PATRICIA CANNADY, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ANNE PRESSLY, DECEASED APPELLANT/CROSS-APPELLEE
ST. VINCENT INFIRMARY MEDICAL CENTER APPELLEE/CROSS-APPELLANT SARAH ELIZABETH MILLER SEPARATE APPELLEE JAY HOLLAND, M.D.; CANDIDA GRIFFIN SEPARATE CROSS-APPELLANTS
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 60CV-09-6764]
HONORABLE LEON JOHNSON, JUDGE
McDaniel Law Firm, PLC, by: Bobby McDaniel; and Baker Schulze
Murphy & Patterson, by: J.G. "Gerry" Schulze,
Munson, Rowlett, Moore and Boone, P.A., by: Beverly A.
Rowlett, Timothy L. Boone, and Sarah Greenwood, for appellee
St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center.
& Taylor Law Firm, P.A., by: Andrew M. Taylor and Tasha
C. Taylor, for appellee Jay Holland.
Law Firm, by: Justin Eisele, for appellee Candida Griffin.
COURTNEY HUDSON GOODSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
Patricia Cannady, individually and as administratrix of the
estate of Anne Pressly, appeals the order of the Pulaski
County Circuit Court granting summary judgment in favor of
St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center (St. Vincent). St.
Vincent, Jay Holland, and Candida Griffin cross-appeal the
denial of their motions for summary judgment as to
Cannady's outrage claim. We have jurisdiction over this
case pursuant to Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 1-2(a)(7), because it is a
second, or subsequent, appeal of this matter in this court.
See Cannady v. St. Vincent Infirmary Med. Ctr., 2012
Ark. 369, 423 S.W.3d 548 (Cannady I). We affirm on
direct appeal and dismiss the cross-appeal.
Facts and History
October 20, 2008, Cannady's daughter, Anne Pressly, was
assaulted in her home and was hospitalized at St. Vincent
where she died as a result of her injuries on October 25,
2008. Pressly was a news anchor for a Little Rock television
station, and there was a high degree of public interest in
the facts of her case. Holland was a physician practicing at
St. Vincent but was not a St. Vincent employee. Griffin and
Sarah Elizabeth Miller were St. Vincent
complaint filed October 16, 2009, Cannady alleged claims of
invasion of privacy and outrage against St. Vincent, Holland,
Griffin, and Miller. Cannady alleged that Holland, Griffin, and
Miller each accessed Pressly's medical record with no
legitimate reason, and that St. Vincent took no action to
restrict access to medical records available through its
electronic database system. Cannady filed an amended
complaint on January 7, 2010, adding that Holland, Griffin,
and Miller each pled guilty to a violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1320d-6(a)(2), which governs the wrongful disclosure
of individually identifiable health information.
Vincent answered and argued that any claim for invasion of
privacy or outrage did not survive Pressly's death.
Holland, Griffin, and Miller filed separate answers. St.
Vincent filed a motion for summary judgment, again arguing
that an invasion-of-privacy claim does not survive the death
of the decedent, and that the claim for the tort of outrage
also failed because it was based on the invasion of privacy.
Holland, Griffin, and Miller each filed motions for summary
judgment adopting St. Vincent's motion. The circuit court
granted the motions, and Cannady appealed to this court. We
affirmed in part and reversed in part, finding that the
circuit court improperly dismissed the outrage claim solely
because it was based on the same conduct as the
invasion-of-privacy claim, which was extinguished by
Pressly's death. We concluded:
However, neither St. Vincent nor the circuit court has cited
to any authority for the proposition that two separate claims
cannot be based on the same conduct. In addition, the outrage
claim was not made on behalf of the decedent, but on
appellant's own behalf, and the court failed to make any
findings regarding whether sufficient facts existed to state
a cause of action for outrage. Thus, we reverse the
court's order on this point and remand for further
Cannady I, 2012 Ark. 369, at 10-11.
the circuit court determined that St. Vincent could not be
held vicariously liable for the conduct of employees when the
claims against the employees failed, we also reversed as to
the dismissal of the outrage claim against St. Vincent.
remand, St. Vincent, Holland, and Griffin again filed motions
for summary judgment. St. Vincent argued that it was entitled
to summary judgment because the conduct alleged to give rise
to the tort of outrage was not, as a matter of law, the type
of conduct that would support such a claim under Arkansas
law; Arkansas does not recognize a cause of action when the
defendant's conduct is directed to a third person; and
even if Arkansas were to recognize such a cause of action,
summary judgment would still be appropriate because Cannady
was not present when the allegedly outrageous conduct
occurred. St. Vincent further argued that it could not be
held vicariously liable for the conduct of Griffin and Miller
because the conduct was not committed within the scope of
their employment. Both Holland and Griffin argued that the
conduct alleged is not the type of conduct that will support
a claim for the tort of outrage under Arkansas law. Holland
and Griffin also argued that Arkansas does not recognize a
cause of action when the defendant's conduct is directed
to a third person and that even if Arkansas were to recognize
such a cause of action, Cannady was not present when the
alleged outrageous conduct occurred. In response, Cannady
argued the law of the case precluded consideration of any
issue except whether the conduct alleged rose to the level of
outrage. Cannady further argued that the conduct alleged was
sufficiently extreme and outrageous for an outrage claim.
circuit court found that the arguments made by St. Vincent,
Holland, and Griffin in their second motions were not barred
by the law-of-the-case doctrine and denied the motions as to
the outrage claim, finding that there were genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the conduct of Holland, Griffin,
and Miller was sufficiently extreme and outrageous to support
a claim of outrage, whether the conduct was directed to a
third party, and whether the plaintiff was present at the
time the conduct occurred. The court granted St.
Vincent's motion as to its vicarious liability,
concluding that the conduct of Griffin and Miller was outside
the scope of their employment, was for their own desires, and
was not authorized or ratified by St. Vincent. Although the
order did not dispose of all claims, the circuit court
certified the case for an immediate appeal pursuant to Ark.
R. Civ. P. 54(b)(1), citing the novel issues presented and
the possibility of avoiding a trial altogether. Cannady
appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred in ruling that
St. Vincent's motion was not barred by the
law-of-the-case doctrine and in ...