from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Richard D.
from an order granting the defendants' motion for summary
Nathaniel W. Schwickerath of Schwickerath, P.C., New Hampton,
Carlton G. Salmons of Macro & Kozlowski LLP, West Des
Moines, and Jon K. Swanson of Swanson Law Firm, West Des
Moines, for appellees.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
Robert Shipton commenced this malpractice action against
Defendants Chickasaw County, Chickasaw County Board of
Health, Terry Franzen, R.N., and Mercy Health Services-Iowa
Corp. (collectively, hereinafter "the county").
Shipton appeals from the district court's order granting
the county's second motion for summary judgment. We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further
review a grant of summary judgment for correction of errors
at law. See Crippen v. City of Cedar Rapids, 618
N.W.2d 562, 565 (Iowa 2000). Summary judgment is appropriate
"if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3).
"In assessing whether summary judgment is warranted, we
view the entire record in a light most favorable to the
nonmoving party." Crippen, 618 N.W.2d at 565.
viewed in the light most favorable to Shipton, the summary
judgment record shows the following. In February 2013,
Shipton sustained a serious leg injury. He was treated for
the injury at the Mayo Clinic and released. Subsequently, he
developed a staph infection. Treatment of the staph infection
required self-administration of Vancomycin twice daily via a
peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line.
Vancomycin is a potent drug, which can cause serious adverse
health effects when improperly administered. An incorrectly
inserted PICC line creates risk the drug will infuse into the
wrong portion of the body.
Terry Franzen, a registered nurse, and two other Chickasaw
County nurses provided in-home care to Shipton in the form of
periodic visits over a two-week period in June of 2013.
Franzen visited Shipton on five occasions: June 13, 14, 17,
24, and 26. According to the county, Franzen's
responsibilities during these in-home visits were: "(1)
to monitor the wound on [Shipton's] leg by keeping it
free from infection; (2) to monitor the pain and help him
with that; (3) to monitor Shipton's PICC line looking for
signs of infection; and (4) to continue teaching Shipton on
the clean technique for infusion of Vancomycin."
17, during one of Franzen's visits, Shipton's PICC
line became dislodged from its insertion site. After this
incident, Shipton began experiencing pain in his arm near the
insertion site. The pain gradually increased in severity over
the course of the following several days.
Franzen arrived for her visit on the morning of June 24,
Shipton complained of extreme pain. Franzen contacted the
nearby hospital. The hospital advised Shipton should be
brought to the emergency room. However, county policy
prohibited Franzen from transporting Shipton in her own
vehicle, so each drove separately to the hospital. Shipton
presented at the emergency room ...