United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jamie Burt and Mitchell Burt, each individually and as Parents and Natural Guardians of R.B., a minor, Plaintiffs,
Winona Health, Winona Health Services, Winona Health's Women's Health Center, Troy J. Shelton, M.D., and Grace Rasmussen, R.N., Defendants.
D. Jowers, Jr., Esq., Kenneth M. Suggs, Esq., Patrick A.
Thronson, Esq., and Sharon R. Morgan, Esq., Janet, Jenner
& Suggs, LLC; and Wilbur W. Fluegel, Esq., Fluegel Law
Office, counsel for Plaintiffs.
Glen Ascheman, Esq., Chad J. Hintz, Esq., and Richard J.
Thomas, Esq., Burke & Thomas, PLLP; and Cecilie M.
Loidolt, Esq., and Sarah M. Hoffman, Esq., Bassford Remele,
counsel for Defendants Winona Health, Winona Health Services.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motions for
Partial Summary Judgment. (Doc. Nos. 66, 71). For the reasons
set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part
of minor R.B. brought a claim against their OB/GYN (Defendant
Troy J. Shelton), a prenatal nurse (Defendant Grace
Rasmussen), and the hospital (Defendant Winona
Health) after R.B developed cerebral palsy
allegedly as a result of negligence by the defendants. Both
Nurse Rasmussen and Dr. Shelton were employees of Winona
Health at the time. Defendants have moved for summary
judgment on four claims: (1) corporate negligence; (2)
negligent credentialing of the nurses; (3) Nurse
Rasmussen's failure to activate the chain of command or
notify Dr. Shelton; and (4) negligence based on a failure to
follow policies or hospital guidelines.
judgment is proper if there are no disputed issues of
material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court must view the
evidence and the inferences that may be reasonably drawn from
the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Enter. Bank v. Magna Bank of Mo., 92 F.3d
743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). However, as the Supreme Court has
stated, “[s]ummary judgment procedure is properly
regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather
as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which
are designed ‘to secure the just, speedy, and
inexpensive determination of every action.'”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 327
(1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 1).
moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no
genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Enter. Bank, 92 F.3d at
747. The nonmoving party must demonstrate the existence of
specific facts in the record that create a genuine issue for
trial. Krenik v. Cty. of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957
(8th Cir. 1995). A party opposing a properly supported motion
for summary judgment “may not rest upon the mere
allegations or denials of his pleading, but must set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 256 (1986).
have moved for summary judgment before discovery has
concluded. As a general rule, “summary judgment is
proper only after the nonmovant has had adequate time for
discovery.” Toben v. Bridgestone Retail Operations,
LLC, 751 F.3d 888, 894 (8th Cir. 2014) (internal
quotation marks omitted). As a result, the Court can elect to
defer deciding the motion until the parties have conducted
adequate discovery if the nonmovant can demonstrate that
“for specified reasons, [the nonmovant] cannot present
facts essential to justify its opposition.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d); see also Toben, 751 F.3d at 894.
Specifically, “[t]he party seeking additional discovery
must show: (1) that they have set forth in affidavit form the
specific facts that they hope to elicit from further
discovery, (2) that the facts sought exist, and (3) that
these sought-after facts are ‘essential' to resist
the summary judgment motion.” Toben, 751 F.3d
at 895; accord Jackson v. Riebold, 815 F.3d 1114,
1121 (8th Cir. 2016); Marvin Lumber & Cedar Co. v.
Marvin Architectural Ltd., Civ. No. 16-887, 2016 WL
6595902, at *3 (D. Minn. Nov. 7, 2016).
move for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' claims against
Winona Health for direct liability under a theory of
corporate negligence. In its opposition, Plaintiffs contend that
Winona Health was directly liable because it negligently