James E. Shaw, Administrator of the Estate and as Father of Jaymes G. Shaw, deceased, Appellant,
Chandra Sundaram, M.D., and Kelli Metelues, Appellees
from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Heather A.
Welch, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49D01-1311-CT-42340
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Nathaniel Lee Laura R. Crowley Lee
Cossell & Crowley, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE DR. SUNDARAM Michael E. O'Neill
Kelly K. McFadden O'Neill McFadden & Willett LLP
James Shaw (Shaw) brings this appeal as father of Jaymes Shaw
(Jay) and as administrator of Jay's estate. Jay died
following an illness and a surgery, and Shaw filed a medical
malpractice action stemming from Jay's death. Following a
lengthy discovery period that included the trial court
entering two orders to compel and two sanctions awards
against Shaw, the parties went to trial. The jury found in
favor of Dr. Chandra Sundaram, who performed the surgery.
Shaw now appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court made
erroneous rulings regarding one of his expert witnesses; and
(2) the trial court erroneously granted a motion in limine
preventing Shaw from introducing an informed consent claim
into the trial. Finding no error, we affirm.
Illness and Surgery
On October 20, 2009, nineteen-year-old Jay arrived at the
emergency room with his mother, Kelli Metelues (Kelli). Jay
had previously had a kidney transplant and was scheduled for
a kidney stent placement to help relieve a blockage in the
transplanted kidney. After evaluating Jay's symptoms,
hospital personnel admitted him to the hospital with dual
diagnoses of pneumonia and acute renal failure. Doctors believed
that one of the contributory factors to Jay's acute renal
failure was the blockage in his transplanted kidney.
A nephrologist evaluated Jay's condition and concluded
that the placement of a stent was the best course of action.
That doctor asked Dr. Sundaram, a urologist, to place the
stent. The plan was discussed with Jay and Kelli. A surgical
consent form was signed for a cystoscopy and transplant stent
placement to be performed by Dr. Sundaram and his resident.
The signature line bears Jay's name and is witnessed by
Kelli, whose name also appears on the lines for "Parent,
Guardian, or Other Signature" and for "Name of
Adult Witness." Appellant's App. Vol. VI p. 150. The
document is also signed in the box labeled "Treating
Practitioner," which describes the information provided
during the informed consent discussion with the patient and
his family, including the risks, benefits, and alternatives
to the procedure. Kelli later attested in a deposition that
she signed the form on Jay's behalf at his request:
Q: At the time, I believe Jay was 19?
Q: Why did you sign this instead of him?
A: Because I was his caregiver, and he didn't understand
what was going on.
Q: Okay. Were you-did you have documentation that you were
his legal representative?
A: I believe so. I don't remember.
Q: Okay. So you had a power of attorney or something of that
A: I actually don't remember. I know he gave consent to
sign for him.
Appellant's App. Vol. II p. 141.
On October 21, 2009, Dr. Sundaram performed a cystoscopy and
stent placement on Jay. During the procedure, Jay went into
cardiac arrest and died.
On October 20, 2011, Shaw filed a medical malpractice action
against Dr. Sundaram and others with the Indiana Department
of Insurance (IDOI). Shaw's proposed complaint included
the following allegations:
6. [Jay] presented to the Emergency Room at I.U. Health
University Hospital on October 20, 2009 with flu-like
symptoms which included fever, chills, cough, weakness,
fatigue and diarrhea.
7. [Jay] was scheduled for elective surgery for a ureteral
stent placement on October 21, 2009.
8. Defendants determined that the non-emergent surgery should
proceed despite his presentation instead of postponing the
9. [Jay's] condition deteriorated in the Operative Room
leading to cardiac arrest and his expiration.
10. Defendants failed to act within the reasonable standard
of care and as a direct and proximate result of their
actions, Plaintiff has been injured.
Id. at 189-90.
Shaw eventually presented his claims to a Medical Review
Panel (MRP), which found in favor of Dr. Sundaram and the
other defendants. On November 21, 2013, Shaw filed a
negligence action against Dr. Sundaram on behalf of Jay's
estate. In relevant part, the complaint repeats
the allegations quoted above, merely changing the plural
"defendants" to refer solely to Dr. Sundaram.
Id. at 73. The complaint states that its purpose is
"to redress acts, conduct, omissions, negligence and
medical malpractice committed by [Dr. Sundaram[.]]"
Id. at 72.
The discovery process was fraught with conflict largely
caused by Shaw. On July 2, 2014, the trial court entered a
proposed case management order. The order set a trial date of
January 11, 2016,  and ordered the parties to, among other
things, provide a final witness and exhibit list no later
than sixty days before trial. The order further required Shaw
to file all expert disclosures ...