JOHN E. WYMAN, an individual, and MARGO WYMAN, an individual, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
JOHN J. ECK, M.D., an individual, JULIE L. SCOTT, PA-C, an individual, CENTER FOR LIFETIME HEALTH, LLC, and JOHN DOES 1-10, Defendants-Respondents.
Opinion No. 23
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. James C. Morfitt, District
Court order granting summary judgment, affirmed.
J. DeBry & Associates, Salt Lake City, Utah, for
appellants. Brook Millard argued.
Jones McColl, PLLC, Boise, for respondents. George R. Lyons
BURDICK, Chief Justice.
and Margo Wyman appeal the Ada County district court's
grant of summary judgment to Dr. John J. Eck, Julie L. Scott,
P.A., and Center for Lifetime Health, LLC (Respondents). The
Wymans sued Respondents for various medical malpractice
claims arising from Respondents' alleged failure to
diagnose John's cancer. The district court concluded
Idaho Code section 5-219(4)'s two-year statute of
limitations barred the Wymans' claims. We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
December 22, 2011, John Wyman first visited Julie L. Scott,
P.A., to address a lesion he had discovered on his left heel.
P.A. Scott diagnosed the lesion as an infected wart,
prescribed antibiotic ointment, and instructed John to return
for a follow-up appointment, scheduled for January 5, 2012.
For reasons unclear, John did not attend the follow-up
returned to see P.A. Scott on April 19, 2012, because his
lesion did not improve. Still believing the lesion was an
infected wart, P.A. Scott froze it off during that
appointment. She again instructed John to return for a
follow-up appointment, scheduled for May 10, 2012. For
reasons unclear, John did not attend the follow-up
appointment. He never again returned to see P.A. Scott.
lesion, however, failed to improve. John visited a
dermatologist, Dr. Jason Scott, on August 31, 2012. Dr. Scott
performed a shave biopsy of the lesion during that
appointment. The biopsy revealed the lesion was a malignant
melanoma tumor, not an infected wart. In fact, when
John's oncologist, Dr. Hung Khong, reviewed the biopsy,
he diagnosed John's "malignant melanoma as a Stage
two years after the date of the biopsy, on August 28, 2014,
the Wymans filed a pre-litigation screening application with
the Idaho State Board of Medicine. On September 5, 2014, the
Wymans lodged a complaint in district court, alleging medical
malpractice claims against P.A. Scott and her employer,
Center for Lifetime Health, LLC, for their alleged failure to
perform a biopsy that would have revealed cancer. On November
18, 2014, the Wymans filed an amended complaint, which
alleged claims against P.A. Scott's supervisor, Dr. John
J. Eck, for failure to supervise under Idaho Code section
filed a summary judgment motion on February 3, 2015. In that
motion, Respondents argued Idaho Code section 5-219(4)'s
two-year statute of limitations barred the Wymans'
claims. The district court denied that motion, finding that
Respondents had "failed to produce 'objective
medical proof' that 'any damage was occurring at the
time the defendants' allegedly failed to diagnose the
filed a renewed summary judgment motion on July 24, 2015.
Again, they argued Idaho Code section 5-219(4)'s two-year
statute of limitations barred the Wymans' claims. But,
with that motion, Respondents submitted expert testimony by
way of an affidavit from Dr. Gregory Wells, a dermatologist
and dermatopathologist. Dr. Wells testified that John's
cancer was objectively ascertainable on or before December
22, 2011, the date of his first appointment with P.A. Scott.
The Wymans opposed the motion by relying on the deposition
testimony of John's oncologist, Dr. Khong. According to
Dr. Khong, "without a biopsy there could be no ...