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Flowers v. Christiana Care Health System

Superior Court of Delaware

April 3, 2019

KENNETH M. FLOWERS as Administrator of the Estate of CHRISTINE FLOWERS, Deceased; KENNETH M. FLOWERS, Individually; KAREN FLOWERS; LAWRENCE FLOWERS and ANTHONY MIMMS, Plaintiffs,
v.
CHRISTIANA CARE HEALTH SYSTEM, INPATIENT CONSULTANTS OF DELAWARE, INC. and ANURADHA AMARA, M.D., Defendants.

          Date Submitted: March 28, 2019

         Upon Consideration of Defendant's Motion for Involuntary Dismissal. Granted.

          A. Dale Bowers, Esquire. Law Office of A. Dale Bowers, P.A., 203 North Maryland Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware, 19804. Attorney for Plaintiffs.

          Emeka Igwe, Esquire. The Igwe Firm, 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 409, Philadelphia, PA, 19102. Admitted Pro Hac Vice Attorney for Plaintiffs.

          Richard Galperin, Esquire & Joshua H. Meyeroff, Esquire. Morris James LLP., 500 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1500, Wilmington, Delaware, 19801. Attorneys for Defendants IPC Healthcare and Dr. Amara.

          Calvin L. Scott, Jr. Judge.

         Upon consideration of the Defendant's Motion for Involuntary Dismissal for failure to comply with this Court's November 13, 2018 Order, and the record of the case, it appears that:

1. This action arises from the medical treatment of Mrs. Flowers in August 2013. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants were negligent in their care and treatment of Mrs. Flowers, resulting in her unfortunate passing. Plaintiffs brought an action on behalf of the estate and as individuals. Trial was scheduled to begin on November 13, 2018.
2. At the pre-trial conference a discussion was held with regards to the administrator of the estate. It was known at that time the administrator would not be attending trial. Plaintiffs' counsel indicated they would file a motion to change the administrator. No motion was filed, and the Administrator did not attend trial.
3. On the morning of trial, with a panel of prospective jurors awaiting voir dire Plaintiffs' counsel alerted Defense counsel and the Court that in addition to the administrator, one of the other named Plaintiffs would not be attending.
4. Plaintiffs' counsel sought permission from the Court to dismiss the missing Plaintiff from the case, or in the alternative, a continuance.
5. The Court heard argument from the parties on the options available. Defense counsel opposed either option, but took the position that if a continuance was to be granted, they would be entitled to costs. Defense counsel estimated those costs to be between $25, 000 to $35, 000. The Court gave counsel time to consider this amount.
6. Delaware counsel hesitated, appeared uncomfortable, and yielded the decision to pro hac counsel. With full knowledge of the cost estimate, pro hac counsel thought about it for a while and then said he "would be willing to incur those costs."[1]
7. The Court continued the case with costs. The Court made it clear a scheduling conference would be held only after ...

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