394 F.3d 40 (1st Cir. 2005), 03-2385, Rojas-Ithier v. Sociedad Espanola de Auxilio Mutuo y Beneficiencia de Puerto Rico

Docket Nº:03-2385.
Citation:394 F.3d 40
Party Name:Darlene I. ROJAS-ITHIER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. SOCIEDAD ESPANOLA DE AUXILIO MUTUO Y BENEFICIENCIA DE PUERTO RICO, Defendant and Third Party Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Sindicato de Aseguradores de Impericia Medico Hospitalaria; Cecilia Mendez-Martir, Third Party Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:January 06, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
 
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Page 40

394 F.3d 40 (1st Cir. 2005)

Darlene I. ROJAS-ITHIER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

SOCIEDAD ESPANOLA DE AUXILIO MUTUO Y BENEFICIENCIA DE PUERTO RICO, Defendant and Third Party Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Sindicato de Aseguradores de Impericia Medico Hospitalaria; Cecilia Mendez-Martir, Third Party Defendants-Appellees.

No. 03-2385.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

January 6, 2005

Heard Nov. 10, 2004

Page 41

Dennis J. Cruz Perez, for Third Party Plaintiff-Appellant.

Maria Z. Trigo-Ferraiuoli, with whom Ramonita Dieppa Gonzales, was on brief, for Third Party Defendants-Appellees.

Before BOUDIN, Chief Judge, HOWARD, Circuit Judge, CARTER, [*] Senior District Judge.

CARTER, Senior District Judge.

Defendant-Third Party Plaintiff Sociedad Espanola de Auxilio Mutuo y Beneficiencia de Puerto Rico (hereinafter "Hospital") appeals from an order of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico granting third party defendant Dr. Celia Mendez Martir's Motion for Summary Judgment. Finding no error, we affirm.

Page 42

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiffs Darlene Rojas-Ithier and Victor Varela Teron initiated this medical malpractice action following the death of their infant son.

Rojas was admitted to the Hospital on March 3, 2000, after a series of pregnancy complications, including a threatened abortion at twelve weeks' gestation, first trimester bleeding, a urinary tract infection, and premature rupture of membranes. During this hospital stay, Rojas was ordered to remain in bed by her obstetrician, Dr. Mendez. At approximately 2:00 AM on April 26, 2000, twenty-nine weeks into the pregnancy, Dr. Mendez was notified at home by the attending nurses that Rojas was having gas pain and abdominal pain. Although Dr. Mendez ordered the hospital staff to keep Rojas under strict bed rest, Rojas moved from her bed to the adjacent bathroom in an effort to relieve her gas pains.

While in the bathroom, Rojas delivered her baby into the toilet. The baby boy remained in the toilet for an undetermined period of time before being discovered. Thereafter, a neonatologist attempted to resuscitate the baby, but his efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful. Approximately eleven hours after the live birth, the baby was pronounced dead.

Plaintiffs brought this diversity suit 1 against the Hospital on February 6, 2002. Defendant Hospital subsequently brought a third party complaint against Dr. Mendez and her insurance carrier, Sindicato de Aseguradores de Impericia Medico Hospitalaria. The district court, finding no genuine issues of material fact, granted Dr. Mendez's Motion for Summary Judgment. 2 This appeal followed.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review the grant of summary judgment de novo, applying the same standard as did the district court. Leon v. Municipality of San Juan, 320 F.3d 69, 71 (1st Cir. 2003).

The objective of summary judgment "is to pierce the boilerplate of the pleadings and assay the parties' proof in order to determine whether trial is actually required." Wynne v. Tufts Univ. Sch. of Med., 976 F.2d 791, 794 (1st Cir. 1992). Summary judgment is...

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