Medical Malpractice - $2 Million Verdict in Montgomery County, Alabama

A Montgomery County jury returned a $2 million verdict against Noland Hospital in February 2018. Marsh, Rickard & Bryan attorneys David Marsh, Ty Brown, and J.D. Marsh tried this case on behalf of the plaintiff. The medical malpractice case grows out of the death of 77-year-old Larry Nobles while he was a patient at Noland's Long Term Care Hospital in Montgomery in 2012. Mr. Nobles was admitted to Noland after a two week hospitalization at another hospital in Montgomery. When he entered Noland, he was noted to be confused and disoriented, and at high risk for falls. His doctor ordered that wrist restraints be applied to Mr. Nobles because he was unable to avoid pulling on his central line, dialysis catheter and Foley catheter. Despite the fact that when she left for the evening, Mr. Nobles' wife reminded the nurses on duty to put the restraints on Mr. Nobles, the nurses did not do it. They left him in bed, unrestrained and unobserved. This was a violation of the doctor's orders and a violation of Noland's own policies and procedures. Because he was unrestrained, Mr. Nobles climbed or fell out of bed and was found an hour later on the floor in his room, moaning and bleeding. He had pulled out his dialysis and Foley catheters. The nurses got him back into bed but never put an occlusive dressing over the hole left behind by this dialysis catheter. This, too, was a violation of the standard of care. Thirty minutes later, Mr. Nobles died as a result of an air embolism that entered his jugular vein through the open hole. The air embolism blocked the blood flow to his heart and resulted in his death.

Medical Malpractice - $500,000 Verdict in Jefferson County, Alabama

In January 2018, a Jefferson County jury returned a verdict in favor of a 26-year-old disabled woman who died unnecessarily in 2012 after St. Vincent's Hospital East failed to call her critical labs directly to her physician, as its own written policy required in 2012. The jury awarded $500,000. The case for the family was tried by Marsh, Rickard & Bryan attorneys David Marsh, Rip Andrews, and Ben Ford. Aleshia Neal was severely mentally handicapped and suffered from a seizure disorder. She lived in a group home in Birmingham. Months before her death, Aleshia had lab work done at St. Vincent's Hospital East as an outpatient. The results showed high electrolyte sodium levels. Those critical lab values were never communicated to Aleshia's main doctor so they went untreated. The same lab work was repeated two months later, and the results again showed critically high electrolyte sodium levels. In fact, the sodium level, in particular, had worsened. These second critical lab values didn't reach Aleshia's main doctor either, so they, too, went unaddressed. Aleshia died shortly after that from complications of an electrolyte imbalance and her blood showed elevated sodium and chloride levels. Evidence at trial showed that St. Vincent's East, in order to charge for the labs ir performed, was required by industry groups to have a written policy in place for communicating critical labs. St. Vincent's East's policies required that outpatient labs be communicated to the ordering physician. Simply put, the lab missed two opportunities to save Aleshia's life. Instead, the lab called the critical values to the group home headquarters, violating its policy and adding an unnecessary intermediary to the chain of communication. The case against the group home was resolved prior to trial.

Medical Malpractice – Coffee County, Alabama

David Marsh and Mike Beard reached a settlement on behalf of a young mother whose newborn child died. Suit was brought against the mother's obstetrician and the hospital where labor and delivery occurred.

The drug Pitocin was used to start labor. The suit claimed that the Pitocin was mismanaged and the doctor and nurses failed to recognize obvious signs that the baby was becoming compromised. Sadly, the baby was not responsive at birth. The baby did not receive adequate oxygen during the latter stages of labor and she suffered a catastrophic brain injury, which caused her death. There was a dispute between the doctor and the nurses as to what the doctor was told about the fetal monitoring strips; the doctor maintained that if he had been correctly informed how the baby was doing, he would have immediately performed a life-saving c-section.

Medical Malpractice And Fraud – $16 Million Verdict In Jefferson County, Alabama

A Jefferson County state court jury awarded a Birmingham couple $16 million in damages after finding that Brookwood Medical Center violated the standard of care for labor and delivery and participated in reckless fraud. MRB attorneys David Marsh and Rip Andrews tried the case for the couple, Caroline and J.T. Malatesta.

In March 2012, Caroline wanted nothing more than a safe and uneventful natural childbirth experience. After having three healthy children in the standard medicated way, Caroline was first drawn to natural childbirth by the ads Brookwood Medical Center ran on television, magazines and the internet. Those Brookwood ads emphasized a mother's choice, individual birthing plans and freedom of movement, and they even mentioned water births. Caroline met with her newly chosen doctor at Brookwood and asked lots of questions before finally committing to a delivery at Brookwood.

The so-called natural childbirth experience at Brookwood turned out to be a nightmare for the Malatestas. Caroline had no freedom of movement; instead, she was restrained, sometimes forcibly. Caroline was offered no choice – it was the nurses' way or no way. At one point, a nurse held the baby's head to slow down delivery. Thankfully, Caroline delivered a healthy son but was left with painful and debilitating physical injuries she will have to endure the rest of her life. These injuries leave her little ability to be the sort of mother or wife she was before all this happened.

Medical Malpractice – $20 Million Verdict In Etowah County, Alabama

A Gadsden state court jury awarded $20 million to the daughter of a woman who died from a drug overdose administer while in the care of a rehabilitation hospital. In the early morning hours of July 5, 2011, 79-year-old Doris Green was discovered unresponsive with decreased respiration and an oxygen saturation of 70, telltale signs of opiate overdose. Mrs. Green was rushed to Gadsden Regional Medical Center. During travel, she was found to have pinpoint-nonreactive pupils, another key sign. Upon arrival at GRMC, she responded repeatedly to Narcan, the opiate antidote. Two drug screens then revealed she had received opiates, even though she had no prescription for opiates and was not supposed to get them. Mrs. Green spent nearly all of her next 100 days of life in the hospital; she never recovered and ultimately died. MRB attorneys David Marsh and Rip Andrews tried the case for the plaintiff. They were assisted by co-counsel Bruce Downey, of Anniston, during the 10-day trial.

HealthSouth defended the case by claiming that Mrs. Green could not have received opiates because there were no opiates in her chart.

Medical Malpractice – $4 Million Verdict In Houston County, Alabama

A Dothan state court jury awarded $4 million to the daughter of a man who died from a fall in a long-term care hospital. In August 2007, 77-year-old Thomas Doster was found on the floor of his room at Noland Hospital Dothan. A review of his medical records and a state investigation revealed that he was supposed to be in restraints at the time of the fall because he was such a high fall risk. The jury found that the hospital breached the standard of care by leaving the restraints off of Mr. Doster and that the breach caused Mr. Doster's death less than 12 hours after his fall. Rip Andrews and Ben Ford tried the case for the plaintiff. They were assisted by local counsel Todd Derrick during the one-week trial.

The hospital defended the case by claiming that the records were wrong and that Mr. Doster never actually fell, or that fall has a separate definition in the medical context, and that his death was a coincidence in time.

Medical Malpractice – Confidential Settlement In Jefferson County, Alabama

David Marsh settled a medical malpractice case on behalf of a 44-year-old man who had his prostate, bladder, colon and rectum removed in a 2012 surgical procedure at a Birmingham hospital – all based on faulty pathology. What the hospital pathologist read as carcinoma was actually tissue with the appearance typical of and consistent with the effect of earlier radiation. There was no malignancy and our client had his organs removed unnecessarily.

This catastrophic medical error caused incalculable damages. He has already suffered and is likely to continue to experience infections, abscesses and other painful complications for the rest of his life. By the time the case settled, our client had been in and out of the hospital 15 times since the pelvic exenteration. He lost his livelihood and his wife.

Medical Malpractice Case – $4.5 Million Verdict In Mobile County, Alabama

A Mobile state court jury returned a $4.5 million verdict against Coastal Neurological Institute for the wrongful death of a 56-year-old man who died on June 18, 2008, after he suffered a serious allergic reaction to an MRI contrast agent that was administered during a routine outpatient MRI. The case was brought on behalf of the estate of the patient, Cecil Roy Thomas. Ty Brown and Roger Lucas represented the plaintiff. They were assisted by local counsel during the one-week trial.

The case focused on the medical clinic staff's failure to respond quickly enough to Mr. Thomas' reaction and to administer the drug epinephrine – the well-established first-line treatment for any serious allergic reactions – and also the medical clinic's failure to have basic emergency equipment and medications available to manage the worst kind of reactions known to occur with contrast agents.

Medical Malpractice – $77,500 Verdict In Montgomery County, Alabama

72-year-old Betty Monk was injured while being transported to Baptist Medical Center South. A nurse from Southeastern Cardiology Consultants, P.C., had to transport Ms. Monk from the physician's office to the hospital for a diagnostic test. Instead of using a wheelchair, the nurse used a walker. The walker flipped over when it hit the wheelchair ramp. As a result, Ms. Monk was thrown onto her back and suffered a broken coccyx. The case was tried by Mike Beard and Dylan Marsh. They argued that the walker was not meant to be used as transport and was marked with explicit warnings not to use for this purpose.

Failure To Vaccinate – Confidential Settlement In Montgomery County, Alabama

David Marsh and Mike Beard settled a medical malpractice case on behalf of a young woman who suffered a brain injury when she contracted pneumococcal meningitis. The case centered on allegations that our client would never have gotten meningitis if she had received a post-splenectomy immunization as ordered by her doctor two years earlier. Today, our client requires 24-hour care and supervision. She experiences problems with her short-term memory, judgment and impulse control.

Failure To Change Surgical Dressing – Confidential Settlement In Montgomery County, Alabama

Ty Brown and Roger Lucas settled a case on behalf of an elderly woman who did not receive proper medical care from a rehabilitation hospital. The client had undergone surgery to repair her broken ankle; the wound was covered with surgical dressing and she was soon transferred to the rehabilitation center. While there, her surgical dressing was not unwrapped and changed nor removed from her ankle for nearly three weeks. As a result, a large infection extending into the bone occurred. She was forced to undergo more surgery and therapy.

Medical Malpractice – $2.5 Million Verdict In Jefferson County, Alabama

The jury returned a $2.5 million verdict in favor of the mother of a 23-month-old boy who died shortly after being treated and released by the emergency room at Medical Center East (now St. Vincent's East) in Birmingham. When the toddler accidentally ingested a methadone tablet, Poison Control was called and he was immediately taken to the hospital's emergency room. There, the attending physician examined the child, observed him and discharged him within 3.5 hours of admission and four hours of ingestion.

David Marsh and Rip Andrews proved that the effects of methadone are delayed and that the child should have been admitted and observed for a period of at least 8 to 12 hours. In fact, within three hours of discharge, the toddler stopped breathing and aspirated. Paramedics rushed him back to the hospital but he died later that day of methadone ingestion.

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.