Wiseman v. Alliant Hospitals, Inc., No. 1999-SC-0970-DG.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtGraves
Citation37 S.W.3d 709
PartiesDeborah WISEMAN, Appellant, v. ALLIANT HOSPITALS, INC.; Mario V. Ulfe, MD; Guari & Ulfe PSC, Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 1999-SC-0970-DG.
Decision Date22 November 2000
37 S.W.3d 709
Deborah WISEMAN, Appellant,
v.
ALLIANT HOSPITALS, INC.; Mario V. Ulfe, MD; Guari & Ulfe PSC, Appellees.
No. 1999-SC-0970-DG.
Supreme Court of Kentucky.
November 22, 2000.
Rehearing Denied March 22, 2001.

Page 710

Lee E. Sitlinger, Louisville, for appellant.

Frank P. Hilliard, Ed Monarch, Donald W. Darby, David B. Gazak, Louisville, for appellee.

GRAVES, Justice.


The Jefferson Circuit Court entered a summary judgment dismissing Appellant Deborah Wiseman's medical malpractice complaint on the grounds that, as a matter of law and pursuant to the discovery rule, Appellant failed to file her action within the applicable limitations period. The Court of Appeals affirmed. We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and remand to the Jefferson Circuit Court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

On August 30, 1989, Appellee, Dr. Mario Ulfe, who was Appellant's gynecologist for nearly fifteen (15) years, excised a portion of Appellant's cervical tissue (conization)

Page 711

and performed a dilatation and curettage (D & C) procedure. Immediately following the surgery, Appellant complained of pain in the area of the coccyx (tailbone). Dr. Ulfe advised Appellant that the surgery should not cause such pain, and noted that the pain would likely disappear once the packing was removed from the cervical area. During a post-operative check-up, Appellant continued to complain of pain. Dr. Ulfe performed a pelvic examination which established that Appellant's postoperative condition was good, and did not disclose the source of her pain. At that time, Appellant inquired about a possible injury to her tailbone having occurred during the surgery.

In September 1989, Appellant consulted her family doctor, Dr. Hilgeford, who diagnosed a broken tailbone. He repositioned the bone and prescribed muscle relaxers and pain pills for relief.

In 1990, Appellant moved to Georgia. Over the next four to five years, she continued to experience pain in her lower back. Her new gynecologist attributed the pain to Appellant's history of a broken tailbone, explaining that the surrounding area evidently had a tendency to become inflamed. In November 1995, a cyst, or boil, developed on the back of Appellant's left leg and she sought medical treatment from her husband's doctor, Dr. Krauss, who lanced the area and packed it. When the area continued to drain and would not heal, Appellant's gynecologist referred her to a surgeon, Dr. Richard Cummings.

On January 16, 1996, Dr. Cummings examined Appellant and diagnosed a lesion on her buttocks about the size of a nickel and chronic draining in her gluteal area. He observed acute inflammation and subsequently explored the area under local anesthesia. In his deposition, Dr. Cummings testified that when he opened the infected area, he discovered a piece of a metal medical instrument, approximately three to four centimeters in length, located one-half inch to three-quarters inch under the surface of the skin. The object was later determined to be part of a surgical instrument, specifically, the tip of a uterine probe. Dr. Cummings removed the piece of metal and gave it to Appellant. Dr. Cummings stated that he did not know how the metal came to be in Appellant's body at that location.

On December 16, 1996, eleven months after Dr. Cummings discovered the piece of metal in Appellant's leg, Appellant filed a medical malpractice action against Dr. Ulfe and Norton Hospital. Appellant alleged that during the cervical conization and D & C procedure performed in 1989, Dr. Ulfe left a part of the uterine probe inside her uterus, which eventually migrated to the area of her left leg.

Dr. Ulfe filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that Appellant's own deposition testimony established that she had knowledge of some type of an injury within weeks of, if not immediately following, the conization procedure, and further, that she strongly suspected the origin...

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92 practice notes
  • Sidney Coal Co., Inc. v. Massanari, No. CIV.A.01-76-DCR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • July 23, 2002
    ...by the legal negligence became fixed and non-speculative." Id. at 234 (emphasis added). Similarly, in Wiseman v. Alliant Hospitals, Inc., 37 S.W.3d 709 (Ky.2000), the Court found that the difference between "harm" and "injury" was controlling. The court held that an "injury," for the purpos......
  • Emberton v. Gmri, Inc., No. 2007-SC-000443-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 29, 2009
    ...[that the limitations period began to run]. That's the way I'm going to rule on it ... I think that the Wiseman [v. Alliant Hospitals, 37 S.W.3d 709 (Ky.2000)] case is enough on point in this matter that it's within the statute of limitations. So I'm going to overrule the motion for summary......
  • Grubbs v. Barbourville Family Health Etc., No. 2001-SC-0563-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • August 21, 2003
    ...is first discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered[.]"); Wiseman v. Alliant Hospitals, Inc., Ky. 37 S.W.3d 709, 712 (2001) ("`Injury,'... is defined as `the invasion of any legally protected interest of another.' Thus, injury in the medical malpractice con......
  • Repub. Bank & Trust Co. v. Bear Stearns & Co. Inc, Civil Action No. 3:09-CV-287-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • April 13, 2010
    ...v. Daniel, 471 S.W.2d 25, 26 (Ky.1971). See also, e.g., Dixon v. Clem, 492 F.3d 665, 671 (6th Cir.2007); Wiseman v. Alliant Hosps., Inc., 37 S.W.3d 709, 712 (Ky.2000). Even granting Republic a few weeks or even months to exercise ordinary diligence in reading the offering documents once the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
92 cases
  • Sidney Coal Co., Inc. v. Massanari, No. CIV.A.01-76-DCR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • July 23, 2002
    ...by the legal negligence became fixed and non-speculative." Id. at 234 (emphasis added). Similarly, in Wiseman v. Alliant Hospitals, Inc., 37 S.W.3d 709 (Ky.2000), the Court found that the difference between "harm" and "injury" was controlling. The court held that an "injury," for the purpos......
  • Emberton v. Gmri, Inc., No. 2007-SC-000443-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 29, 2009
    ...[that the limitations period began to run]. That's the way I'm going to rule on it ... I think that the Wiseman [v. Alliant Hospitals, 37 S.W.3d 709 (Ky.2000)] case is enough on point in this matter that it's within the statute of limitations. So I'm going to overrule the motion for summary......
  • Grubbs v. Barbourville Family Health Etc., No. 2001-SC-0563-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • August 21, 2003
    ...is first discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered[.]"); Wiseman v. Alliant Hospitals, Inc., Ky. 37 S.W.3d 709, 712 (2001) ("`Injury,'... is defined as `the invasion of any legally protected interest of another.' Thus, injury in the medical malpractice con......
  • Repub. Bank & Trust Co. v. Bear Stearns & Co. Inc, Civil Action No. 3:09-CV-287-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • April 13, 2010
    ...v. Daniel, 471 S.W.2d 25, 26 (Ky.1971). See also, e.g., Dixon v. Clem, 492 F.3d 665, 671 (6th Cir.2007); Wiseman v. Alliant Hosps., Inc., 37 S.W.3d 709, 712 (Ky.2000). Even granting Republic a few weeks or even months to exercise ordinary diligence in reading the offering documents once the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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