A Medical Malpractice Jury Trial in Georgia Allegedly Riddled with Errors Returns a Verdict of almost $ 22 Million Dollars for the Plaintiff, No Punitive Damages in the Case Despite Evidence to the Contrary, and a Vow from Defense Counsel that there Will Be an Appeal [A VIDEO Link is Included Hereinbelow] ~ part one

vitals-monitor-294066-mIn 2008, Gwen Brown underwent an elective procedure in Georgia whereby she was receiving injections of steroids at the direction of her doctor, Dr. Dennis Doherty, at the Southeastern Pain Ambulatory Surgery Center when it was indicated by monitors that her breathing was improper. It would be noted by lawyers for the Plaintiff and in Court documents that Ms. Brown was deprived severely of oxygen for as many as ten (10) minutes, that her blood pressure had dramatically dropped and that there was not a detection of any pulse. Regardless of the situation, Dr. Doherty did not discontinue the procedure.

Furthermore, it was noted by the former nurse who was the chief nurse at the time and also later a codefendant in the lawsuit, Mary Hardwick, that Dr. Doherty was late for the procedure and that this was common for him as well as his frequent impaired appearance along with other behavioral and patient safety issues. Nevertheless and given the grave conditions at hand, 911 was not called for over an hour. Later, Ms. Brown would then be transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Georgia. Despite the conditions in which Ms. Brown was admitted to St. Josephs, Dr. Doherty failed to tell anybody at St. Josephs that Ms. Brown had been without oxygen for many minutes.


Georgia Nurse Receives Temporary Disability Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Shoulder Strain Suffered at Work

65899_hospital_bed_2 sxchuAn administrative law judge (“ALJ”) for the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation has ordered an employer to pay temporary total disability benefits to a nurse who was hurt while performing her job duties. In Case No. 2014-007345, a Charlton County employer requested a hearing to determine whether an employee was entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries she allegedly sustained in a workplace accident. Although the employer was mailed a notice pursuant to the requirements of Georgia law, the employer failed to enter an appearance at the hearing. After reviewing the evidence offered by the worker, the ALJ issued his findings of fact and conclusions of law.

According to the ALJ, the worker’s testimony established that her employer had seven or more employees. Because of this, the employer was subject to the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. After determining that he had jurisdiction to review the case, the ALJ noted that venue was also proper. Next, the ALJ found that the injured worker successfully established she was employed as a licensed practical nurse, earning approximately $722 per week from the employer at the time of the alleged incident.


A Georgia Premises Liability Case where a Hotel will now Pay $ 1.17 Million for the Shooting of a Guest

hotel-fasade-3-1341162-mIn Atlanta, Georgia on Pollard Boulevard on November 10, 2010 at approximately 2 a.m. at the Country Inn & Suites, Heinz Fojutowski, who had made a reservation and paid in advance online to stay at the hotel, was attempting to check into the hotel only to find that the front desk worker on duty had locked the front door.  It would later be found out that this was for the clerk’s own protection.  Since Mr. Fojutowski was not able to check into the hotel, he returned to his car whereby a man with a gun approached him from behind demanding money and the keys to the car. The gunman took both the keys and the money and then shot Mr. Fojutowski and fled in the now stolen vehicle.

Mr. Fojutowski was left bleeding in the parking lot with his intestines laying outside of his body. Mr. Fojutowski had a traveling friend with him who called 911 and used a t-shirt to put his intestines back into his body and hold pressure on the wounded area to control the bleeding until help arrived. When help arrived, Fojutowski was transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia where he underwent many surgeries for injuries to his back and his internal organs. He stayed at Grady for eleven (11) days and his total medical expenses exceeded $ 500,000.00. At the time of trial, Mr. Fojutowski was still using a cane for walking and it was claimed that the injuries he suffered were disabling.

The case against the hotel, Fojutowski v. Bhagywanti, No. 2012 –CV-04397-FF, was based upon the legal theory of Premises Liability and that the hotel was negligent in failing to keep the premises safe for its guests and invitees. Specifically, the hotel, prior to this incident, provided onsite security, but in an effort to budget had cut out the security that it used to provide onsite. The hotel argued that the security did not matter and that this incident was unforeseeable, and that the outcome would not have been any different had the hotel provided onsite security.

A Clayton County State Court Jury would disagree as it awarded a $ 3.68 Million Dollar Verdict and apportioned 32% of the verdict to the owner of the hotel for failing to provide adequate security. 58% of the liability was placed on Tamario Wise who was the shooter, but not a defendant in the case. Wise is now serving fifteen (15) life sentences for this and other heinous crimes that he had committed as the leader of the gang called the Jack Boys.


A Midtown, Georgia, now Closed, once Popular, Night-Club has a Default Judgment of over $ 10 Million Against it in a Dram Shop Liability Wrongful Death Action ~ part two

night life blog jan 15 2015In what would seem an open and shut Dram Shop Liability and Wrongful Death Action, that I began discussing in my last blog post titled, “A Midtown, Georgia, now Closed, once Popular, Night-Club has a Default Judgment of over $ 10 Million Against it in a Dram Shop Liability Wrongful Death Action ~ part one,” this case turns into a fight with an insurance company, the withdraw of attorneys by order of the court, and the insurance company’s CEO and founder, Jeffrey Cohen, now sitting in a federal detention facility awaiting trial on charges of making false statements and money laundering and he is attempting to represent himself in said action.

Fortunately, the end result would be a default judgment against the club for over $ 10 Million Dollars in favor of the parents of the deceased Griner. Unfortunately, the insurance company that provided coverage for the club in the event of a dram shop incident had collapsed now leaving the Plaintiffs with the fate of whether or not they will collect said judgment in a receivership.

This is a situation that occurs and many people only see the large dollar amount of the judgment and not the difficulty of collecting the same. In many cases, obtaining a judgment is not the hard part, as such was ultimately in this case, it is collecting the judgment. The positive part is that this is a default judgment and, in Georgia, a default judgment can not be discharged in bankruptcy. The reality, however, is that the insurance company at issue, Indemnity Insurance, was incorporated in Delaware, which is not uncommon for many corporations.  Therefore, if the insurance company is protected by the bankruptcy laws in Delaware, then therein lies the difficulty in collection.


A Midtown, Georgia, now Closed, once Popular, Night-Club has a Default Judgment of over $ 10 Million Against it in a Dram Shop Liability Wrongful Death Action ~ part one

lightspeed for blog jan 12This most tragic incident began on January 19, 2010 when Christa Scott, then age 26, went to work at her job as a waitress for the once popular drinking and clubbing hotspot in Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, Door 44. That night Door 44 was the host of a “Scallywags Ball” that was inviting patrons of the club to, “Come Get Stewed, Screwed, and Tattooed,” which was code for what the club was known for, wild partying and drinking. The bar not only hosted such events, it also encouraged its employees, like Scott, to drink with patrons and had employees do shots before shifts also known as “shift shots”.

On the same fateful night that Christa Scott was getting drunk on the job, a young Jordan Griner was the designated driver for himself and other interns of Georgia’s then Governor Sonny Perdue’s office. The responsible Griner had dropped off all of those that he was driving home that evening and was heading home himself that night when he was driving West on 17th Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

At the same time, the drunk waitress Scott was driving on West Peachtree Street when she ran a red light striking the driver’s side of Griner’s vehicle.  Jordan Griner had to be extracted from the vehicle and was later pronounced dead at Grady Hospital.  The parents of Jordan Griner would never see their son alive again.  Scott, on the other hand, walked away from the accident and went to a nearby establishment asking for a drink of water in an attempt to cover up her noticeable and obvious intoxication.


One of Georgia’s Top Legal Settlements in 2013 Involving a Total of Nine Motor Vehicles and a Collision with a Tractor-Trailer

 road-traffic-accident-1016504-mIn April of 2012 the Plaintiff John Roe, age 30, was driving his motor vehicle on 1-285 in Georgia with two (2) passengers; Jane Doe age 1, and John Doe age 6. At the same time, Defendant Jimmy Roe was driving a Tractor-Trailer when he struck another car that was driven by Defendant James Roe. At that time, James Roe was attempting to change lanes when he crossed the outer lanes of traffic and then struck the median. Both Defendants Jimmy Roe and James Roe lost control of their vehicles and struck more vehicles on the interstate resulting in a collision with a total of nine (9) vehicles.

One of the vehicles struck was Plaintiff John Roe who claimed injuries of a herniated disc in his back. Young Jane Doe sustained minor injuries, but John Doe had closed head injuries that resulted in brain damage that was irreparable. The Plaintiff’s filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court claiming that the truck was traveling too fast for conditions even though he was going the speed limit. The truck driver, on the other hand, blamed the accident on the Defendant James Roe for pulling into his lane without any warning, applying his brakes, and thereby causing a collision that could not be avoided. Defendant James Roe stated that he was merely changing lanes as instructed by the road construction signs. James Roe was cited for an unlawful lane change, but the ticket was dismissed. Truck driver Defendant Jimmy Roe was not cited in the accident.


An Injured Employee is Awarded $ 2.58 Million Dollars in an Unusual Injury Case in Georgia

love-under-cannon-1395190-mA Railroad Worker for Railserve, Inc., Plaintiff Colby Hines, age 28 years old, and some of his fellow employees were drinking beer after work when Hines and his fellow employees, and possibly a supervisor or two, decided to make a potato cannon. A potato cannon is a make shift bomb made of beer cans, potatoes, and other items that act as projectiles.

The potato cannon was then detonated and, although Plaintiff Hines was on a fire escape 75 feet away from the cannon in an effort to video record the event, he was struck by shrapnel when the cannon malfunctioned and shrapnel travelled through the yard ultimately hitting Plaintiff Hines.  Hines was left with a severe and catastrophic brain injury leaving him with aphasia making it impossible for Hines to name things or retrieve words, and he now has seizures and does not have peripheral vision.

There were several issues at play during this case. One was a jurisdictional issue since the injury took place in Kansas yet the employer company, Railserve, Inc., was based in Georgia.  The case was brought in Clayton County, Georgia, State Court.  Upon a motion for summary judgement brought by the Defendant, Judge John Carbo, III granted summary judgement in favor of the Defendant Employer Railserve, Inc.

The Plaintiff Hines then appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.  Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Andrews was adamant that Plaintiff Hines was not entitled to any recovery based on Judge Andrew’s belief that Plaintiff Hines was the “sole proximate cause of his own injuries,” and Judge Andrews held firm in this belief despite the fact that there was evidence that Railserve was negligent by not supervising the premises.  Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals of Georgia reversed the summary judgement decision in favor of Railserve, Inc. and the case was subsequently tried by a jury in Clayton County State Court.