Original Proceeding Petition for Writ of Review District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kite, Chief Justice.
Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.
KITE, C.J., delivers the opinion of the Court; VOIGT, J., files an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of typographical or other formal errors so correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.
[¶1] After the Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, Wyoming (Hospital) filed a complaint against him, Kenneth Madsen, M.D. filed a counterclaim against the Hospital. On the Hospital's motion, the district court dismissed the counterclaim finding that it did not adequately allege compliance with the signature and certification requirements for notices of claim contained in the Wyoming Constitution. We reverse.
[¶2] The issues for this Court's determination are:
1. Whether the allegation contained in Dr. Madsen's counterclaim complies with the Wyoming Constitution, Art. 16, § 7 and Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-39-113 (LexisNexis 2009).
2. Whether the itemization of damages contained in Dr. Madsen's notice of claim is sufficient under Art. 16, § 7 and § 1-39-113.
[¶3] The facts underlying this dispute are not relevant to the issues presented for our determination. Suffice it to say, the Hospital and Dr. Madsen entered into an agreement in 2004. In 2007, Dr. Madsen left the Hospital and moved his practice to Cheyenne. He presented a Notice of Claim dated November 8, 2007, to the Hospital asserting it had breached the agreement and caused him damages.
[¶4] On December 10, 2007, the Hospital filed a complaint against Dr. Madsen in the district court claiming he had breached the agreement. Dr. Madsen answered the complaint and filed a counterclaim against the Hospital for breach of contract. The counterclaim contained the following allegation, which is the focus of one of the issues before us in this appeal:
43. Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-39-113 as well as Article 16, § 7 of the Wyoming Constitution, Dr. Madsen's Notice of Claims was delivered to . [the Hospital]'s chief financial officer, on or about November 9, 2005. A copy of that notice is attached as Exhibit A.
[¶5] Exhibit A attached to the answer is captioned "Notice of Claim Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-39-113." The opening sentence states in relevant part: ". this letter serves as Dr. Madsen's NOTICE OF CLAIMS pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-39-113 as well as Article 16, § 7 of the Wyoming Constitution." In addition to detailing the facts underlying Dr. Madsen's claim ...