United States District Court, D. Colorado
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Y. WANG MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the court on two pending motions:
(1) Defendants Yampa Valley Medical Center and Dr. Laila
Powers's Motion for Summary Judgment, filed April 5,
2019, [#36]; and
(2) Plaintiff Dennis Hooper's Motion for Court Appointed
Expert Witness (the “Motion to Appoint Expert”),
filed May 3, 2019, [#43].
court considers the Motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c) and the Order of Reference for all purposes dated
October 26, 2018, [#15]. The court concludes that oral
argument would not materially assist in the resolution of
this matter. Accordingly, upon review of the Motions, related
briefing, the record, and the applicable case law, the court
GRANTS the Motion for Summary Judgment and
DENIES the Motion to Appoint Expert.
court draws the following material facts from the record
before the court. These material facts are undisputed.
or about February 8, 2016, Plaintiff Dennis Hooper
(“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Hooper”), a
citizen of Oregon who is paraplegic, presented to the
emergency room of Yampa Valley Medical Center
(“YVMC”) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado,
complaining of a “severely swollen upper right
leg.” See [#1 at 5; #23-2 at 2, 4].
Defendant Laila Powers (“Dr. Powers”) was the
attending emergency room physician at YVMC and received Mr.
Hooper upon his arrival. See [#1 at 5; #23-2 at 2,
According to Plaintiff, Dr. Powers was “not familiar
with spinal cord injuries or associated paraplegia, ”
and was not qualified to “examine and render medical
treatment to a patient with known paraplegia.” [#23-2
Powers allegedly “ordered blood tests and an ultrasound
to determine the cause of the swelling, but no x-rays were
done”; Dr. Powers diagnosed Plaintiff's swelling as
Deep Vein Thrombosis, and released Plaintiff that same day.
See [#1 at 5; #23-2 at 4].
Several days later, Plaintiff returned home to Portland,
Oregon, but because the swelling in his leg persisted, he
sought additional medical treatment in the emergency room at
the Portland, Oregon Veteran's Administration hospital.
See [#1 at 5; #23-2 at 4].
Physicians at the Veteran's Administration hospital took
x-rays of Plaintiff's right leg and determined that Mr.
Hooper's “right femur had a shear fracture above
the knee.” [#1 at 5].
Hooper underwent surgery for the installation of “a
stabilization rod and hardware” on or about February
15, 2016; Mr. Hooper underwent two additional surgeries
“to partially remove some of the hardware[, ]”
and subsequent tests determined that there was no Deep Vein
Thrombosis present. See [id.].
July 23, 2018, Plaintiff initiated the instant action by
filing his pro se Complaint in this District
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, asserting a claim for
medical malpractice against YVMC and Dr. Powers
(collectively, “Defendants”). See
November 9, 2018, the Clerk of the Court docketed
Plaintiff's Certificate of Review, signed and dated
November 2, 2018, wherein Mr. Hooper certified that he
“consulted two orthopedic surgeons who have expertise
in the relevant area of medicine pertaining to [his]
complaint”; that the two orthopedic surgeons reviewed
all materials relevant to Plaintiff's allegations of