyer and Jeanette Engolia – adverse possession –  The parties in this case are adjoining landowners. In 2013, Meyer filed a petition against Michael Powell to quiet and confirm title in .22 acres of land that is  located along the northwest property line of Meyer’s property and is adjacent to a section of Powell’s property. Powell  filed a counterclaim to quiet and confirm title to his property. The chancellor found that Meyer proved ownership of the .22 acres by adverse possession. The chancellor granted Meyer’s petition to quiet title in the .22 acres and denied Powell’s counterclaim.  Powell appeals and the COA affirms.


Pro se PCR appeals affirmed:
James F. Putnam  v. State of Mississippi 

Phillip C. Fredenburg v. State of Mississippi

Richard Kinney v.  State of Mississippi

Henry R. Monroe  v. State of Mississippi

Jerry P. Roark  v. State of Mississippi

Cardios M. Barker v. State of Mississippi

Keif Lamont Jones v. State of Mississippi


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