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Gainesville, GA – The jury on Tuesday passed a $ 3 million verdict on the death of a 42-year-old woman after laparoscopic surgery – one year ago, one such procedure was abolished. Metcalf v Northeast Georgia Medical Center et al., 2018-CV-76A.
The Hall County Supreme Court jury reached its verdict after deliberating for about five hours in the trial of Dr. Andrew Green, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, and others over the death of Frances Mitchell in May 2016
Mitchell, who had undergone laparoscopic surgery, returned to the hospital about 12 hours after surgery and complained of severe abdominal pain. Despite being admitted and examined by Green, the doctor who performed the operation, she was eventually discharged and died about 2 days later.
Her family claims Green failed to properly diagnose or treat a bowel perforation Mitchell suffered during surgery, which ultimately led to her death.
During the final clash on Monday, Kenneth Lewis sought approximately $ 24 million in damages from Lewis Law, who represented Mitchell’s family.
The Hall County Supreme Court trial comes less than two weeks after Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold Melton overturned a statewide suspension of trials. The Georgia Supreme Court first dropped the case in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that closed courtroom doors across the country. Judge Melton briefly lifted the suspension in October 2020 before suspending trials again last December.
The case mainly focused on when Mitchell’s bowel was perforated and whether Green’s post-operative care was adequate.
The evidence claimed by the defense showed that the perforation occurred well after surgery and that the late postoperative perforation, along with a combination of other health problems, caused an arrhythmia that stopped her heart.
During Monday’s closings, Scott Bailey of Huff Powell Bailey, who represented Green, reminded judges of expert testimony that found Mitchell’s bowels perforated 1-2 days before she died. Bailey ran the jurors through medical records, which he said showed that Mitchell’s health appeared to be improving after her initial post-operative complaints about pain, and she had no tell-tale symptoms of sepsis when she was discharged from the hospital.
“The truth is on the record,” said Bailey. “It hasn’t gotten any worse, folks. She didn’t. This is completely incompatible with a bowel leak. ”
But Lewis reminded the jury of expert testimony showing that Green was violating the standard of care by no longer keeping Mitchell under observation when she returned to the hospital and not ordering additional laboratory tests that could rule out bowel perforation or sepsis.
“When [she] was in the hospital, do something, ”said Lewis. “We wouldn’t be here if they did the labs again. We wouldn’t be here if they were monitored for 8 hours. “
This is a groundbreaking story. CVN has reached out to attorneys for the parties and will update this article with their comments.
Email Arlin Crisco at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: CVN only recorded portions of closures.
The plaintiffs are represented by Kenneth Lewis and Alfreda Williams of Lewis Law.
The defendants are represented by Scott Bailey and Lindsay Costakos of Huff Powell Bailey.
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