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Gable v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 9, 2019

RICHARD MAURICE GABLE Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROSEMARY M. COLLYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Richard Maurice Gable, a Vietnam veteran, underwent a total knee replacement at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Washington, D.C. in January 2006. The surgery resulted in infections, in-patient treatment and, ultimately, the above-knee amputation of Mr. Gable's left leg. Pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq, Mr. Gable filed an administrative claim with the VA on September 16, 2008, alleging, inter alia, malpractice and negligence. After his claim was denied, Mr. Gable filed a complaint pro se in the Court of Federal Claims, which transferred it to this Court. The United States moved for summary judgment arguing that all the claims were time-barred by the FTCA's statute of limitations. Finding that Mr. Gable's claims concerning his knee replacement, post knee-replacement care, and amputation accrued outside of the statutory period, the Court granted the government's motion in part and denied in part, leaving intact Mr. Gable's remaining two claims concerning his post-amputation surgical procedures and non-surgical post-amputation care.

         Mr. Gable has filed a series of motions contesting the Court's ruling, which the Court reads collectively as a motion for reconsideration. Because Mr. Gable does not satisfy the requirements for reconsideration, the Court must deny Mr. Gable's motion.

         I. FACTS

         Magistrate Judge Michael Harvey handled this matter and submitted a Report and Recommendation that contains detailed factual and procedural background sections, which this Court adopted in full. See Dec. 29, 2017 Report and Recommendation (12/29/17 R&R) [Dkt. 108] at 2-6; see also Mem. Op. [Dkt. 120] at 3.[1] It is not necessary to repeat all of the factual background but the arc of this case is described below.

         Mr. Gable was admitted to the VA Medical Center for a scheduled knee replacement on January 18, 2006. 12/29/17 R&R at 2. The surgery was followed by a number of complications including wet gangrene. Id. at 4. After unsuccessful attempts to control the infections, the medical staff decided to amputate Mr. Gable's left leg and the procedure was performed on August 23, 2006. Id. at 4-5. Angered by his treatment, Mr. Gable filed an administrative claim with the VA pursuant to the FTCA. See Mem. Op. and Order from Court of Federal Claims (Transfer Op.) [Dkt. 1] at 2. The administrative claim was dated September 8, 2008 by Mr. Gable himself and was received by the VA General Counsel on September 16, 2008. 12/29/17 R&R at 7. The VA denied the administrative claim as time barred and Mr. Gable filed a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims. Transfer Op. at 2. Finding that it lacked jurisdiction, the Court of Federal Claims transferred the case to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631.[2] Id. at 5-6. This Court thereafter read Mr. Gable's pro se filings as advancing seven separate claims:

(1) that Plaintiff's knee replacement was negligently performed;
(2) that improper hospital hygiene led to Plaintiff's methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) infections;
(3) that Plaintiff's amputation was performed without proper consent;
(4) that Plaintiff's amputation was performed unnecessarily;
(5) that Plaintiff's amputation was performed negligently;
(6) that Plaintiff's post-amputation surgical procedures were negligently performed; and
(7) that Plaintiff's non-surgical post-operative care was ...

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