Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
Aundria HINOJOSA and Florencio Hinojosa, V, Individually as Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Florencio Hinojosa, VI, Deceased and on Behalf of the Estate of Florencio Hinojosa, VI, Deceased, Appellants
Sophia Anita KOEN, M.D.; Sophia A. Koen, M.D., P.A.; and Christus Spohn Health System Corporation d/b/a Christus Spohn Hospital Alice, Appellees
the 79th Judicial District Court, Jim Wells County, Texas
Trial Court No. 15-07-54935-CV Honorable Richard C. Terrell,
Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Irene Rios, Justice Beth
and Florencio Hinojosa (the "Hinojosas") appeal a
no-evidence summary judgment granted in favor of Sophia Anita
Koen M.D. and Sophia A. Koen M.D., P.A. (the "Koen
Defendants") and Christus Spohn Health System
Corporation d/b/a Christus Spohn Hospital Alice
("Christus"). We affirm the trial court's
Hinojosas, as surviving parents, filed a health care
liability action against the Koen Defendants and Christus,
alleging the Koen Defendants were negligent in the care and
treatment of their son, Florencio Hinojosa VI, through the
acts and omissions of Dr. Koen. They alleged Christus, acting
through its agents, employees, and hospital staff, including
Dr. Koen, was negligent in the care and treatment of their
son. The Hinojosas further alleged the negligence of the Koen
Defendants and Christus proximately caused their injuries and
Koen Defendants and Christus separately moved for no-evidence
summary judgment, requiring the Hinojosas to produce evidence
that the Koen Defendants were willfully and wantonly
negligent and, in the alternative, that the Koen
Defendants engaged in ordinary negligence, that is, breached
an applicable standard of care and the breach proximately
caused the Hinojosas' injuries. Christus also moved for
no-evidence summary judgment on the basis that Dr. Koen was
not an actual or ostensible agent or employee of Christus.
The Hinojosas filed a single response to the no-evidence
summary judgment motions and attached the following exhibits:
the written report of Terrance Baker M.D. and the depositions
of Aundria Hinojosa, Florencio Hinojosa V, Sophia Anita Koen
M.D., Heather Gibson Elizondo R.N., and Kimberly Morris R.N.
Additionally, the Hinojosas filed a motion for late
designation of Dr. Baker as an expert, which was granted by
the trial court.
Koen Defendants and Christus lodged some of the same
objections to the Hinojosas' summary judgment evidence.
Both the Koen Defendants and Christus objected to Dr.
Baker's report on the ground that it was improper summary
judgment evidence because it was unsworn, and both objected
to the remaining summary judgment evidence on the ground that
the Hinojosas' response failed to specifically identify
the portions of the summary judgment evidence that they were
relying on to support their claims.
trial court sustained all the Koen Defendants and
Christus's objections to the Hinojosas' summary
judgment evidence, except objections that Dr. Baker was not
timely designated as an expert. The trial court granted the
no-evidence summary judgment motions. The Hinojosas appealed.
Hinojosas present two issues on appeal. In their first issue,
the Hinojosas contend the trial court erred by granting
no-evidence summary judgment against them because the
evidence they submitted raised genuine issues of material
fact as to the elements of their medical negligence claims.
In their second issue, the Hinojosas contend the trial court
erred in sustaining some of the Koen Defendants and
Christus's objections to the summary judgment evidence
and in excluding this evidence from the summary judgment
determining if the trial court erred in granting no-evidence
summary judgment, we determine if the trial court erred in
excluding evidence from the summary judgment record.
appeal, the Hinojosas present two complaints about the trial
court's evidentiary rulings. First, the Hinojosas argue
the trial court erred in excluding Dr. Baker's written
report because it qualified as an unsworn declaration which
may be used in lieu of a sworn affidavit. See Tex.
Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 132.001. Second, the
Hinojosas argue the trial court erred in ...