Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
JENNIFER SAMPSON, INDIVIDUALLY; AS AREPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF SINDY JEAN HAMILTON; AND AS GUARDIAN OF JEANETTE BURTON AND SONYA HOLLIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF JANET MEYERS, APPELLANTS
EAST TEXAS MEDICAL CENTERTYLER, APPELLEE
Appeal from the 7th District Court of Smith County, Texas
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
T. Worthen, Chief Justice.
Sampson, Individually, as Representative of the Estate of
Sindy Hamilton, and as Guardian of Jeanette Burton, and Sonya
Hollis, Individually and as Representative of the Estate of
Janet Meyers appeal the trial court's order excluding
their expert and dismissing their cause of action. They
present three issues on appeal. We affirm.
and Hollis filed this health care liability claim against
East Texas Medical Center Tyler (ETMC) alleging ETMC was
negligent in the care of two patients. According to Sampson
and Hollis, ETMC's negligence caused the patients to
develop bedsores. Pursuant to Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil
Practice and Remedies Code, Sampson and Hollis served ETMC
with two expert reports and a curriculum vitae from their
expert, Martha Sanford, Ph.D., R.N. ETMC filed a motion to
dismiss with prejudice on grounds that the reports and
curriculum vitae did not establish Sanford's
qualifications to offer the tendered opinions and that the
opinions contained in the reports were insufficient. Sampson
and Hollis replied to the motion alleging that Sanford was
qualified to offer her opinions because she is a nurse.
conducting an oral hearing, but after the submission date
contained in ETMC's motion per the applicable local rules
of Smith County, the trial court granted ETMC's motion to
dismiss. Sampson and Hollis filed a motion for new trial
arguing that Sanford was a qualified expert under the Texas
Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The motion for new trial
was overruled by operation of law. This appeal followed.
of Expert Reports
their first issue, Sampson and Hollis contend the trial court
erred in excluding Sanford's expert testimony. They argue
that Sanford is qualified to render expert opinions under the
Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.
court's decision to grant or deny a motion to dismiss
under section 74.351 of the civil practice and remedies code
is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. See Am.
Transitional Care Ctrs. of Tex., Inc. v. Palacios, 46
S.W.3d 873, 875 (Tex. 2001); Tenet Hosps., Ltd. v.
Boada, 304 S.W.3d 528, 533 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2009, pet.
denied). A trial court only abuses its discretion when it
acts in an unreasonable or arbitrary manner, without
reference to any guiding rules or principles. See Walker
v. Gutierrez, 111 S.W.3d 56, 62 (Tex. 2003);
Boada, 304 S.W.3d at 533. A trial court acts
arbitrarily and unreasonably if it could have reached only
one decision, but instead reached a different one. See
Teixeira v. Hall, 107 S.W.3d 805, 807 (Tex.
App.-Texarkana 2003, no pet.); Boada, 304 S.W.3d at
533. A trial court also abuses its discretion when it fails
to analyze or apply the law correctly. In re Sw. Bell
Tel. Co. L.P., 226 S.W.3d 400, 403 (Tex. 2007) (citing
In re Kuntz, 124 S.W.3d 179, 181 (Tex. 2003));
Boada, 304 S.W.3d at 533. A trial court does not
abuse its discretion merely because it decides a matter
within its discretion differently than a reviewing court.
Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701 S.W.2d
238, 242 (Tex. 1985).
health care liability claim, the claimant shall serve on each
party, or the party's attorney, one or more expert
reports with a curriculum vitae of each expert listed in the
report for each physician or health care provider against
whom a liability claim is asserted. Tex. Civ. Prac. &
Rem. Code Ann. § 74.351(a) (West 2017). The statute
defines an expert report as follows:
a written report by an expert that provides a fair summary of
the expert's opinions as of the date of the report
regarding applicable standards of care, the manner in which
the care rendered by the physician or health care provider
failed to meet the standards, and the causal ...