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Beamon v. Mahadevan

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 17, 2014

BEAMON et al.
v.
MAHADEVAN

Medical malpractice. Fulton State Court. Before Judge Edlein.

Simanovsky & Associates, Alexander Simanovsky, Zachary C. Meeks, for appellants.

Allen, McCain & O'Mahony, Gary R. McCain, Joscelyn M. Hughes, for appellee.

DOYLE, Presiding Judge. Miller and Dillard, JJ., concur.

OPINION

DOYLE, Presiding Judge.

Page 99

Charles and Teddy Beamon appeal from the grant of summary judgment to Dr. Chalam Mahadevan in their medical malpractice suit against him following Charles's coronary artery bypass surgery. The Beamons contend that the trial court erred by (1) applying an incorrect starting date for the two-year statute of limitation for Charles's medical malpractice claim and (2) applying the wrong [329 Ga.App. 686] statute of limitation to Teddy's loss of consortium claim. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. OCGA § 9-11-56 (c). A de novo standard of review applies to an appeal from a grant of summary judgment, and we view the evidence, and all reasonable conclusions and inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the nonmovant.[1]

So viewed, the record shows that on October 16, 2007, Charles went to the doctor for what he thought was severe indigestion, and based on the results of an electrocardiogram, he was immediately sent to the hospital. Doctors there determined that Charles needed cardiac bypass surgery and a mitral valve replacement. On October 24, 2007, Mahadevan performed a four-vessel coronary artery bypass and mitral valve replacement. The Beamons allege that during the surgery Mahadevan negligently replaced Charles's poorly performing mitral valve with a bioprosthetic one that was undersized for the application. The Beamons also allege that the valve was negligently sutured into leaflet tissue as opposed to the proper tissue, the annulus of the heart.

By March 2008, Charles had begun experiencing troubling shortness of breath, deep fatigue, and exhaustion during routine tasks such as walking to the mailbox. He also experienced lower extremity swelling that had never occurred before. Over the next several months, Charles continued to experience symptoms, and according to his deposition testimony, " it just seemed like all my energy and everything was deteriorating more." His symptoms continued to worsen, and by June 2008, he was experiencing dizziness and " a lot of chest pains" and was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and a heart murmur.

In March 2009, after suffering continued symptoms, Charles underwent a transesophageal echocardiogram that showed a significant heart valve leak. The next week, Charles underwent surgery to replace the existing 27-millimeter bioprosthetic valve with a 31-millimeter one. During the surgery, the surgeon observed that the first replacement valve had not been sutured properly to the heart's annulus tissue.

[329 Ga.App. 687] In December 2010, the Beamons sued the original surgeon, Mahadevan, later voluntarily dismissing the complaint and filing a renewal action in October 2011, seeking damages for medical malpractice and loss of consortium. Mahadevan answered, and following discovery, Mahadevan moved for summary judgment on statute of limitation grounds. Following a hearing, the trial court granted Mahadevan's motion as to both claims, ruling that the date of the injury to Charles was the October 2007 surgery, so his December 2010 complaint was time barred by the two-year statute of limitation

Page 100

for medical malpractice claims. The Beamons ...


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