Assad v. Sidney Regional Medical Center

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

Assad v. Sidney Regional Medical Center

Case Number
A-16-0949
Call Date
April 11, 2017
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-16-0949, Emil Assad, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of Kathy Assad, Deceased (Appellant) v. Sidney Regional Medical Center, a Cheyenne County Hospital, and Dr. Tracy Pay, P.A.

Cheyenne County, District Court Judge Derek C. Weimer

Attorney for Appellant: Emil Assad, Pro Se

Attorney for Appellees: Mark A. Christensen, Travis W. Tettenborn (Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P.)

Civil Action: medical malpractice

Action Taken by Trial Court: The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: On appeal, Assad assigns that the district court erred in (1) denying his motion for recusal, (2) granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and (3) denying his motion for continuance.

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-16-0949 Emil Assad, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of Kathy Assad, Deceased (Appellant) v. Sidney Regional Medical Center, a Cheyenne County Hospital, and Dr. Tracy Ray, P.A.

Original trial court: Cheyenne County, District Court Judge Derek C. Weimer

Background: In February 2014, Assad took his wife, Kathy Assad, to the emergency room because she was not feeling well. She was treated by a physician's assistant, Tracy Ray, who prescribed medication for Kathy and sent her home. Kathy's condition deteriorated, and two days later she was admitted to the hospital. She remained in the hospital until her death approximately 5 weeks later.

In February 2016, Assad filed this action, pro se, meaning he did not have a licensed attorney representing him. He filed suit individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of Kathy. He claimed that Ray and the medical center where Kathy was treated, Sidney Regional Medical Center, were negligent in their treatment of her which contributed to her death.

After the defendants filed an answer and the parties completed some discovery, the defendants jointly filed a motion for summary judgment. They argued that Ray had provided his opinion that his actions in treating Kathy complied with the required standard of care, and therefore, neither he nor the medical center were negligent. In addition, the defendants argued that Assad had failed to offer evidence to rebut Ray's opinion, and as a result, there were no genuine issues of material fact and they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Assad filed a motion asking that the trial judge recuse himself because the judge had previously presided over a criminal case in which Assad's son was the defendant, and Assad had written letters to the judge complaining about the sentence his son received. Assad also filed a motion to continue the summary judgment hearing, arguing that the parties had not yet completed discovery, and he had not received all requested documents from the medical center. Assad reported that he had located an expert witness and was waiting to forward all requested documents to the expert so that the expert could provide his opinion as to whether the actions of Ray and/or the medical center were negligent.

After holding a hearing on the motions, the district court denied Assad's motions for recusal and to continue the summary judgment hearing but granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Assad appeals those decisions to the Nebraska Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals will look at the following issues raised by Assad in his appeal:

Whether the district court erred in denying Assad's motion for recusal.
Whether the district court erred in denying Assad's motion to continue the summary judgment hearing.
Whether the district court erred in granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment.
In addition, the Court of Appeals directed the parties to be prepared to address the issue of standing; that is, whether Assad can properly bring this action as Special Administrator of the Estate of Kathy because he is not a licensed attorney.

Attorneys: Emil Assad, Pro Se (Appellant) --- Mark A. Christensen, Travis W. Tettenborn (Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P.)(Appellees, Sidney Regional Medical Center and Dr. Tracy Ray, P.A.).

Case Location
Chadron State College
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Inbody and Riedmann, Judges