Defense Verdict Won in Yazoo City Case
Defense attorneys Carl Hagwood and Michael Phillips won a unanimous verdict on June 12, 2008 in a case tried in U.S. District Court for the Southern Division in Natchez.
In the law suit, plaintiff alleged that as a result of the neglect of the staff at Yazoo City Health & Rehabilitation Center, the resident suffered: (1) numerous falls; (2) dehydration; (3) malnutrition; (4) weight loss; (5) multiple decubitus ulcers; (6) gangrene; (7) osteomyelitis; (8) sepsis; (9) urinary tract infections; (10) pneumonia; (11) contractures; (12) inadequate hygiene care; and (13) death.
Plaintiff further claims that this severe neglect of the staff at the nursing home allowed the resident to languish in the same position and develop significant Stage IV pressure ulcers to her hips and sacrum which ultimately became infected and developed into gangrene and osteomyelitis.
In addition to the medical records, plaintiff had numerous graphic color photos depicting the residentâ€™s wounds which were shown to the jury throughout the trial. During her nearly seven year residency, the resident was diagnosed with Alzheimerâ€™s, ischemic small vessel disease, diabetes, neuropathy, high cholesterol, hypokalemia, peripheral vascular disease, amputation of toes, gastroenteritis, diverticulitis and urinary tract infections.
Plaintiffâ€™s causation expert, Dr. David Seignious, testified that the wounds on the residentâ€™s hips and sacral area developed as a result of inadequate pressure relief and poor wound management. Three nursing home employees testified and explained, with reference to the nursing home records, that there was more than adequate pressure relief and wound management. The Defendantsâ€™ experts explained the impact of the residentâ€™s co-morbid and how good care was provided to the resident even though she had the pressure ulcers as depicted in the photographs.
At the end of the four-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defense.