United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
HONORABLE RONALD A. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Defendants Sparks Health System and Fort Smith
HMA, LLC, 's motion to transfer venue or dismiss for
improper venue [Docket No. 73], filed April 20, 2018,
Defendant Patric Anderson, M.D.'s motion to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue [Docket No.
58], filed February 22, 2018, and Defendant Trevor Hodge,
M.D.'s motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction and improper venue [Docket No. 60], filed
February 22, 2018. As the court finds that venue is
improperly laid in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and that
it lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants, the court
transfers the case to the Western District of Arkansas in the
interest of justice.
Plaintiff alleges the following facts in his second amended
Around February 26, 2016, Plaintiff Kenneth Titsworth fell in
his home in Leflore County, Oklahoma and injured his back. On
March 14, 2016, Plaintiff travelled to Fort Smith, Sebastian
County, Arkansas to seek treatment at Sparks Regional Medical
Center. Fort Smith HMA, LLC, runs Sparks Regional Medical
Center. Sparks Health System owns Fort Smith, HMA, LLC, .
Sparks Regional Medical Center, Mr. Titsworth met with Dr.
Trevor Hodge. Dr. Hodge ordered x-rays, which revealed
nothing. Mr. Titsworth again met with Dr. Hodge on March 20,
2016. On April 4, 2016, Dr. Hodge stated that he would set up
an MRI for Mr. Titsworth, but later stated that Mr.
Titsworth's insurance would not pay for the MRI. Mr.
Titsworth's insurance program is HealthChoice, an
Oklahoma insurance plan. Dr. Hodge instead prescribed
medication and physical therapy, which were both ineffective
in treating the back pain. On April 15, 2016, Mr. Titsworth
again travelled to Fort Smith, Arkansas to report worsening
back pain to Dr. Hodge. Dr. Hodge repeated that he wished to
perform an MRI on Mr. Titsworth, but could not get approval
from the insurance plan. Dr. Hodge once more took x-rays and
April 25, 2016, Mr. Titsworth reported to the emergency room
of Sparks Regional Medical Center due to his severe back
pain. Dr. Patric Anderson, an Arkansas doctor, admitted Mr.
Titsworth but discharged him without a diagnosis or a
recommended course treatment.
5, 2016, Mr. Titsworth called the office of Dr. Hodge to ask
about the possibility of an MRI. The next day, Mr. Titsworth
travelled once more to the Sparks Regional Medical Center
emergency room and received an MRI. The MRI showed
osteomyelitis T2-T3 with posterior epidural abscess with
canal stenosis. Mr. Titsworth was then transferred to
Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas. From
Washington Regional Hospital, he was emergency transported to
St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Doctors performed
emergency surgery, but Mr. Titsworth was left paraplegic.
filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, alleging
negligence by Fort Smith, HMA, LLC, Sparks Health System, Dr.
Hodge, and Dr. Anderson. Plaintiff additionally alleges
deceit by Dr. Hodge, as well as corporate negligence and
respondeat superior against Fort Smith, HMA, LLC and
Sparks Health System. Fort Smith, HMA, LLC and Sparks Health
System are Arkansas companies. Dr. Hodge and Dr. Anderson
both domicile in Arkansas.
purposes of venue, a civil action may be brought in:
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if
all defendants are residents of the State in which the
district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a
substantial part of property that is the subject of the
action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise
be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district
in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal