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Verdict reached in case against Emory University Hospital

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Patients count on their medical team to provide the best healthcare possible. There’s a specific standard of care that applies to every case, but that standard isn’t the same in every case.

A recent case against Emory University Hospital highlights the tragedies that can occur when healthcare professionals don’t provide the specialized care that a patient needs and deserves.

A fatal oversight before surgery

Tre’von Falson, a 20-year-old man was receiving care at Emory in November 2017. The lawsuit against the hospital was filed by the man’s mother, Barbara Brown. She claims that the doctors failed to perform a standard CT scan before he underwent a heart transplant.

The issue at the heart of the lawsuit was that the CT scan would have shown the medical care team that part of the man’s mechanical heart wasn’t positioned correctly. That critical bit of information could have prevented the team from cutting into the part of the heart pump that moved.

As a result of that negligence, the man died from massive blood loss and multiple organ failure, including his liver, kidneys, new heart and other organs. Brown alleges that after the saw cut into the heart pump, it took the team 40 minutes to get the bleeding under control. The man died on Christmas Day in 2017.

Jury delivers a historic verdict

This case went through a trial that ended in November of 2023 when the jury awarded Brown $38.6 million for the death of her son. Of that $2.6 million was for medical expenses, $6 million was for the man’s pain and suffering and $30 million was for the value of the man’s life. The jury absolved the heart transplant surgeon from blame, but found that the heart transplant program was liable for the malpractice.

A post-trial settlement was reached. This led to Brown voluntarily dismissing her case and ended the possibility of future litigation regarding this matter. The exact terms of this settlement are confidential.

This case shows how important it is for medical teams to provide care that meets applicable standards. Patients who suffer harm because of care that doesn’t meet the standard of care that applies should take action. If the patient dies because of the negligence, their next of kin can step in and take legal action. These cases can be complex, so it’s best to have a legal representative who can assist with a case.