In re Jeffrey S. Sandate, M.D

Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-17-00871 (October 19, 2017)

Justices Lang, Evans (opinion linked here), and Stoddart 

Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code provides protections healthcare providers in healthcare liability claims, including a ban on most d until the providers have been served with a qualifying expert report. The pr discovery allowed includes “discovery from nonparties under Rule 205.” Com Turner, a malpractice plaintiff, tried to take advantage of this exception to t deposition of Dr. Sandate, but it didn’t work.

Turner filed suit and served an expert report on Methodist Hospitals of Dalla not sue Dr. Sandate, but sought his deposition as a “non-party” under Rule 2 could “determine if he should be joined in the lawsuit.” The trial court orde Sandate to appear for deposition, but the Dallas Court of Appeals put on the In re Jorden, the Texas Supreme Court had ruled that a potential malpractic cannot do an end run around the protections of Chapter 74 by noticing a doc Rule 202 pre-suit deposition. In so holding, it rejected the very argument Turner made here, concluding th 74 and Rule 205 make a “distinction between those who are third parties to a dispute and those directly t by it.”

Applying that logic to the case at hand, the Dallas Court held that, because Turner had announced she wis depose Dr. Sandate in order to decide whether or not to sue him, he was “directly threatened by” the sui not a “non-party” from whom depositions are allowed by Rule 205. A