Evans Moore is proud to financially assist the nutritional needs of 2 Haitian Children by and through Christian Haitian American Partnership (CHAP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the people in Haiti.
One of the leading causes of death in Haitian children is malnutrition. CHAP financially supports the Lespwa Timoun Clinic and its nutritional program. The children in the nutritional program are weighed and carefully monitored, and their parents are educated on proper nutrition. Countless lives have been saved through the Lespwa Timoun clinic, and the results are nothing short of miraculous. Once the children are healthy, many are given scholarships that allow them to attend school in one of the four schools run by the Episcopal Church in Saint Simeon Parish.
On August 4, 2016, Chick-fil-A of North Mt Pleasant will be hosting the first annual Hope for Haiti 5K on behalf of CHAP. For more information, please visit the website at https://give.everydayhero.com/us/hope-for-haiti-5k
Attorneys Scott C. Evans and James “Boo” Moore III of Evans Moore, LLC were recently named 2016 Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars,” a list of the top up-and-coming lawyers in South Carolina.
Super Lawyers is a Thomas Reuters rating service that ranks outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The annual service selections are made using a rigorous, multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer-reviews by practice areas.
Today Evans Moore, LLC filed a Notice of Intent to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Joyce Curnell, a 50-year-old African American female of Edisto Island, South Carolina who was found dead at the Charleston County Detention Center on July 22, 2015. Ms. Curnell is one of at least six (6) African American women found “unresponsive” while in police custody during the month of July, 2015 in the United States.
According to the Autopsy Report, Ms. Curnell died as a result of complications of gastroenteritis – most commonly referred to as the stomach flu. In the affidavit of physician Maria Gibson filed simultaneously with the Notice of Intent, Dr. Gibson states, “Simply put, Ms. Curnell died because she was deprived of water. She was too sick to tolerate the dehydration as a result of acute gastroenteritis. Had Ms. Curnell been timely evaluated by a medical professional and properly treated for her gastroenteritis and dehydration, her deterioration and ultimate death would have, more likely than not based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, been prevented.”
The pleadings allege that Ms. Curnell arrived via ambulance to the emergency room at Roper St. Francis Hospital on July 21, 2015 with complaints of nausea and vomiting. While at Roper St. Francis Hospital, Ms. Curnell was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. The pleadings further allege that Ms. Curnell also suffered from sickle cell traits, a common medical illness that causes an abnormal hemoglobin level in the red blood cells. While most people with sickle cell traits do not experience any symptoms or complications, they are known to be more vulnerable to dehydration. The Plaintiff alleges the medical staff at Roper St. Francis Hospital recognized that she was more susceptible to dehydration and properly provided Mrs. Curnell with IV hydration and prescribed her to Zofran to prevent the nausea and vomiting.
During the course of her two-hour hospitalization, it was determined Ms. Curnell had an outstanding bench warrant in connection with a 2011 misdemeanor shoplifting charge. Immediately thereafter, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office responded while Ms. Curnell was still a patient at Roper St. Francis Hospital and placed her under arrest. She was transported directly from the Roper St. Francis Hospital emergency room to the Charleston County Detention Center for booking at 2:30 p.m.
The pleadings allege that Carolina Center for Occupational Health, the private medical group that has a contract with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office to provide all medical care to detainees at the Charleston County Detention Center, failed to provide Ms. Curnell with timely and proper access to medical treatment. For example, the pleadings allege Ms. Curnell did not have access to the medications as prescribed by medical staff at Roper St. Francis Hospital; did not receive a proper medical examination; and that the medical staff ignored multiple requests by detention center staff to examine Ms. Curnell and provide her with medical treatment. During the twenty-seven (27) hours that Ms. Curnell was detained at the Charleston County Detention Center, multiple witnesses – including detention center staff – reported to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division that she was continuously vomiting and reported to be “too weak” to make it to the bathroom or submit a “sick call request.” Despite Ms. Curnell’s physical appearance as described by detention center staff and other inmates, there are no records supporting that Ms. Curnell was properly monitored or examined by staff, and there are no records or statements to support that she was offered oral hydration or IV hydration to prevent dehydration.
According to a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Ms. Curnell was last observed by detention center staff on 2:12 p.m. and was found “unresponsive” at 5:00 p.m.
Attorney James B. Moore III, one of the attorneys representing the Estate of Joyce Curnell stated, “It is incomprehensible that in the year 2015, in the United States of America, we have members of our community suffering and dying from thirst and dehydration. Joyce’s death was not a result of mere negligence, but a conscious, deliberate failure to provide her with the most basic of medical care. Providing access to reasonable medical care to those under police custody is a necessity, not a privilege. It is a Constitutional right. We are committed to seeking justice for Joyce and for her family.”
Attorney Scott C. Evans added: “This is not a situation in which Joyce needed access to cutting edge medical care to save her life. She needed fluids and the attention of a doctor. Not only has nobody been prosecuted in connection with Joyce’s death, it does not appear that any employee has even been reprimanded.”
South Carolina law requires that any party seeking to file a lawsuit alleging medical negligence must first file a “Notice of Intent to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit” with the Court in which the case will be heard. The Notice of Intent and supporting expert affidavit is filed in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas.
The attorneys of Evans Moore have recently secured a $1,175,000.00 partial settlement in an ongoing medical malpractice case. The case involves allegations of a failure to diagnose a serious medical condition. The defendants denied any wrongdoing. The case will continue to trial against the remaining parties in early 2016.
On September 11, 2015, Evans Moore, on behalf of the guardian and grandmother of a seven year old child, filed suit in Florence County against the South Carolina Department of Social Service (“DSS”). The Complaint alleges the minor child, who was between the ages of three and four during the time period in question, was subjected to repeated physical and sexual assaults while under the care of the DSS.
The grandmother, and now legal guardian, contacted DSS on multiple occasions with concerns about the child’s safety and well-being. Specifically, she informed the DSS caseworkers assigned to the child’s case that he was living in filth, with no heat or running water, and with eight known drug abusers with drug convictions and/or pending drug charges in Florence County. Although DSS assured her that it had an active case file, the Complaint alleges that no attempts were made to investigate the situation or to remove the minor child from the abusive environment.
After multiple calls to DSS, Florence County Sheriff’s Department, and City of Florence Police Department, the minor’s case was assigned to a third caseworker who reassessed the allegations. It was determined in short order by the replacement caseworker that the minor child had been the victim of neglect, physical abuse, and sexual assault. The neglect, physical abuse, and sexual assault occurred between May of 2011 and August of 2011, the time period that the minor’s grandmother, and now guardian, was actively reporting the abuse to DSS and pleading for its intervention. The child was immediately removed from the household and has since been under the care of multiple medical providers and counselors. On July 9, 2012, the grandmother was granted custody of minor child by the Family Court for Florence County, South Carolina.
The attorneys of Evans Moore are proud to stand up and fight on behalf of those who are unable to defend themselves. If you would like more information on this case or if we can be of any assistance to you, please contact us at (843) 995-5000.
On September 1, 2015, attorneys James B. Moore III and Scott C. Evans recovered a $375,000 settlement from a convenience store operator in connection with its employee filing a false police report resulting in their client being arrested and wrongfully imprisoned for 8 hours at a local detention center. The lawsuit was filed in February of 2014 alleging negligence, malicious prosecution, and false arrest. The convenience store operator and employee denied all responsibility. After successfully arguing pre-trial motions and selecting a jury, the company paid $375,000 in exchange for a dismissal of all claims.
On August 26, 2015, a Greenville County jury awarded $375,000 to a worker who was injured while driving a business-owned vehicle on Interstate 85.
Their client, Paulino Camacaro, had been driving a vehicle owned by his employer, a painting company, when he was sideswiped on Interstate 85 in Greenville while heading to his home in Atlanta. Mr. Camacaro sustained a herniated disc and lost his painting job of 18 years after the crash. At the time of trial, he had accrued $41,000 in medical bills, which did not include a back surgery that his doctors recommended.
Throughout the course of the trial, defense argued that the Plaintiff’s back injuries were preexisting. The Defendant’s highest pretrial offer was $60,000.
On June 25, 2015, the attorneys of Evans Moore, Scott Evans and James “Boo” Moore, were interviewed for an upcoming documentary produced by non-profit Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., which highlights the crisis facing the mentally ill in South Carolina’s state prison system.
Evans Moore were approached for this interview due to their successful track record of litigating civil cases on behalf of individuals and their families who have needlessly suffered from neglect, abuse, and mistreatment within the South Carolina Department of Corrections. During this interview, Scott and James engage in candid discussions regarding the effects of the deficit of mental health services within our State’s prison system on the lives of inmates, their families, and its impact on the citizens of our great state.
The documentary, slated for release in fall 2016, will also bring light to Circuit Judge Michael Baxley’s recent ruling in the class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections, T.R., P.R., K.W., et al. v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, et al.
The class action suit, filed in June 2005 by Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. on behalf of inmates with serious mental health needs, alleges inadequate mental health treatment for prisoners held statewide by the S.C. Department of Corrections. The lawsuit did not seek financial damages; rather, it charged the court with requiring the department to design and maintain a program that provides adequate treatment of inmates with mental illness.
In his Order dated January 8, 2014, Judge Baxley opined that this case was the “most troubling” of the 70,000 cases to come before him in the past 14 years. “The evidence in this case has proved that inmates have died in the South Carolina Department of Corrections for lack of basic mental health care, and hundreds more remain substantially at risk for serious physical injury, mental decompensation, and profound, permanent mental illness. As a society, and as citizen jurors and judges make decisions that send people to prison, we have the reasonable expectation that those in prison – even though it is prison – will have their basic health needs met by the state that imprisons them. And this includes mental health. The evidence in this case has shown that expectation to be misplaced in many instances,” Baxley wrote.
South Carolina houses some 23,000 inmates, with more than 3,000 inmates with serious mental illness diagnoses (SCDC data as of June 30, 2011).
The Judge noted that providing mental health services to inmates has significance beyond the prison walls. “What happens at the Department of Corrections impacts all of us, whether it is from the discharge of untreated seriously mentally ill individuals from prison into the general population, or tremendously increased costs for treatment and care that might have been prevented, or the needless increase in human suffering when use of force replaces medical care. The decisions of our Courts reflect the values of our society. To that end, our state can no longer tolerate a mental health system at the South Carolina Department of Corrections that has broken down due to lack of finances and focus,” he wrote.
The Judge’s order requires the corrections department to remedy constitutional violations by submitting a remedial plan within six months to include: development of screening and mental health treatment programs; a plan to employ sufficient mental health professionals; a plan to maintain treatment records and administer psychotropic medication with appropriate supervision and periodic evaluation; and a program to identify, treat, and supervise inmates at risk for suicide.
For more information on cases handled by Evans Moore, the Protection and Advocacy Class Action, and a copy of the Order, please visit http://www.mentalhealth4inmates.org.
Scott C. Evans and James B. Moore III announce the Grand Opening of Evans Moore, LLC on June 1, 2015. Scott Evans and James Moore began litigating cases as a team in 2010. Since that point, Scott Evans and James Moore have litigated a unique group of cases that have led to such things as the invalidation of a South Carolina city ordinance pursuant to the United States Constitution, the successful argument a Fourth Circuit Appeal held before the entire University of South Carolina School of Law, and the successful resolution of a civil rights case that was followed by the national media. Evans Moore, LLC was founded to continue the tradition of working as a team to serve residents and businesses throughout the state of South Carolina.
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