Members of our panel counsel and
DRI members Michael Phillips of the Jackson, Mississippi, office of Wilkins Tipton, P.A. and Hunter Carroll of Stockham, Carroll & Smith, P.C. in Birmingham, Alabama, secured a defense verdict in an arbitration hearing recently. In Hopson v. SSC Birmingham Operating Company LLC, the plaintiff alleged that the nursing home staff failed to communicate laboratory findings appropriately to the residentâ€™s attending physician. The plaintiff further contended that, as a result of this breach, the resident suffered from untreated diabetes and eventually slipped into a diabetic coma and died shortly thereafter.
The defendant countered these allegations by showing the nursing home staff appropriately communicated with the attending physician by making the laboratory results available in a timely manner. When the non-party/attending physician testified at trial, he testified that not only did the nursing home staff meet the standard of care by communicating the laboratory results, but he further explained his thought processes for not ordering a diabetic workup. The defendant called an endocrinology expert who testified the nursing home staff acted appropriately and, further, that the diabetic coma at issue was caused by complications from pneumonia, as opposed to the failure to diagnose and treat diabetes.