At 10:00 the Miss. S. Ct. will hear the case of Miss. Baptist Health Systems, Inc. – Leake, Inc., David Moody, M.D. and Madden Medical Clinic, PLLC v. Sylvia Diane Harkins and Reggie Harkins which presents a venue issue that has been hanging around ever since the legislature passed M.C.A. Sect. 11-11-3(3) which states that lawsuits against medical providers must be brought only in the county wherein the providers are located: namely, what if you have two or more providers located in separate counties? The question came up in Mallett v. Dye, No. 2013-IA-02068 decided May 20, 2015. In that case, the plaintiffs filed suit in the First Judicial District of Harrison County against six medical providers alleging that they jointly acted to cause the plaintiff’s injuries. Three of the providers were located in Biloxi which is in the Second Judicial District of Harrison County and the rest were located in Gulfport, which is in the First Judicial District of Harrison County. The Biloxi defendants moved to sever and change venue. The trial court denied the motion and the defendants requested an interlocutory appeal which was granted. On appeal, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to not change venue but Waller did not participate and Dickinson, Pierce and Coleman dissented.
The various medical associations have filed an amicus brief as have the trial lawyers.
Watch the argument here
The vote in Mallett in May 2015 was 4-4 and, thus, the affirmance. Chief Justice Waller did not participate. Justice Randolph wrote the en banc order. Dickinson dissented joined in by Pierce and Coleman.
Dickinson and Pierce are no longer there. Today Chief Justice Waller participated but Justice King was absent.