Helmsing Leach Team Obtains Defense Verdict for Local Hospital

The Helmsing Leach trial team of Russell Buffkin, Karen Tucker, and Win Stuardi, along with co-counsel Susan Cooley of Schell Cooley, recently obtained a defense verdict in a six-day trial in Baldwin County, Alabama for a local hospital in a medical malpractice case arising out of the death of the patient. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that the patient’s death was caused by the negligence of the telemetry technician in failing to notify the nursing staff of a change in the patient’s oxygen saturation level. At trial, the hospital established, through well-developed testimony from the hospital’s staff, the patient’s treating physicians, and retained experts, that there was no breach of the standard of care because there was no physician order requiring the telemetry technician to monitor the patient’s oxygen saturation level. Through these same witnesses, the hospital also established that the patient’s death was not caused by any breach of the standard of care by the hospital, but instead was the unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of the patient’s end stage lung and heart disease. In closing, the plaintiffs requested the jury award $2 to $3 million in punitive damages; however, the testimony from the defense witnesses was sufficient to overcome the plea to the jury’s emotions, and the 12-member jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict after 25 minutes of deliberation.