Navo v. Bingham Memorial Hospital

Appellants Lucia Navo, Serena Navo, and Nicole Navo appealed the dismissal on summary judgment of a case arising out of the death of Ellery Navo during a surgery at Bingham Memorial Hospital (“BMH”). At trial, Appellants argued that BMH was liable both for its own negligence and for the negligent actions of certified nurse anesthetist Ryan Sayre (“Sayre”), an independent contractor who administered anesthesia services at BMH. Appellants supported their claim that BMH itself had been negligent with expert testimony from Dr. Samuel Steinberg. The district court held, inter alia, that: (1) Dr. Steinberg’s testimony was inadmissible because Appellants had failed to provide evidence that he was familiar with the relevant local standard of care; (2) Appellants had failed to provide any evidence that BMH employees had acted negligently; (3) Appellants had failed to plead that Sayre was an agent of BMH under a theory of apparent authority; (4) even if Appellants had properly pleaded a theory of apparent authority, they failed to provide evidence sufficient to create an issue of material fact; and (5) BMH was not entitled to discretionary costs, including attorney fees. After review, the Supreme Court found that the district court erred in holding that Appellants were barred from arguing "apparent authority in response the BMH's motion for summary judgment. Furthermore, the Court concluded the district court erred in finding no genuine issue of material facts existed as to whether Sayre was BMH's agent under "apparent authority." The Supreme Court vacated the grant of summary judgment and the award of costs and fees and remanded this case for further proceedings. View "Navo v. Bingham Memorial Hospital" on Justia Law