Injury victim who "diligently pursued his claim" cannot re-open after Court changes applicable law
The Personal Representative of the Estate of Andrew Baker sued Michael Briggs, D.0., Merle Hunter, M.D., Emergency Physicians Medical Group and McPherson Hospital after they allegedly committed malpractice leading to the death of Mr. Baker. After Baker's case was originally thrown out, and that decision was upheld on appeal, the Supreme Court changed the law the lower court's had relied upon. The Personal Representative, Timothy King, sought to reinstate the case, pointing to the interim change in the law and the fact that other litigants in the same situation would be allowed to pursue their claims. Judges Kirsten Kelly and other Republican stalwarts denied King the right to revive the family's wrongful death claim, holding that such reinstatement requires "extraordinary circumstances." Very moderate Judge Peter O'Connell wrote for the Court of Appeals minority in dissent of the decision, explaining that in his view the majority had "misconstrued the scope and purpose" of the operative Supreme Court opinion. He deemed the resulting ruling "unfair" to Baker's Estate and a "miscarriage of justice."