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Millard v. Corrado

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern Division
14 S.W.3d 42 (1999)


Facts

Dr. Joseph Corrado (defendant) was a general surgeon with active staff privileges at Audrain Medical Center (AMC) and was the hospital’s “on call” surgeon. Prior to leaving for an out-of-town meeting, Corrado had asked Dr. Ben Jolly to “fill in” for him during his on call shift. However, Jolly did not have privileges at AMC to perform general surgery. Corrado did not notify anyone else at AMC that he would not be at AMC to cover his shift. Later that morning, Millard was involved in an automobile accident in which she suffered internal bleeding and other critical injuries. After EMTs had stabilized Millard, they had to decide which hospital to transport her to. AMC was approximately 14 miles away from their location while the University of Missouri Medical Center was about 25 miles away. EMTs chose to transport Millard to AMC because it was known to have a 24-hour emergency room staffed with an on call general surgeon and equipment needed to handle trauma cases. EMTs radioed ahead and informed AMC that they were coming with Millard, but AMC did not respond to the EMT’s message. Upon arriving at AMC, Millard was treated while Corrado was paged twice without responding. Jolly and another physician evaluated Millard and agreed that she required surgery, but they were not eligible to perform it. Shortly thereafter, Corrado responded to his page, was briefly told about Millard’s condition, and suggested that she be transported to the University of Missouri Medical Center for surgery. Millard was transferred and underwent surgery approximately four hours after the accident occurred. Millard had suffered extreme internal bleeding and loss of use of her left kidney, gallbladder, colon, and part of her small intestine. Millard brought suit against Corrado alleging negligence and seeking damages. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Corrado because Millard failed to establish the presence of a patient-physician relationship. Millard appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (not provided.)

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Concurrence (Teitelman, J.)

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