$9 Million Verdict - Medical Malpractice
On October 11, 2019, TCH partner Brett Turnbull obtained a $9 million verdict in Lee County, Alabama on behalf of the family of Hope Johnson, a deceased student at Auburn University.
The case involved allegations that Ms. Johnson visited Auburn Urgent Care in 2014 after experiencing chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a cough. Hope was given an antibiotic and sent home. Ms. Johnson returned to the facility two days later, and was seen by a new physician who did not yet have access to the facility's medical records. Ms. Johnson's vital signs were alarmingly abnormal, which should have alerted the physician to transfer Ms. Johnson emergently to East Alabama Medical Center. Ms. Johnson was instead given an inhaler and sent home. Ms. Johnson tragically passed away the next day as a result of a blood clot in her lungs.
“Hope's death is tragic because it was entirely preventable. We don't know the exact number of patients seen that day, but it was too many,” explained TCH partner Brett Turnbull. “Patient well-being, not profits, should be the primary goal of healthcare.”
The verdict is thought to be the largest in Lee County, Alabama history. Through their attorneys, the Johnson family released the following statement:
“We are very pleased with the jury decision in the wrongful death case of our precious daughter Hope. We continue to feel her absence very day and pray this decision brings about much-needed change. Our chief desire is that this case will set a precedent that will prevent this from happening to another family or college student, not just in Lee County, but in Alabama as a whole.”
The case is Estate of Hope Johnson v. Auburn Urgent Care, Case No. 43-CV-900204.
About Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb
Practice area(s): Medical Malpractice