Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney, LLP

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Firm Receives Successful Verdict in Notorious Plaintiff's Venue

Posted October 28, 2015 in News

In mid-September, Ian Hall assisted a firm partner to defend a Columbus, GA chiropractor in a challenging wrongful death trial that lasted seven days in Muscogee County, generally thought of as one of the state's more liberal plaintiff venues.  The plaintiffs alleged negligence in the performance of a cervical manipulation on the decedent causing a vertebral artery dissection.  It was further claimed that this injury caused a stroke and the decedent’s eventual death three weeks later. 

In an effort to overwhelm the jury with alleged evidence of malpractice and causation of the injury and death, the plaintiffs presented three MD experts (the decedent’s treating neurologist, an Atlanta neurologist stroke specialist, and a private medical examiner) as well as two chiropractic experts.  Owen Gleaton attorneys opposed a team of three accomplished plaintiff attorneys who recently tried a carotid artery dissection case in the same venue resulting in a verdict in excess of $9 million.  They countered the plaintiffs’ presentation with two accomplished experts and several key fact witnesses to demonstrate that the treater had not caused the dissection and death. 

During closing argument, plaintiffs’ attorneys asked the jury for an award in excess of $12 million.  After two days of deliberation by the jury and three reports of an inability to reach a unanimous decision, the diverse twelve person jury was able to reach a compromised decision finding that the doctor had not caused the death.  Instead, the jury limited its award to a reimbursement of hospital and medical expenses, only a small fraction of the amount sought.  Prior to trial, no offer of settlement was extended by the defendant chiropractor.