Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
JEFFREY LYNCH, THE MCKINNEY DENTIST AND MATTHEW MARKHAM, D.D.S., Appellants
MICHAEL BELL AND LISA ANN BELL, Appellees
Appeal from the 199th Judicial District Court Collin County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. 199-03485-2016
Justices Lang, Brown, and Whitehill
a Chapter 74 expert report case. Appellees sued appellants
for dental malpractice. Appellants objected to appellees'
expert report and moved to dismiss. The trial court overruled
the objections and denied the dismissal motions. Appellants
appeal from those rulings. Because appellees' expert
report is conclusory as to causation, we reverse the trial
court's order and remand for further proceedings.
Michael Bell and his wife Lisa, allege these facts in their
December 2014, Michael visited appellant The McKinney Dentist
because Michael's bridge had come out. He was examined by
appellant Matthew Markham, D.D.S. X-rays taken during the
visit showed that Michael had "severe bone loss."
Markham was very concerned about the bone loss and wanted to
consult with appellant Jeffrey Lynch, D.D.S. about
follow up consultation, Markham told Michael that he and
Lynch had reviewed Michael's x-rays and confirmed that he
suffered from degenerative bone disease. Although both
Markham and Lynch concluded that Michael had "an
infection from periodontitis, " they did not tell the
Bells this. Nor did they advise him to seek treatment for the
March 2015, Michael was suffering from symptoms such as
shortness of breath, dizziness, and extreme fatigue. So he
went to see his family practitioner. Because that doctor was
out of town, Michael saw a different doctor who diagnosed
Michael with an inner ear infection and prescribed an
antibiotic and Flonase.
symptoms worsened in early April, and he went to his normal
doctor. That doctor immediately sent him to Texas
Presbyterian in Allen for chest x-rays. There, Michael went
into respiratory arrest. Doctors intubated him, diagnosed him
with a tear in his aortic valve, and sent him to Texas
Presbyterian in Dallas for open heart surgery. The surgeon
removed 40% of Michael's heart and replaced his aortic
valve with a bovine valve.
Bells allege that the infection in Michael's mouth
attacked his heart and caused the heart problems that were
treated in early April 2015.
Bells sued appellants for negligence in treating Michael.
They timely served on appellants Robbie W. Henwood,
D.D.S.'s expert report and curriculum vitae.
and The McKinney Dentist filed a joint objection to and
dismissal motion attacking Henwood's report. Markham did
so separately. The Bells responded that Henwood's report
was adequate but also requested an opportunity to cure any
trial court held a hearing and later signed an order
overruling appellants' objections and denying their
perfected this interlocutory appeal. See Tex. Civ.
Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 51.014(a)(9). Lynch and The
McKinney Dentist filed a joint notice of appeal and joint
appellate briefs. Markham filed a separate notice of appeal
and appellate briefs.
and The McKinney Dentist present two issues arguing that the
trial court erred by denying their motion to dismiss because
(i) Henwood is not qualified to supply causation opinions in
this case and (ii) Henwood's causation opinions are
in two issues argues that (i) Henwood's report is
conclusory as to all three elements a Chapter 74 expert
report must address and (ii) Henwood is not qualified to
supply causation opinions in this case.