United States District Court, D. New Jersey
GLADYS MENDOZA, personal representative of ELIAS MENDOZA, Plaintiff,
INSPIRA MEDICAL CENTER VINELAND, et al., Defendants.
R. RADMORE, LAW OFFICES OF JAMES R. RADMORE, P.C. On behalf
ELIZABETH A. WILSON GROSSMAN, HEAVEY & HALPIN, P.C. BRICK
PROFESSIONAL COMPLEX On behalf of Defendant Inspira Medical
F. DRAKE DRAKE LAW FIRM, P.C. On behalf of Defendants Naeem
Amin, M.D. and Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, P.A.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
a medical malpractice action in which Plaintiff asserts
Decedent Elias Mendoza was negligently treated by various
physicians and medical providers. On March 30, 2017, this
Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants Naeem
Amin, M.D., Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, P.A., and
Inspira. Plaintiff argues for reconsideration of both
motions. For the reasons that follow, this Court will deny
Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration.
Court takes its facts from its March 30, 2017 Opinion
granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants Dr. Amin,
Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, and Inspira. On March
10, 2014, Decedent arrived in the Emergency Room of Inspira
Medical Center, complaining of shortness of breath. Decedent
was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit. While at Inspira,
Decedent underwent a cardiology consultation performed by
Defendant Andrew Zinn, M.D. and a nephrology consultation
performed by Defendant Dr. Amin. Dr. Amin is board certified
in Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in nephrology.
Plaintiff's case largely rests on the following note
entered in Decedent's Discharge Summary:
HOSPITAL COURSE: Over the course of the patient's
hospital stay, he tolerated BiPAP and required dialysis.
Unfortunately he was unable to tolerate full treatments and
continued to build up fluid. The patient unfortunately had
some difficulty receiving dialysis in our intensive care unit
due to staffing limitations, which continued to exacerbate
his continued difficulties with his fluid overload state.
claims Decedent was negligently treated, which resulted in
brain and heart damage, eventually leading to Decedent's
death on February 23, 2015. As to Dr. Amin and Defendant
Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, the theory of
Plaintiff's case appears to be that Dr. Amin's
“failure to properly monitor” Decedent and
“provide the necessary dialysis on a timely
basis” resulted in Decedent's death. As to Inspira,
Plaintiff's theory appears to be that inadequate staffing
resulted in Decedent not timely receiving dialysis, which
constituted a deviation from the standard of care.
provided an Affidavit of Merit from Bruce D. Charash, M.D.
The Affidavit of Merit stated Dr. Charash is “a
licensed, board certified Cardiologist and Internist”
and that his practice “has been substantially devoted
to this specialty for greater than five years.” In the
Affidavit of Merit, Dr. Charash opined all Defendants'
treatment “fell outside acceptable professional
standards and treatment practices.” The Court
determined summary judgment was appropriate as to Dr. Amin,
Kidney and Hypertension Specialists, and Inspira. The Court
summarizes its March 30, 2017 decision as follows. The Court
found Dr. Charash had a subspecialty in cardiology, whereas
Dr. Amin had a subspecialty in nephrology. The Court held
that the “kind-for-kind” requirement of N.J.S.A.
2A:53A-41 is equally applicable to subspecialties.
Accordingly, the Court determined that, since Dr. Amin and
Dr. Charash were not equally credentialed, Plaintiff could
not rely on Dr. Charash to establish Dr. Amin and Kidney and
Hypertension Specialists' alleged deviation from the
standard of care.
Plaintiff's claim against Inspira, the Court determined
the “common knowledge” exception to the Affidavit
of Merit requirement did not apply. The Court found
“[i]t is not within a lay person's knowledge as to
what an adequately staffed intensive care unit looks
like” and that “decisions concerning staffing
involve specialized knowledge.”
filed a Motion for Reconsideration on April 13, 2017.
motion for reconsideration may be treated as a motion to
alter or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e), or as a motion for relief from judgment or order under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), or it may be filed
pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). The purpose of a motion
for reconsideration “is to correct manifest errors of
law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”
Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A judgment
may be altered or amended only if the party seeking
reconsideration shows: (1) an intervening change in the
controlling law; (2) the ...