What is the Value of Never being able to Eat Solid Foods for the Rest of Your Life? This Clayton County, Georgia, State Court Jury decides it is Worth more than Nothing which is what the Defense Offered in this Medical Malpractice Case.

operating-room-1-15057-mIn February of 2012, 46 year old Jeannette Collins reported to the Henry Piedmont Hospital Emergency Room (ER) in Georgia with complaints of nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.  Tests were ordered in the ER that ultimately showed that Ms. Collins had a small bowel obstruction requiring surgery.  At trial, both the Plaintiff, Mr. Collins, and the Defendant Dr. Ahmad Nuriddin agreed that this was the proper procedure under the circumstances.  During the surgery, however, the Defendants contend that they discovered that Ms. Collins had gastric outlet obstruction which is a problem that will keep the stomach from emptying. 

As such, the Defendants performed a procedure to correct the alleged outlet obstruction by severing a nerve to both the stomach and the intestine meant to reduce acid production; the procedure, once performed, can not be reversed.  The Plaintiff’s medical experts testified at trial, however, that Ms. Collins did not suffer from said gastric outlet obstruction and, furthermore, that the procedure that was performed was an act of last resort, outdated, and, in this case, unnecessary. 


In Cobb County, Georgia a young Toddler was Left in a Hot Van for Two (2) Hours while at Day Care; the Driver of said Van was Arrested

thermometer-1209600-mIt is that time of the year when we all get ready for some fun in the sun.  Children are out of school after counting the last days on the calendar until Summer Break. Parents are busy adjusting their work schedules and care for their children during this time, while teachers take a much needed break before returning to school in the Fall with fresh and invigorating teaching ideas.

For some families and individuals, a much needed vacation to a place far, far away is planned or a chance to see distant relatives for a long awaited reunion is occupying our many thoughts. For others, summer is a time to recharge those batteries with a good book and some much deserved relaxation after a year of hustle and bustle.

Each Summer, however, we are reminded about how dangerous and deadly this time of the year can become in the blink of the eye. Last year, for example, our nation mourned as we watched the cameras roll and the fate of a young father unfold before our very eyes while being accused of the death of his two (2) year old son, Cooper, whom the father failed to drop off at day care one morning and instead left him strapped in his car seat in a sweltering hot car that ultimately resulted in little Cooper’s death. Although little Cooper’s death seemed to take most of us by surprise, the evidence showed very quickly that children die in this manner at an alarming rate during the hot summer months every where in this country.


In Atlanta, Georgia an Automobile Accident involving at least one (1) Drunk Driver that caused the Wrongful Death of a young lady settles out of court and prior to trial for over $ 4.3 Million Dollars

toddler-and-mom-feet-1442012-mOn July 20, 2013, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Carlos Ashley and his soon to be bride, Adrianna Barron, were returning to their home in Henry County, Georgia from a premarital counseling session in Atlanta, Georgia when traveling on Interstate 75/85. On that same fateful night, Jeremy Crawley was also driving on Interstate 75/85, although he was drunk, when he hit the retaining wall and went across five (5) lanes of traffic before coming to a stop that was perpendicular to the highway. Three (3) of the four (4) cars that were behind Crawley were able to stop.

The fourth (4th) car (car # 4), however, was not able to stop.  Car # 4 hit the last car in line (car #3), the car that carried Carlos Ashley and Adrianna Barron; Carlos was driving and Adrianna was his passenger.  Then the car that carried Mr. Ashley and Ms. Barron (car # 3) hit the car in front of them (car # 2).  Subsequently, car # 2 hit the first car that was able to stop (car # 1). The drivers of car # 1 and car # 2 were not severely injured in the crash.

Carlos Ashley and Adrianna Barron would not be so fortunate in car # 3.  Car # 3 was hit by car # 4 and it also hit car # 2.  Carlos Ashley suffered a serious injury in the crash and was taken to the hospital.

Adrianna Barron, only 23 years old at the time, would suffer an occipital dislocation at the base of her skull.  The injury would be described by experts as an internal beheading of which Ms. Barron was most likely aware, that resulted in her tragic and untimely death at the scene of the accident.  Adrianna would leave behind a young child, her son, whom she shared with Mr. Ashley.

It is truly a senseless and tragic event when a mother and child lose one and other in such a manner.  Ms. Barron’s young son will never know his mother, and his mother lost all those moments in life from her wedding day, to seeing her son off to his first day of school, and to being there with her family for all those moments in life in which we all treasure.

Crawley and the driver of car # 4, Hollis Floyd, were both charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and first-degree homicide, among other traffic violations.


A Jury in Bibb County, Macon, Georgia Awarded $ 4.3 Million Dollars to the Parents of a Baby that was Born Premature, but Died, for Medical Malpractice and the Wrongful Death of the Child

hands-1402625-mOn August 1, 2007, Charles Dean, the baby boy of the Deans, was born by cesarian emergency delivery just 23 months and 4 days into the pregnancy and weighed just 1 pound and 26 ounces. Baby boy Dean lived for two (2) days and then died as he was just too small to survive outside the womb at that time. The parents of baby boy Dean, the Deans, brought a Medical Malpractice lawsuit against the two (2) obstetricians in charge of the care of the mother, Katherine Dean, during her pregnancy, for the Wrongful Death of Baby Boy Charles Dean.  The case is Dean v. Central Georgia Women’s Health Center, No. 72025.

In the lawsuit, the Deans argued that the mother had a prior history of miscarriage and a cervix condition and that, although all the tests that were ordered by the doctors were correct, when the mother began experiencing problems that lead to the premature delivery, the doctors failed to follow through when they should have been paying attention and doing more to stop the premature delivery of this baby. The Defense argued that the mother’s cervical condition and the premature delivery were not synonymous and that the treatment that a medical expert testified should have been performed during the pregnancy would not have prevented the premature labor and subsequent delivery.

The Macon, Georgia, Bibb County, Jury would disagree with the doctors’ defense, however, and, after a two (2) hour and fifteen (15) minute deliberation following a seven (7) day trial, would render a verdict in the total amount of $ 4.3 million dollars for the Deans.


The Family who would not back down to GM for an Ignition Defect that killed their Daughter will be honored by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

justice-388623-mAlthough it is still not the norm, we are beginning to see families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving vehicles, pharmaceuticals, or other products with product liability defects stand up to the companies who are involved in the manufacturing and otherwise of such products, and not settle for amounts in either class action suits or otherwise. I have blogged about two (2) such extraordinary examples recently.

One blog being about the family of a four year old who was killed in a gas tank explosion who decided to take the case to trial whereby the jury awarded $ 150 Million Dollars to the family for the Wrongful Death of their precious son. The other case was the case of Beth and Ken Melton who took General Motors to the mat when their daughter was killed due to an ignition defect.

In the Melton case, it was further discovered that GM knew of the defect and further tried to cover it up . Chrysler, who was held responsible for the death of the four year old in the gas tank explosion case, has yet to acknowledge liability in that case, but the verdict has certainly turned heads of those at the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA) who supported the gas tank design in the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and rendered it an unreasonable safety hazard on the road. As I blogged recently, NHSTA is now rethinking that decision very carefully.


A Hardworking Railroad Employee Injured in a Wreck Involving a Train is Awarded just over $ 1 Million Dollars by a Fulton County, Georgia Jury (Video Included)

look-out-for-trains-1444327-mThe Plaintiff, Winfred Evans, then age 46 years old, was a freight conductor for Norfolk Southern Railway when he was the passenger in a van that was used to carry workers for the railway in the Inman Rail Yard in Georgia. The van was owned by Professional Transportation, Inc. (a/k/a PTI). On this particular day, the van in which Evans was riding was running parallel to a set of tracks of the railroad when it approached a railroad crossing simultaneously with a train. Instead of stopping to wait for the train, however, the van turned in front of the train causing the train to strike the side of the van in which Evans was riding.

Although the van was only traveling at a rate of speed of approximately 8 to 10 miles per hour, it struck the van with enough force to cause Evans severe and permanent injuries. Fortunately, the person riding in the back of the van was not hurt. It is unknown if the driver of the van was injured, but it is known that he was subsequently fired from his job as a driver.

Evans was not taken from the scene in an ambulance and was hoping that home remedies would cure his pain. The next day, however, when he awoke he had trouble moving which prompted his wife to take him to the emergency room. Evans continued on with physical therapy to no avail. He then sought treatment with an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed him with strain in his left shoulder, and cervical and lumbar strain. He was also told that eventually he would need surgery. As a result of his injuries, Evans was unable to work for 17 months causing him a tremendous amount of lost wages.


A Woman who was Injured in a Low-Impact Rear End Collision for which she sought Back Surgery was awarded Nothing by a Jackson County, Georgia Jury

car-parking-dent-923935-mIn November, 2001, on a rainy day, the Plaintiff, a woman from Tifton, Georgia named Melissa Chapman, was stopped on Pleasant Hill Road at a traffic light in Gwinnett County, Georgia when she was was hit in the rear of her car by Defendant Ameda Wittmer.  Defendant Wittmer would admit to being the cause of the accident, but deny that the accident was the cause of the surgical treatment that the Plaintiff later endured to her back.

It was acknowledged that the impact was a low-speed impact, that neither car sustained more damage beyond bumper damage in the form of minor scratches, there was no ambulance called, and there was no emergency visit to the hospital by the Plaintiff.  Later, however, and not much longer after the accident, the Plaintiff would complain to friends and family that she was experiencing back and neck pain.

She treated her pain initially with over the counter medication and other home remedies to no avail. She then sought the assistance of a chiropractor who referred her to an orthopedic clinic that treated her with an injection to no avail.

The Plaintiff then underwent surgery for herniated disks in her back and the surgery did relieve her pain. Although this was ultimately a surgical case, the problem that seemed to stand in the way of a decent settlement or jury verdict, as acknowledged by attorneys for both sides, was, in part, the fact that the Plaintiff waited two (2) months to seek medical treatment. The case is Chapman v. Wittmer, No. M12CV1132.

This case seems to ignore, in part, that there is scientific evidence, as I have posted in a prior blog post that does acknowledge that severe injury can be caused from low-impact rear end collisions going as slow, or slower, than seven (7) miles per hour. There are also cases that have set precent that even though the Plaintiff has waited to seek treatment, and in some cases engaged in activities that it might be argued exasperate an injury of this sort, that juries have returned verdicts in the seven (7) figures if the case has resulted in a surgery or other major injury.


The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that in Medical Malpractice Cases in Georgia that if the Plaintiff’s Affidavit attached to the Plaintiff’s Complaint is Challenged that the Plaintiff May File an Amended Complaint with an Affidavit from a New Expert

gavel-952313-mThis is a case that many with the Georgia Bar have been watching as the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled unanimously to affirm the Georgia Court of Appeals’ ruling that states that if the Plaintiff’s Medical Expert Affidavit filed with the Plaintiff’s original complaint in a Medical Malpractice Case is found defective, and the Defendant files a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint based on said defect, that the Plaintiff could, if filed within thirty (30) days of being served with said Motion, cure the defect by filing an Amended Complaint with an Affidavit of a new Expert. This ruling serves to further define a rule of law in Georgia that has been in place since the 1980’s as well as set new standards for both Plaintiffs and Defendants in Medical Malpractice Cases in Georgia.

This ruling comes from a case that originated in Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court, whereby the Plaintiff filed a Medical Malpractice Complaint with the required Expert Affidavit Attached thereto. The Defendant subsequently filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint stating that said Affidavit was defective. The Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint with a new Affidavit from a new expert, not a new Affidavit from the same expert as the original Affidavit.

The Defendant filed a Motion with the Court to Dismiss the Plaintiff’s claim for violating the rule that a Plaintiff’s Complaint in a Medical Malpractice Case must be filed with the Affidavit of a Medical Expert. The Honorable Kimberly Esmond Adams of the Superior Court agreed with the Defendant and dismissed the Plaintiff’s Complaint. The case is Gala v. Fisher, No. S14G0919.

The Plaintiff Appealed the case to the Georgia Court of Appeals and the three (3) Justice Panel of said Court consisting of the Honorable Elizabeth Barnes, the Honorable John Ellington, and the Chief Judge Herbert Phipps, disagreed with the Superior Court and reinstated the Plaintiff’s lawsuit. The case made its way to the Georgia Supreme Court whereby the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the Court of Appeals, and, as further stated by the Honorable Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines that, “Nothing in our reading of the statute detracts from that purpose,” wrote Hines. “[The plaintiff] has exercised his right to amend his complaint as a matter of course under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-15(a), and produced an affidavit of an expert who opines that professional malpractice occurred.”


Follow Up to the Blog Posted Dated April 9, 2015 re: $ 150 Million Dollar Plaintiff’s Verdict against Chrysler: NHTSA may Reopen Investigation of the older Jeeps’ gas tanks and may also open a New Investigation

business-law-883985-mAs I posted in my April 9, 2015 blog post titled, “A $ 150 Million Dollar Verdict in Georgia against Chrysler for the Death of a Young Child Due to an Exploding Gas Tank Exposes the Company to Future Massive Tort Litigation (Video’s of the Trial Included),” a Georgia Jury in Bainbridge, Georgia, just over one week ago, awarded a family who lost their 4-year old son in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee gas tank explosion following a rear end collision, $ 150 Million Dollars in Damages for the loss of their son and for their son’s pain and suffering in his horrific death. In that blog, I stated that the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), after investigating the Jeep’s gas tank design by, among other things, 20 year old data submitted by Chrysler, had determined that the Jeep was an, “unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.”

NHTSA may, however, be changing course in reference to its earlier determination that the Jeep’s gas tank design was safe.  Mark Rosakind, the head of NHTSA, told reporters yesterday at the New York International Auto Show at a briefing that he may reopen the investigation of the safety of the older Jeeps’ gas tanks, and that he may even begin a new investigation.  Rosalind was quoted as stating, “We’re not satisfied with the current situation, so we are looking for every avenue that would be appropriate for us to take action,” and, “Given all of the stuff that’s going on, we want to figure out what else we can be doing.” Rosakind also stated that he has a group that is organized to look into actions that regulators can take and he has further stated that, “Everything is on the table for us to look at.”


A $ 150 Million Dollar Verdict in Georgia against Chrysler for the Death of a Young Child Due to an Exploding Gas Tank Exposes the Company to Future Massive Tort Litigation (Video’s of the Trial Included)

explosion-776833-mOn March 6, 2012, the Waldens were driving in Bainbridge, Georgia when their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee was struck from behind by a vehicle that was traveling more than 50 miles per hour. Neither of the Drivers of either vehicle were injured in the impact.  The 4-year old child that sat in the back seat of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, manufactured by Chrysler, only suffered a fractured leg until the Jeep burst into flames causing the death of the young Remington Walden. The parent’s marriage would also die that fateful night.

This was not the first time that a vehicle with this gas tank design had exploded causing Catastrophic Injury or Death, and Chrysler knew it as they settled claims quietly and recalled just enough vehicles to keep the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) satisfied. Chrysler tried to settle with the Waldens, but to no avail. The Waldens had nothing more to lose: Their son was dead and their marriage was dead; now it was time for Chrysler to be exposed.

And exposed they would be by a Bainbridge, Georgia jury a week ago today when the jury awarded one hundred and fifty million dollars and No/00th ($ 150,000,000.00) to the Waldens for the Wrongful Death of their young 4-year old son Remi. The case is Walden v. Chrysler Group, 12CV472. The jury apportioned $ 120 Million Dollars of the verdict for the value of Remi’s life and $ 30 Million Dollars for the young child’s pain and suffering as he died while flames from the vehicle engulfed him and the Jeep in which he was riding. The jury only attributed one percent (1%) of the fault of the accident to the other driver that hit the Jeep from behind, leaving ninety-nine percent (99%) of the fault with Fiat Chrylser.