A jury in Horry County, South Carolina has awarded $1.5 million in actual damages on Thursday, October 20, 2016 to the Estate of Christopher Douton. Christopher Douton was a 41 year-old project engineer with S&ME, Inc. in Conway, South Carolina. On Friday, January 11, 2013, Douton returned to his Conway office to process soil samples from the Highway 701 Bridge Project where Douton was working as a soil and materials engineer. At about 4:30 p.m., Douton notified his co-workers that his left leg had suddenly gone numb and that he was experiencing excruciating pain.
Douton was taken by EMS to the Conway Medical Center where he was seen by emergency room physician Amanda Battisti, DO. Despite reporting 10/10 pain and numbness in this left leg to the triage nurse, Dr. Battisti characterized Douton’s symptoms as moderate. Douton received only minimal testing, and was discharged with a diagnosis of a pinched nerve and leg pain. Douton was directed to follow up with an orthopedist after the weekend.
Douton returned home where he attempted to follow his discharge instructions. On the following afternoon, Douton’s pain and numbness in his left leg progressed to total numbness, and he was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. It was immediately determined that Douton’s left leg was ischemic — or in the process of dying — as a result of an interruption to the blood flow. Medical personnel attempted to transfer Douton to both Duke and MUSC via helicopter, but heavy fog prevented flight. Douton was sent to MUSC via ambulance, but died en route.
Douton’s Estate provided expert testimony that simple and inexpensive testing would have led to a proper diagnosis had Douton been properly evaluated at Conway Medical Center. Although Douton was charged over $1,400 for his evaluation, a simple blood panel costing approximately $16.00 would have detected his life-threatening condition. Douton’s Estate also provided testimony of two surgeons that he would have had a 90% or greater chance of survival had he been properly diagnosed on Friday night.
The jury’s verdict was rendered against Conway Emergency Group, LLP, the for-profit medical group which is hired by Conway Medical Center (a non-profit hospital) to provide staffing services within the emergency department.
Scott C. Evans, one of the lawyers representing the estate, stated “Although the Defendant had skilled counsel who provided an excellent defense in a very complex case, I think the jury knew that the Defendant did not take this case seriously. The jury sacrificed a considerable amount of personal time to consider this complex case at a time in which many people in Horry County are trying to put their homes and their daily routines back together. However, not a single current employee, owner, or representative of Conway Emergency Group bothered to set foot in the courtroom at any point during the trial.”
The Estate of Christopher Douton was represented by Scott C. Evans and James B. Moore III of the Evans Moore Law Firm in Georgetown, South Carolina, and Jeffrey C. Chandler of the Chandler Law Firm in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Conway Emergency Group was represented by Jack B. McCutcheon and Ashley Gwin of the Thompson & Henry Law Firm in Conway.
A driver in Easley, South Carolina died as a result of her injuries after she was involved in a tractor-trailer truck accident, a report of WYFF 4 reported on October 13.
Before 11:00 p.m. on October 11, the South Carolina Highway Patrol authorities were told that a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer truck occurred on Highway 123. A vehicle, driven by Mary Gorman, 21, reportedly struck the rear portion of the tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer was turning onto Highway 124 before the collision took place. Coroner Kandy Kelley confirmed that Gorman died while she was being transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital. The tractor-trailer driver, only identified as a 37-year-old, was not injured from the incident.
Families who have lost their loved ones in truck accidents often have to deal with physical, emotional, and financial hardships. The wrongful death attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC in Georgetown send their deepest thoughts to those who are mourning the untimely loss of their loved one.
Approximately 2.8 million units of craft and art paints sold in the U.S. have been placed under a recall after the Consumer Product Safety Commission found indications that they can cause serious illness to consumers, according to a report filed on October 4.
Reports revealed that various paint products from Sargent Art can cause serious health conditions related to bacterial infection. Though the company and the CPSC have not identified the hazardous bacteria that contaminated the paints, they confirmed that individuals who have poor immune systems are likely affected. Sargent and federal authorities have not received any injuries that were linked to any of the 13 paint types covered. Consumers who have bought the recalled paints were advised not to use it and get in touch with the recalling company to get their money back. The paints were made available nationwide and some were distributed in Canada.
Contaminated products unfortunately can cause great financial loss to families when relatives fall ill as a result of using them. However, if this happens to you or to a loved one, a Georgetown product liability attorney from Evans Moore, LLC may be able to help. Call us today at (843) 995-5000 to find out how we may possibly help you recover after your loss.
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.
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