(Savannah, GA) W. Andrew Bowen of Bowen Painter Manly Shipley, LLP, recently served as co-counsel in a case with a record-setting, $18 million medical malpractice verdict on behalf of a client who was left paralyzed in both legs as a result of medical negligence. Bowen and co-counsel Jeffrey R. Harris and Yvonne S. Godfrey of Harris Lowry Manton LLP and Owen C. Murphy of Owen Murphy, P.C. represented the client, Joan Simmons.
"While it is most unfortunate and heart-breaking that Ms. Simmons entered a Savannah hospital seeking treatment for back pain and instead left paralyzed in both legs, we are thankful that the Chatham County jury hearing this case took the time to review the evidence and found that our client was catastrophically injured and that her life is forever changed due to medical malpractice,” Bowen said. “The jury clearly understood that Ms. Simmons suffered greatly through no fault of her own and found that Southcoast Medical Group was liable for failure to diagnose and treat a spinal abscess. As a result of the jury’s taking the time to review and understand the evidence as well as the extent of Ms. Simmons' injuries, they returned the largest medical malpractice verdict and largest personal injury verdict in the county’s history,” according to Bowen.
Simmons was 30 years old and gainfully employed at Colonial Oil when she was admitted to a Savannah hospital in 2014 due to her experiencing back pain. At the time of her hospital admission, she was also showing signs of an infection. However, during Simmons’ hospital stay, an infectious disease doctor at Southcoast Medical Group and other healthcare professionals failed to diagnose and treat her spinal abscess. The spinal abscess was a serious complication of a spinal infection. Left untreated, the abscess put pressure on Simmons’ spinal cord and caused paralysis in both of her legs. As a result of their negligence, Simmons was left permanently paraplegic and unable to work due to the doctor’s and the other healthcare professional’s negligence.
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