Submitted: September 21, 2018
Appeal from the Decision of the Court of Common Pleas
Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli, Judge
an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas on an Order granting
summary judgment to Defendant-Below. Upon consideration of
the facts, arguments, and legal authorities set forth by the
parties; statutory and decisional law; and the entire record
in this case, the Court hereby finds as follows:
Appellant/Plaintiff-Below Frederick Williams
("Williams") filed a civil lawsuit in the Court of
Common Pleas on September 5, 2017, against
Appellee/Defendant-Below Jeffrey L. Cook, D.M.D. ("Dr.
Cook"), making claims for damages allegedly arising from
a dental procedure that took place on October 27, 2015.
Cook filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds that
(1) Williams failed to provide necessary expert witness
testimony to support his dental negligence claims against Dr.
Cook; and (2) Williams did not properly establish an
allegation of fraud against Dr. Cook because Williams failed
to plead the basis for the claim with specificity. The Court
of Common Pleas granted Dr. Cook's Motion for Summary
Judgment on June 1, 2018, entering judgment in favor of Dr.
Cook and against Williams.
Williams appealed to this Court, arguing that the Court of
Common Pleas improperly granted summary judgment in favor of
response, Dr. Cook argues that this Court should affirm the
Court of Common Pleas' decision.
considering an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas,
"this Court sits as an intermediate appellate
court." The appellate role of this Court is
limited to correcting legal error and determining whether
factual findings are "sufficiently supported by the
record and are the product of an orderly and logical
deductive process." The decision of the Court of Common
Pleas granting summary judgment is entitled to a de
novo review by this Court. A decision granting summary
judgment will be affirmed if it appears from the record, in a
light most favorable to the non-moving party, "that
there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
respect to Williams's medical negligence allegation, the
Trial Court properly held that Williams failed to produce
expert testimony necessary to support a claim for dental
negligence. Under Delaware law, when a party alleges medical
negligence, that party is required to produce expert medical
testimony detailing the applicable standard of care, the
alleged deviation from that standard, and the causal link
between the alleged deviation and alleged
injury. Accordingly, Williams was required to
support his dental negligence claim through expert witness
testimony, but Williams failed to do so. Thus, the Court of
Common Pleas decision granting Dr. Cook's Motion for
Summary Judgment on the medical negligence claim must be
respect to Williams's allegations of fraud, the Court of
Common Pleas found that Williams failed to plead fraud with
sufficient specificity to put Dr. Cook on notice of the exact
nature of the alleged fraud. Williams conceded that he did
not plead fraud with specificity. The Court of Common Pleas
properly granted judgment on the fraud claim to Dr. Cook.
de novo review of this case reveals that there are
no genuine issues of material fact and Dr. Cook is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. The Court of Common
Pleas' decision is free from legal error. The Court of
Common Pleas did not abuse its discretion. Thus, the Court of
Common Pleas properly granted summary judgment to Dr. Cook.
THEREFORE, this 20th day of November, 2018, for
the reasons stated herein, the Court of Common Pleas'
decision granting ...