Texas justices keep Heritage House Nursing locked in med-mal

By David Yates | Jan 18, 2017

FORT WORTH – The Second Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court’s ruling to not grant a motion to dismiss a medical malpractice complaint against a nursing facility.

The ruling stems from a 2014 complaint brought by John Koutsoufis, who sued Heritage House at Keller Nursing and Rehabilitation, among other defendants, on behalf of the estate of Niki Koutsoufis.

Niki, who was recovering from a stroke, was a patient at Heritage House and suffered from dehydration and urinary tract infection because of the nursing facilities alleged negligent care, which contributed to her death in March 2014, the suit states.

Court records show Heritage House moved to dismiss the claim, arguing the plaintiff’s amended expert report failed to satisfy the requirements of Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Heritage House contended the report did not adequately describe its standard of care, how it breached the standard, and how any such breach caused Niki’s injuries or death.

When the trial court denied the motion to dismiss, Heritage House filed an appeal on July 5 in the Second Court, court records show.

On Jan. 12, justices issued a memorandum opinion affirming the lower court’s ruling, finding the court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion.

“We conclude that the amended report’s explanation of how Heritage House’s alleged failures to monitor Niki’s fluid intake and outflow resulted in dehydration and UTIs and how those conditions required her hospitalization provides a fair summary of (the expert’s) opinions concerning causation of suffering before her death,” the opinion states.

The plaintiff seeks damages for Niki’s physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, and medical expenses.

He is represented in part by Dallas attorney Curtis Clinesmith.

Heritage House is represented by Nichol Bunn and Amber Pickett, attorneys for the Dallas law firm Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith.

The case was filed in Tarrant County District Court, case No. 141-274095-14

Appeals case No. 02-16-00227-CV

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