Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-15-00670-CV (February 23, 2016)
Justices Fillmore, Stoddart (Opinion), and O’Neill
The Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed, agreeing with the trial court that Jennings had not alleged a Health Care Liability Claim. Under Chapter 74, a Health Care Liability Claim is one in which (1) a physician or health care provider is a defendant; (2) the claim at issue concerns treatment, lack of treatment, or a departure from accepted standards of medical care, or health care, or safety or professional or administrative services directly related to health care; and (3) the defendant’s act or omission complained of proximately caused the injury to the plaintiff.
The Court rejected Loyds’s argument that Jennings’s claim was based on a departure from accepted standards of health care or of professional or administrative services directly related to health care. The Court held the act at issue was not the rendition of services to the patients at the facility, but the termination of Jennings’s employment. Similarly, the Court held that in a Health Care Liability Claim, the departure from the accepted standard of care must proximately result in injury to the claimant. In this case, Jennings did not argue that the inadequate food or medication caused any injury to her. Rather, her claim is that her good-faith reporting of these violations resulted in the termination of her employment.
Jennings did not, therefore, assert a Health Care Liability Claim, and the trial court appropriately dismissed Loyds’s motion to dismiss.