Court: Split suits related to Camden baby death
Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a Madison County woman’s lawsuit stemming from her 11-month-old child’s death and her arrest in the case should be separate suits.
The Supreme Court ruling reversed Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd’s 2010 ruling that Hattie Douglas’ medical negligence claim from her wrongful incarceration claim would be heard in Jackson.
The Supreme Court said the medical negligence claim should be heard in Madison County and the wrongful incarceration claim should be heard in Rankin County.
Douglas’ son, Kaddarius, died May 11, 2006, at the mobile home where the family lived in Camden.
His death initially was ruled an accident following an autopsy. Authorities said a toxicology report came back a month later, indicating Kaddarius had a blood-alcohol level of 0.40 percent.
Douglas was charged with murder and spent more than a year in jail before being released on bond. The state Department of Human Services also took custody of her five remaining children.
Two years after she was charged, however, the charge was dropped.
Douglas eventually got her children.
Douglas’ names as defendants Sunshine Medical Clinic in Canton, Dr. Vibha Vig and nurse practitioner Lisa Hoehn concerning the treatment and care of her son before his death.
In the same complaint, Douglas also is suing the Mississippi Crime Laboratory, the Mississippi State Medical Examiners, Dr. Steven Hayne, Expertox Inc. and MedScreens Inc. in connection with her criminal charge.
Douglas’ attorneys said the lawsuit should be heard in Hinds County because it is the main location of the State Crime Lab and the Medical Examiner’s office.
The Supreme Court decision, released Thursday, said under the state tort claims law, the principle locations of offices factor only if the claim is against the governing political body or political subdivision. Otherwise, the claim must be heard where the act or omission occurred.
The court said Hayne testified in his affidavit that no aspects of the post-mortem examination of Kaddarius were performed in Hinds County. The autopsy was done at the Rankin County Morgue in Pearl.