Dove v. Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, Inc. (305 Ga.App. 13)
- Dove v. Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, Inc. (305 Ga.App. 13)
Plaintiff (Appellee) – Dove, Representing the estate of Ann Royston (Deceased)Defendant (Appellant) – Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, Inc.
- Court of Appeals of Georgia (2010)
- PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
On May 22, 2007, Ann Royston Dove, on behalf of her deceased mother, filed a malpractice suit against Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, operator of the nursing home Dove’s mother resided in prior to her death. Cobb filed a motion for partial summary judgment. The trial court granted Cobb’s motion. Dove appealed.
- SUMMARY OF FACTS:
Ann Royston was admitted to defendant nursing home on July 5, 2000 at the age of 81 after she suffered a debilitating heart attack. Shortly after being admitted, Dove began to suspect that the staff at the nursing home was not being attentive to her mother’s needs.
Between December 2000 and 2005, Royston suffered 5 broken hips, the nursing home contended, from falling out of her bed. Royston also suffered bouts of rapid weight loss, bedsores, bruises, a broken ankle. There were also numerous other occasions when Royston’s bed was left wet and she fell over her bedrails. Royston passed away on February 16, 2007. On May 22, 2007, Dove filed suit alleging that the nursing home had deviated from the professional standard of care in her mother’s treatment.
Dove later amended her complaint to allege that they nursing home engaged in fraud by misrepresenting that her mother’s broken hips were caused by her falls out of the bed and by falsifying her medical records.
Cobb filed a motion for partial summary judgment arguing that any alleged incidents that occurred prior to May 22, 2005 were barred by a 2 year statute of limitations.
- OUTCOME AT TRIAL:
The trial court ruled in favor of Cobb, finding that Cobb’s alleged fraud did not deter Dove from bringing an action.
- ISSUES ON APPEAL:
Did the nursing home’s assertion that Royston’s broken hips were caused by falls from her bed amount to fraud that would toll the statute of limitations for the negligence claims?
- SUPREME COURT HOLDINGS:
- RELEVANT APPLICATION OF LAW:
“Even if evidence of fraud exists, the statute of limitations id not tolled when the plaintiff knew all facts necessary to show malpractice before the running of the period of limitation.”
- Hendrix v. Schrecengost, 183 Ga.App. 201