Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a $13.9 million medical malpractice verdict in a case where the plaintiff was represented by Tyrone Law Firm. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Melissa Dempsey, for injuries that her daughter, Kailey, sustained during her birth in 2002.
At trial, Tyrone Law Firm asserted at trial that Kailey, who suffers from permanent mental and physical disabilities including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and mental retardation, was injured directly as a result of traumatic brain injury occurring at the time of her birth due to the nurses’ negligence in failing to properly read or interpret data from a fetal monitor, among other mistakes that violated the standard of care.
While the jury ultimately awarded the plaintiff $13.9 million at trial, attorneys for the defendant, Gwinnett Hospital Center, Inc., brought a motion for new trial, asserting that one of the nurses–a certified nurse midwife–who testified as an expert was not qualified to testify on the nurses’ compliance with standard of care, since she did not fit within the profession of “nurse.” The Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this past summer and issued a ruling on November 21, 2014, ultimately reversed the initial ruling for a new trial.
The Court, split 4-3 in its ruling, ultimately stated that the midwife qualified as an expert in light of a state statute that requires testifying medical experts to be in the same profession as those whose conduct is at issue. Presiding Judge John Ellington, who wrote the majority opinion, reasoned that the testifying nurse midwife was a registered nurse in addition to being a midwife, thereby making her fall within the parameters for proper testimony. He also focused on the fact that Georgia’s licensing system identifies certified nurse midwives as registered nurses.
Judge Carla Wong McMillan wrote the dissent, highlighting the existence of an exception to the “same profession” rule which lists nurses and nurse midwives separately in terms of medical professionals against whom physicians can testify.
If your loved one suffers from cerebral palsy, call us for help. We will talk to you and review your case for free. The Tyrone Law Firm specializes in representing those who have suffered a devastating injury, such as birth injuries or traumatic brain injury resulting from the negligence of another. Our personal injury firm here in Atlanta has a very successful record of trying such cases.
Nelson Tyrone handles Brain Injury, Spine Injury and RSD/CRPS cases throughout the United States. He involves only the top medical, rehabilitation and life-care plan experts in the field. His results on behalf of clients include several of the largest settlements and verdicts on record.
You can reach us at 404-377-0017 or via email at email@example.com. If we can’t help you, we will do our best to put you into the hands of lawyers who can.
- “Panel: Midwife Can Testify Against Nurses in Med-Mal Case,” Alyson Palmer, Daily Report, Dec. 8, 2014