Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Jury: Henry County, Georgia Jury Awards $ 100,000 in Excess of the Defendant’s Final Offer of Settlement

justice-388623-mIn 2012, Rebecca Grimes was driving on Warm Springs Road in Georgia heading West when she was hit in the side by John Watson who was driving on Manchester Expressway when he pulled into her and caused the collision. Ms. Grimes’ shoulder was severely injured as her arms were reaching towards the steering wheel causing a blunt force to her shoulder.

Ms. Grimes had to have surgery on her shoulder and her medical bills were approximately $ 110,000.00 including said surgery. The treating surgeon testified to this fact at trial and the jury agreed. Liability on the part of the Defendant Watson was not at issue at trial. What was at issue at trial, however, was whether or not the amount of damages were excessive and whether or not the crash actually caused Plaintiff Grimes’ injuries. It was duly noted at trial that Ms. Grimes had never had an issue with her shoulder prior to the crash.

The Plaintiff and the Defendant both argued their positions passionately at trial but both remained professional. The case is Grimes v. Watson, No. 14-SV-130-BWS. The case was tried in Henry County State Court since the Court had jurisdiction over the Defendant due to his address in Henry County. The jury ultimately awarded $ 250,000.00 which was $ 100,000.00 over the Defendant’s final offer to settle the case. As was noted by the Plaintiff, if she would have accepted the final offer of $ 150,000.00 that would only have been enough money to pay her medical bills and her attorneys’ fees with nothing left for her pain and suffering or any other damages. The Plaintiff was left with no choice but to take her case to a jury.

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In Georgia, a Trucking Accident that causes No Visible Injuries, but a Mild, Internal Brain Injury that was Traumatic brings a $ 3.5 Million Dollar Verdict: Video Included

brain-001-880737-mOn July 22, 2012, Jewel Wicker was driving her Honda 2002 Accord to church when she was stopped on Camp Creek Parkway at a red light at the intersection of Old Fairborn Road close to the interstates of Georgia. While she was stopped at the red light, she was abruptly run over from behind by a commercial vehicle driven by Parker Owens that was owned by First Class Produce which is his parents’ company. The wreck was so severe that Ms. Wicker’s car was crushed underneath the truck as emergency responders removed her from her vehicle with the jaws of life. Luckily, Ms. Wicker survived the incident, but not without injury.

Mr. Owens, the driver, would tell police that he tried to apply the brakes to stop but nothing happened so he was not able to stop. The police would discover that there were no skid marks at the scene and that nothing was wrong with the brakes of the truck. Mr. Owens was cited for running a red light. Later, at trial, it would never be disputed by anybody on the defense or the plaintiff’s side that it was Owens who caused the crash. It would also not be disputed that Ms. Wicker was injured as a result of the crash.

What would be in dispute at trial, however, was how badly Ms. Wicker, the Plaintiff, was injured and whether or not she had made a full recovery. This would prove to be a difficult concept to prove to the jury since Ms. Wicker’s injuries were not external such as broken bones, a lost limb, scars, or other visible injuries.  Instead, Ms. Wicker’s injuries were internal and in her brain.

To show the damage to the Plaintiff’s brain, at trial the Plaintiff would use many visual aids such as a video that was animated to show the anatomy of the brain and also diagrams showing the brain. The way the Plaintiff also described her injury to the jury was an injury compared to that of shaken baby syndrome where you would not necessarily see a fracture to the skull or a negative CT scan, but, nonetheless, a brain injury exists.

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In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part two

lit-up-mobile-phone-01-103994-mThis blog post will continue my discussion of a Motor Vehicle Accident case in Atlanta, Georgia that I began discussing in my blog post titled, “In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one.”  Ms. Anderson, Chasity’s mother who was driving at the time of the accident when she was reared ended by the driver that was texting and driving, was also injured in the accident but settled her injury claim, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her daughter in Fulton County State Court in the year of 2009.  The case is Anderson v. Brenner, No. 2009EV007726.

In this case, there would be no dispute that the Defendants, Mr. Brenner and the lawn company who owned the vehicle he was driving at the time of the accident, were at fault in the accident as the driver, Mr. Brenner, would admit that he was texting a customer while driving and when he hit the vehicle carrying Ms. Anderson and her then seven (7) year old daughter, Miss Chasity.  What would be at issue was whether or not Chasity, who was fifteen (15) years old at the time of trial, had, in fact, made a full recovery.

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In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one

mobile-phone-in-hand-1307594-mThis is my first blog post titled, “In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one, ” where I will discuss a case in Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia involving a Motor Vehicle Accident whereby the driver that caused the accident was texting and driving at the time of the crash.

Ms. Sharon Anderson was waiting for a light to turn on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. when she was rear-ended by a Ford pick-up truck F-250 that was driven by Mr. Kevin Brenner, and owned by Arbor-Nomics Turf, Inc. a lawn service company, while he was texting and driving.  At the time of the crash, Ms. Anderson’s seven (7) year old daughter, Chasity, was in her car seat in the back seat.  The crash was so severe that the young child was pushed forward from the back seat resulting in her hitting her head on the front seat. The blow to her head was so traumatic that the young Miss Chasity suffered two (2) skull fractures, a fracture to her left eye orbital, and other soft tissue damage.

While she was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Miss Chasity had a seizure and then went into a cardiac arrest. When she presented in the Emergency Room, Miss Chasity had another seizure and another cardiac arrest. She was then stabilized and transported by airlift to another hospital where she would remain overnight and unconscious while her mother feared for her daughter’s life.

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Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta, Georgia: Top Ten Accidents on the Job

sparks-1184243-mInjuries from work related accidents can stop the flow of income needed to support a family so be sure that you contact a qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia to assist you as soon as you have been injured on the job, or if a loved one has been tragically killed on the job.  It is also important to gather as much information about your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia to assist your Workers’ Compensation attorney in helping you get the most they can to compensate you, or a loved one, for an injury on the job.

According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the following are the most common injuries on job:

1. Strain or Overexertion can cause a disability or even death on the job such as a death that is brought on by overexertion while an employee is working.  This type of injury can happen immediately or it can be the type of injury or disability that happened at some point on the job but the employee does not exhibit symptoms until much later and the injury, disability, or death may still be covered under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws. Electrical shock is a good example of a work related injury that can result in disability or even death much later from the workers actual time of the shock.

The most common examples of these types of injuries include, but are not limited to, factory workers, construction workers, and any job that demands physical labor. Furthermore, employers who are in a hurry or rushing employees can result in unsafe working conditions that may cause strain or overexertion.

2. Slip and Fall accidents from workers slipping on wet floors in the work place can result in permeant injuries that should not be dismissed as the employees’ fault. Employees that are injured on the job while working because of poor lighting and unsafe work areas may also be compensated for on the job injuries under current laws in Georgia that cover the injured worker.

3. Falling Down Stairs or Off of a Ladder can result in a serious on the job injury. Other examples of accidents that can cause serious, permanent, and even fatal injuries on the job are construction workers falling from a multilevel building, roofers falling or slipping off a roof, and teachers falling down stairs. Calling a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer immediately following your accident can help to prevent lost wages or losing other assets as a result of lost wages or time away from work.

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A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part two

tree-at-the-same-time-600241-mThis blog post will continue my discussion of the case I discussed in my last blog post titled, “A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part one.”  The Plaintiffs not only had the burden in this case of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that Ms. Taylor had a duty at the traffic signal, that she had breached said duty, and that the injuries suffered by the Plaintiffs were sustained by said accident, the Plaintiffs had to overcome language barriers since neither Plaintiff spoke much english. The Plaintiffs further had to overcome the danger of the jury attaching a stigma to them since they were both immigrants who nonetheless did not speak english very well.

The issue of immigration was hit head on in the trial beginning with voir dire when there was questioning posed to the jury about the importance of setting aside any bias against immigrants who did not speak english. During trial, the jury would again hear about how the Plaintiffs were first-generation Americans with family members from Cuba who did not learn to speak english. Finally, the jury would be reminded that each juror took an oath whereby it was not going to be acceptable to use feelings about learning the english language and about immigration to base her/his decisions regarding a final verdict in this case.

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A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part one

urban-accident-27210-mThis will be my first blog post about this case titled, “A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part one.”  In 2010, at the Intersection of South Puckett Road and Hamilton Mill Road in Gwinnett County, Georgia, there was a Motor Vehicle Crash involving an Engineer who was driving a vehicle owned by Georgia Power, Ms. Cassandra Kim Taylor, and a vehicle operated and occupied by Ms. Sandra Flores Juarez and Mr. William Villacorta.  Ms. Juarez and Mr. Villacorta are two (2) native El Salvadorians who were working in tandem on remodeling and painting jobs and who both spoke very little English. The issues at trial were negligence, damages, and the potential dangers of bias and discrimination in the judicial process.

On the issue of negligence, it was the Defenses’ contention that the Plaintiff driving had passed the point of being able to make a left turn and, therefore, slammed on the brakes of the vehicle suddenly, without warning, and without using a turn signal. The Plaintiffs’ would argue that they were waiting to turn, had their turn signal on, and were then hit from behind. The Defense would contend that Ms. Taylor, the person driving the Georgia Power vehicle, did glance down to the passenger seat at a clipboard just prior to her slamming on the brakes suddenly when she then swerved to the right but was not able to avoid the collision with the vehicle the Plaintiffs’ were traveling in at that time.

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Never Underestimate the Value of a Case: A Small Impact Motor Vehicle Accident Yields More than a $ 1.5 Million Dollar Settlement with Only $ 25,000 in Insurance Policy Limits to Work With in a Case in Georgia

ankle-x-ray-124731-mOn April 28, 2011 at 6:24 p.m. in Marietta near the Georgia landmark in Marietta, the Big Chicken Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant, Celeste Moon, who later becomes the Defendant, lightly hit the bumper of the back of Anne Strong’s Honda Accord. Ms. Moon was cited for Following Too Closely and it was noted that there was no Damage to either Vehicle, except a crack in the license plate holder of Ms. Strong’s car that was worth an estimated $ 50.00, and No Reported Injuries at the scene of the accident.

Later, Ms. Strong, who would become the Plaintiff in the lawsuit, presented in the Emergency Room with pain in her left leg and down her back. This was just the beginning of Ms. Strong’s long journey with her back injury with treatments, surgeries, severe pain and medical bills that would eventually total more than $ 300,000.

As a result of the extensive injuries, the Plaintiff Strong made a demand to the Defendant Moon’s Insurance Company for policy limits of $ 25,000. The insurance adjuster for the Defendant Insurer did not appreciate the value of the case and declined the Plaintiff’s demand since there was no damage to the vehicle and since the impact was so minimal and the adjuster did not believe that the Plaintiff Strong could suffer such a severe injury as a result. This would later be proven as a mistake and bad faith on the part of the Defendant insurance company.

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ANESTHESIA MALPRACTICE ~ The Deviation in the Standard of Anesthetic Care During Intubation Resulting in Aspiration ~ part two

medical-monitoring-1099993-mThis is a continuation of my discussion of this most important topic from my last blog post titled, “ANESTHESIA MALPRACTICE ~ The Deviation in the Standard of Anesthetic Care During Intubation Resulting in Aspiration ~ part one,” whereby I am setting forth some important questions that need to be answered and why these questions are important when faced with a Medical Malpractice Case involving whether or not there was a breach, or deviation, in the standard of care during an intubation that resulted in an aspiration.  The important questions are continued as follows:

5.) Prior to Intubation, was it checked whether or not the Patient had Dentures and were the Dentures Removed?

Why is this important? It is vitally important to identify any anatomical abnormality which could not be favorable for a successful intubation of ventilation.

6.) What, if any, measures were taken to make sure that there were no head and/or spinal cord injuries before positioning the head for Intubation?

Why is this important?  When performing an intubation on an adult, there is usually a pad or pillow that is positioned under the occiput so that the head is elevated. This will also make sure that the laryngeal, pharyngeal, and the oral structures are aligned.

7.) Was a Rigid Intubation Fiberscope in Use?

Why is this important? In patients where the airway is difficult, a Rigid Intubation Fibroscopes can improve the view of larynx.

8.) Prior to the Intubation was the Patient Provided Pre-Oxygenation?

Why is this important? If intubation proves to be difficult, during the period of apnea and before the tracheal intubation Pre-oxygenation can prevent hypoxia.

9.) During Intubation, was the Sellick’s maneuver performed?

Why is this important? Used successfully and routinely, the Sellick maneuver is used to protect patients during endotracheal intubation from esophageal aspiration and gastric insufflation from positive pressure ventilation.

10.) During Intubation, which, if any, of the Following Basic Physiologic Monitors were Performed?

Why is this important? It is imperative that the following physiologic monitors, that are basic, must be in place prior to the induction of anesthesia and tracheal intubation in the emergency department: 1.) Electrocardiography; 2.) Blood pressure that is not invasive; 3.) Pulse oximetry; 4.) End-tidal carbon dioxide analysis; and 5.) Temperature monitoring.

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ANESTHESIA MALPRACTICE ~ The Deviation in the Standard of Anesthetic Care During Intubation Resulting in Aspiration ~ part one

iv-bag-65906-mThis is my first blog titled, “ANESTHESIA MALPRACTICE ~ The Deviation in the Standard of Anesthetic Care During Intubation Resulting in Aspiration ~ part one.”  At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates we handle a variety of Medical Malpractice Cases in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding communities including DeKalb County, Cobb County, Fulton County, the City of Atlanta, and Gwinnett County, just to name a few. One of the types of cases that we see are cases that involve Medical Malpractice in Anesthesiology or, in other words, Anesthesia Malpractice.

For example, a type of case that we see is when there has been a deviation, or breach, in the Standard of Care at the Time of Intubation that has Resulted in Aspiration. In many of these cases, we see Catastrophic Injuries such as severe and permanent brain damage due a lack of oxygen to the brain, and, in the worst case scenarios, we see a Wrongful Death where the patient has died due to the negligence of the anesthesiologist, a nurse, an assistant, an employee of the hospital, the doctor, the hospital itself or any or all of those listed, again, just to name a few of the people and/or entities that could be potentially liable under these circumstances.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a Medical Malpractice Case of this type then we are truly sorry. We understand and are very compassionate to the heartache that your loved one and your family are suffering as a result of such a tragic event. As with all Medical Malpractice Cases, there are strict time lines that must be followed by law and these cases can take months to investigate so it is imperative that you contact us immediately for your free legal consultation by any or all of the following means so that we may begin investigating your case and preparing a case that will end with a winning result: By phone at (770) 865-8654 , (813) 363-6664; by email at juliericelaw@outlook.com; and/or Contact Us on our website or on the Contact Form on this blog. We are available 24/7 and we look forward to assisting you with your case.

In order to determine whether or not there has been a breach in the Standard of Care in these types of cases in particular, there are several questions that must be asked and answered. We have outlined some of the important questions herein below and in our next blog titled, “ANESTHESIA MALPRACTICE ~ The Deviation in the Standard of Anesthetic Care During Intubation Resulting in Aspiration ~ part two,” and also listed why these particular questions are important. Where possible, we have provided outside references as well for your review and consideration.

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