Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, INC., BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE HEALTH; BSW HEALTH SERVICES AND WILLIAM P. SHUTZE, M.D., Appellants
BAHRAUM DANIEL DANESHFAR, M.D., Appellee
Appeal from the 191st Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-15-11793-J
Justices Francis, Myers, and Whitehill
case concerns whether a medical resident who is terminated
from a hospital's fellowship program and brings suit for
wrongful termination is subject to the expert-report
requirements of section 74.351 of the Civil Practice and
Remedies Code. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code
Ann. § 74.351. Baylor University Medical Center, Inc.,
Baylor Scott & White Health, BSW Health Services,
(collectively "Baylor") and William P. Shutze, M.D.
appeal the trial court's denial of their motion to
dismiss the suit brought by Bahraum Daniel Daneshfar, M.D.
under section 74.351 because Daneshfar failed to serve an
expert report. We affirm the trial court's order denying
the motion to dismiss.
2013, Daneshfar entered into a fellowship residency program
at Baylor studying vascular surgery. The hospital placed
Daneshfar under the tutelage of Shutze, the director of the
program. As part of the program, Shutze was supposed to give
Daneshfar a review every six months. However, Shutze did not
perform the review until April 2014 despite Daneshfar's
repeated requests for the review. At that first review,
Shutze told Daneshfar he personally did not like him and did
not respect him as a medical associate. Shutze required
Daneshfar to work far more shifts and on-call periods than
the other residents.
December 2014, Daneshfar asked Shutze to give him the
required review, but Shutze refused. Shutze also berated and
belittled Daneshfar in front of others and repeatedly
threatened to fire Daneshfar if he complained about
Shutze's behavior to the Graduate Medical Education
requested a meeting with Baylor's Designated
Institutional Officer for the Graduate Medical Education
Office to air his grievances with the fellowship program and
Shutze. However, at the meeting, which Shutze also attended,
Daneshfar was not allowed to air his grievances and was told
he was on probation because of unsatisfactory performance.
After the meeting, Shutze told Daneshfar there was nothing he
could do to get off probation. Shutze refused to meet further
with Daneshfar despite the requirements of Daneshfar's
contract with Baylor and the requirements of the Graduate
Medical Education program.
retained an attorney who sent a cease-and-desist letter to
Baylor. Daneshfar also sent Baylor a complaint that he
threatened to submit to the Accreditation Council for
Graduate Medical Education, which oversees and certifies
post-graduate medical education programs, including
Baylor's residency programs. Baylor then terminated
Daneshfar from the fellowship program. Daneshfar followed
Baylor's internal administrative-review process, but he
was not reinstated.
sued Baylor and Shutze for breach of contract, negligence,
wrongful discharge, breach of fiduciary duty, assisting or
encouraging a breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy to breach
a fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, tortious
interference with contract, duress, and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. Eight months later, Baylor
and Shutze filed a motion to dismiss Daneshfar's claims
asserting the claims were health care liability claims and
that Daneshfar did not serve them with an expert report as
required by section 74.351 of the Civil Practice and Remedies
Code. See Civ. Prac. § 74.351(a), (b). The
trial court held a hearing on the motion to dismiss and
denied it. Baylor and Shutze now bring this interlocutory
appeal contending the trial court erred by denying the motion
to dismiss. See Civ. Prac. § 51.014(a)(9).
EXPERT-REPORT REQUIREMENT OF § 74.351
their sole issue on appeal, appellants contend the trial
court erred by denying their motion to dismiss because
Daneshfar's claims are health care liability claims
requiring him to serve appellants with expert reports, which
he failed to do.
case requires interpretation of statutes. When construing
statutes, we attempt to ascertain and effectuate the
legislature's intent. City of San Antonio v. City of
Boerne, 111 S.W.3d 22, 25 (Tex. 2003). We start with the
plain and ordinary meaning of the statute's words.
Id. If a statute is unambiguous, we generally
enforce it according to its plain meaning. Id. We
read the statute as a whole and interpret it so as to give
effect to every part. Id.; see also
Phillips v. Bramlett, 288 S.W.3d 876, 880 (Tex.
2009) ("We further try to give effect to all the words
of a statute, treating none of its language as surplusage
when reasonably possible."). We apply a de novo standard
of review to the trial court's interpretation of
statutes. Levinson Alcoser Assocs., L.P. v. El Pistolon
II, Ltd., 513 S.W.3d 487, 493 (Tex. 2017).
74.351 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code provides,
"In a health care liability claim, a claimant shall . .
. serve on [each defendant or the defendant's attorney]
one or more expert reports . . . for each physician or health
care provider against whom a liability claim is
asserted." Civ. Prac. § 74.351(a). The expert
report must be served within 120 days after the defendant
files its answer. Id. If the expert report is not
timely served, then, on motion of the affected physician or
health care provider, the trial court must dismiss the claim
with prejudice to refiling and award the physician or health
care provider its ...