in the Court of Appeals 28 March 2019.
by Plaintiff from order entered 25 May 2018 by Judge Jesse B.
Caldwell III in Lincoln County No. 17-CvS-402 Superior Court.
Melrose Law, PLLC, by Mark R. Melrose and Adam R. Melrose,
for the Plaintiff.
Roberts & Stevens, P.A., by Phillip T. Jackson and
Elizabeth T. Dechant, for the Defendant.
Anita Kathleen Parkes appeals from an order granting summary
judgment on her medical malpractice claim in favor of
Defendant James Howard Hermann ("Dr. Hermann"). We
affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Dr.
Hermann as Ms. Parkes failed to show evidence of proximate
evidence in the light most favorable to Ms. Parkes shows as
Parkes exhibited signs of a stroke just after midnight on 24
August 2014. Her family transported her to the emergency room
of a nearby hospital, arriving shortly before 2:00 A.M. The
proper protocol where a patient presents herself for
treatment within three hours of suffering a stroke is to
administer Alteplase, a tissue plasminogen activator,
(hereinafter "tPA"). Where this drug is
administered within three hours of the onset of a stroke, a
patient who would otherwise suffer lasting neurological
effects has a 40% chance of an improved neurological outcome.
Ms. Parkes arrived at the hospital, she was seen immediately
by Dr. Hermann, who was the on-duty emergency physician. Dr.
Hermann failed to properly diagnose that Ms. Parkes had
suffered a stroke; and, accordingly, he did not administer
tPA within the three-hour window. Ms. Parkes continues to
suffer adverse neurological effects, such as diminished
mobility, from her stroke.
Hermann properly diagnosed the stroke, the standard of care
would have dictated that he administer tPA. If tPA had been
administered, Ms. Parkes would have had a 40% chance of a
better neurological outcome than the outcome that she, in
fact, is experiencing.
tPA was not available at the local hospital where Ms. Parkes
was seen, she would have needed to be transported to the
nearest hospital where tPA could be administered. Thus,
prompt diagnosis of the stroke was crucial to arrange tPA
therapy within the three-hour period.
April 2017, Ms. Parkes brought this medical malpractice
negligence action against Dr. Hermann, claiming that her
chance for an improved neurological outcome was diminished by
Dr. Hermann's failure to diagnose her stroke and
administer tPA. Dr. Hermann moved for summary judgment on the
grounds that Ms. Parkes did not satisfy the "proximate
cause" element of her claim. Specifically, Dr. Hermann
argues that Ms. Parkes failed to establish that she more
likely than not (greater than 50% likelihood) would be
better but for Dr. Hermann's negligent conduct.
hearing on the matter, the trial court entered summary
judgment in favor of Dr. ...