Case No. A93A2452
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Varsha Mandiga on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BUSA 2106 at Georgia State University taught by Grelecki in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views.
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Date Created: 03/10/16
Varsha Mandiga CLARK v. ARRAS et al. FACTS Case No. A93A2452. When: Decided March 15 , 1994. th Reconsideration Denied March 31 , 1994. Where: Court of Appeals of Georgia. Who: Appellant – Clark & Clark, Fred S. Clark. Appellees – Lane & Crowe, Donald B. Napier, Whelchel, Brown, Readdick & Bumgartner, Terry L. Readdick, Richard K. Strickland. COOPER, Judge. What: This appeal arises out of an action brought by plaintiff against Dr. Milton Arras, the county medical examiner, and Dr. Abram Brown, the county coroner. In her complaint, plaintiff asserted a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of an autopsy performed on her stillborn fetus. The trial court granted summary judgment to both defendants, and this appeal follows. ISSUE(S) Because the second miscarriage appeared unexplained, Dr. Arras performed an autopsy on plaintiff's stillborn fetus. Plaintiff contended in her complaint that Dr. Arras, in conjunction with Dr. Brown, performed the autopsy by mistake and without her permission, causing her mental distress, pain and anguish. Plaintiff argues that summary judgment should not have been granted to defendants because Dr. Arras admitted that he performed the autopsy on the wrong fetus. The record does not support plaintiff's argument. Dr. Arras explained in his deposition that some confusion arose because there was a fourweekold miscarried fetus in the morgue at the same time as plaintiff's twentytwoweekold fetus Plaintiff failed to rebut defendants' evidence that the autopsy was not performed by mistake, and the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment. RULE(S) OCGA § 451620. Georgia Death Investigation Act. OCGA § 451628. Performance of autopsy when not required under Code Section 451624. OCGA § 451624. Notification of suspicious or unusual deaths; court ordered medical examiner's inquiry; written report of inquiry. OCGA § 451622. Medical examiners' inquiries Facilities, persons authorized to perform inquiries, payment of fees, jurisdiction, and clerical and secretarial assistance. All four of which must be present in order for the claimant to recover: o (1) The conduct must be intentional or reckless; o (2) The conduct must be extreme and outrageous; o (3) There must be a causal connection between the wrongful conduct and the emotional distress; o (4) The emotional distress must be severe." ANAYLSIS After performing the autopsy on plaintiff's fetus, he mistakenly put the name of the four weekold fetus on the autopsy report. Dr. Arras further explained that the fourweekold fetus was too small to autopsy and that there was no mistake in his mind about which fetus he was to autopsy. Plaintiff attempted to rebut this evidence with her affidavit in which she stated that she was told the autopsy was supposed to have been performed on another fetus. However, plaintiff did not identify the source of this hearsay statement, and the statement referring to what she was told is not admissible evidence. Plaintiff has failed to establish intentional infliction of emotional distress. CONCLUSION Dr. Arras testified in his deposition that he performed the autopsy because he considered the stillbirth to be suspicious and unexplained. We conclude that the actions of defendants do not rise to the necessary level of outrageousness and egregiousness as a matter of law. Since plaintiff failed to establish a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the trial court properly granted summary judgment to defendants. Judgment affirmed. 2