Medical Malpractice Cases
Anesthesia Mishap – Confidential Settlement in Mobile County, Alabama
Ty Brown and J.D. Marsh settled a case for the family of a 29-year-old mother who suffered an anoxic brain injury while under general anesthesia. The young woman was to undergo surgery for a leg injury when the anesthesia equipment had to be changed out. Apparently, the tube exchange caused damage to her lung and a tension pneumothorax developed. Unfortunately, neither the nurse anesthetist nor the anesthesiologist timely recognized and treated the pneumothorax. The woman never woke up and she died less than three weeks later. She left behind two young children.
Emergency Room Wait – Confidential Settlement in Montgomery County, Alabama
Derrick Mills resolved a case against an ambulance company and a hospital following the death of a woman in the hospital waiting room. Once emergently transported, no hospital personnel ever talked to our client to determine her chief complaint or condition. Video of the waiting room showed the woman continue to suffer from pain and distress. About 30 to 40 minutes later, the woman suffered an acute heart attack that ultimately led to her death.
Wound Care – Confidential Settlement in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
David Marsh, Ty Brown and Dylan Marsh represented an older woman who was critically injured while recovering from abdominal surgery. Our client was a patient at a long-term care facility. Her abdominal wound was healing well when the nurses improperly applied our client’s wound vacuum after changing a wound dressing. The improper application of the wound vacuum destroyed the skin graft on our client’s abdomen. As a result, our client’s bowels were sucked into the wound vacuum sponge causing more than a dozen holes in her bowels that now continuously leak stomach acid onto her skin. Her abdominal wound can never be closed. She is completely bedbound and can no longer eat.
Surgical Mishap – Confidential Settlement in Jefferson County, Alabama
David Marsh, Ben Ford, and Susan Silvernail resolved a case on behalf of a 23-year-old woman who emerged from neck surgery catastrophically injured. The case against a Birmingham doctor and his employer grew out of the misplacement of a surgical screw, which resulted in serious damage to the young woman’s brain stem. Our client was hospitalized for months, forced to re-learn how to walk and talk. She was left with life-long impairments to her motor skills and her cognitive abilities.
Verdict Against Tuscaloosa Doctors And Hospital
A Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court jury today returned a verdict against Dr. Bradley Bilton; his practice group University Surgical Associates; Dr. George Nunn; Dr. Kenneth Aldridge; and DCH Health Care Authority. The jury awarded $30 million in damages to the family of Johnny Terrell Sledge, who died at DCH Regional Medical Center six years ago.
The case was tried for the past two weeks by Marsh Rickard & Bryan attorneys David Marsh, Derrick Mills and Jane Mauzy.
On December 27, 2013, Mr. Sledge was injured by a gunshot wound to his back. He arrived by EMS at the emergency room at DCH Regional Medical Center at 2:15 in the afternoon. He was treated by the emergency department physician, who recognized that Mr. Sledge needed surgery. Dr. Bilton, a general surgeon and the “on call” trauma surgeon that day, was paged repeatedly to come to the emergency room. Dr. Bilton returned the page stating that he was in surgery and to “call someone else”. No available surgeons were found. Instead of coming to the emergency room, Dr. Bilton started a second elective surgery. Mr. Sledge continue to lay in the emergency room bleeding from an abdominal injury. Approximately 10 minutes before Mr. Sledge’s death, Dr. Bilton advised the emergency room that he was coming down from the operating room. However, Mr. Sledge died in the emergency room while waiting for a surgical consult. Dr. Bilton never arrived.
One of the main issues in the case was the hospital’s policies and procedures for trauma calls. The hospital’s policies allowed the “on call” trauma surgeon to schedule elective surgical procedures on their “on call” days. This created a situation where the “on call” trauma surgeon might be unavailable. In that situation, the hospital policy provided that the “on call” trauma surgeon was responsible for locating another surgeon to take his place. That procedure wasn’t followed here. Dr. Nunn is DCH’s Director of Trauma Services. Dr. Aldridge is DCH’s Chief Medical Officer.
Attorney Derrick Mills says “Mr. Sledge was victimized twice. First, he was an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet. Then, he was left to die in an emergency room because the general surgeon who was at the hospital and called to provide the life-saving surgery he needed, never showed up”.
Hospital Fall Verdict – $1,125,000 Verdict
A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury today returned a verdict against Jackson Hospital and Clinic. The jury awarded $1,125,000 in compensatory damages only to Annie Ruth Post, an elderly woman who was injured while a patient of the hospital in 2014.
The case was tried this week by Marsh Rickard & Bryan attorneys Dylan Marsh, Ty Brown and Rip Andrews.
Then 83-year-old Ms. Post was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain and possible pancreatitis. She was ordered to be on bedrest. One night and into the early morning, Ms. Post was given multiple doses of strong narcotics and other medications with sedative effects. She began to experience confusion, disorientation and dizziness. In the early morning hours, Ms. Post was allowed to get out of her bed without assistance. As a result, she fell on the floor and fractured her left hip, which had to be surgically repaired.
The testimony at trial was that the nurses at Jackson did not follow their own policies and procedures on fall prevention, patient rounding, toileting and record keeping. Our attorneys argued to the jury that the nurses knew Ms. Post was at high risk for falls and should have put appropriate fall precautions into place to keep her safe from falls.
There was also evidence during trial that the narcotics given Ms. Post were not ordered by her doctor and were not medically required.
Before this fall, Ms. Post was very active and independent. After the fall, and subsequent hip surgery, Ms. Post’s health declined significantly.
Attorney Ty Brown says, “With this verdict, the jury defended the integrity and dignity of an 87-year-old Montgomery resident and held Jackson Hospital responsible for the independence they took from her.”
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.