High court to consider Sanctuary lawsuit dismissal

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Mississippi Supreme Court justices will consider on Jan. 3 the Lee County dismissal of a Sanctuary Hospice House wrongful death lawsuit.
The court’s new first-quarter docket shows the appeal among the cases submitted for consideration but without oral arguments.
Jimmy Steven Fowler’s son, Jimmy Jr., filed a circuit court lawsuit Aug. 3, 2009.
After various filings in the case, Judge James L. Roberts Jr. dismissed it, saying Fowler failed to give mandatory pre-filing notice to the defendants – Dr. John Paul White, nurse Marilyn Lehman and the Tupelo-based hospice.
Fowler’s side said it sent the notice, but the defendants said they didn’t receive it.
His father was admitted to Sanctuary Hospice Sept. 8, 2006, and died there Jan. 31, 2007. The lawsuit questioned the administration of narcotics to him during his care.
White was the facility’s medical director and Lehman its clinical director.
In the wake of state accusations and other lawsuits, they resigned and ultimately were not prosecuted for the residents’ deaths, although at least one other person’s heirs sued like Fowler. That lawsuit was mutually dismissed.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com