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The Details of a Landmark Victory: Bibb County Jury Awards $40 Million in an Extraordinary Case

Copy of the Verdict

$40 million Verdict

In a devastating outcome, a Bibb County State Court jury has recently returned a staggering $40 million verdict in a wrongful death case against two central Georgia hospitals. The case revolves around the alleged negligent training provided by the medical facilities, which resulted in a delay in life-saving care for Nykevia S. Sanford. Plaintiff counsel, represented by Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, successfully conveyed the defendants’ medical breaches through a compelling narrative, leading to this significant award. However, the jury found no fault with Dr. William Hsu, the admitting physician. Let’s delve deeper into the details of this tragic case.

The Tragic Circumstances

Nykevia S. Sanford sought emergency medical help multiple times due to a sickle cell pain-management crisis in November 2017. After being discharged from the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Emergency Department, Sanford’s condition worsened, and she returned for further care. However, the subsequent actions of medical professionals led to delayed treatment, exacerbating her condition and ultimately resulting in her untimely death.

Plaintiff counsel, represented by Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, argued that Sanford’s readmission marked the beginning of a downward spiral of delayed care, which played a significant role in her demise. Despite the medical staff’s awareness of her worsening symptoms, there was a lack of coordination and miscommunication when transferring her to another hospital. This led to further delays in receiving the necessary treatment, including a critical blood transfusion known as an exchange transfusion.

Our experienced team of attorneys presented a compelling narrative, highlighting the medical breaches and failures through various demonstratives during the trial. They emphasized the absence of clear directives and standard operating procedures at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, attributing the clinical errors to systemic issues within the hospital.

The Jury’s Landmark Verdict

After weeks of trial and careful deliberation, the Bibb County jury, recognizing the skillful representation of Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, returned a $40 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, Nykevia Sanford’s parents. The fault was apportioned between the two hospitals, with 50% assigned to Phoebe Sumter. Of that percentage, 30% was attributed to the advising physician, and 20% to the treating nurse practitioner who cared for Sanford during her second discharge. Surprisingly, the jury found no fault with Dr. William Hsu, the admitting physician.

Case Insights and Implications

The verdict has evoked mixed reactions, with the defense counsel asserting that it is a testament to the jury’s commitment to justice for the Sanford family and fairness for Dr. William Hsu. They highlighted Dr. Hsu’s genuine concern for the Sanford family and his efforts to provide the best possible care to Nykevia Sanford.

Conversely, plaintiff counsel, skillfully represented by Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, attributed the nine-figure outcome to their ability to effectively convey the defendants’ medical breaches and negligence through a compelling narrative and impactful demonstratives. The case underscores the importance of telling a persuasive story that resonates with the jury and connects them emotionally to the tragic circumstances surrounding a wrongful death.

Moreover, the trial exposed systemic issues within the Medical Center of Central Georgia, with plaintiff counsel stressing the lack of standard operating procedures in emergency situations. This case serves as a reminder of the crucial role that proper protocols and clear communication play in delivering timely and effective medical care.

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