BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Alabama jury has returned a $9 million verdict for the family of Hope Johnson in a wrongful death medical malpractice case that breaks records for Lee County.
In December of 2014, Hope Johnson visited Auburn Urgent Care after experiencing sharp chest pains, difficulty breathing, and cough. She had been there just two days earlier with similar, but milder complaints. On that first visit, she was examined by the doctor, prescribed an antibiotic, and instructed to return if she got worse.
When Hope returned to Auburn Urgent Care, her vital signs were at panic levels. However, it was the first day of work for a new physician at Auburn Urgent Care, and he had been instructed by the medical director to see patients without any access to the current or past medical records of any patient. Hope’s condition was critical, and an ambulance should have been called to take her to East Alabama Medical Center. Instead, she was sent home with an inhaler. Hope died the next day of blood clots in the lungs.
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“Hope’s death is tragic because it was entirely preventable. We don’t know the exact number of patients seen that day, but it was too many,” according to Turnbull. “Patient well-being, not profits, should be the primary goal of healthcare.”
“This verdict represents the power of a jury,” adds Watson. “They will affect change by their vote here, by their verdict.”
The verdict is the largest in a Lee County medical-malpractice case.
The Johnson family released the following statement through their attorneys:
“We are very pleased with the jury decision in the wrongful death case of our precious daughter Hope. We continue to feel her absence every day and pray this decision brings about much-needed change. Our chief desire is that this case will set a precedent that will prevent this from happening to another family or college student, not just in Lee County, but in Alabama as a whole.”
The verdict was announced on October 11, 2019.
The case is Estate of Hope Johnson vs. Auburn Urgent Care, Case Number 43-cv-900204.
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Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm has recovered more than 3 Billion for clients across the country. Cory Watson attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions and multidistrict litigations involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and product liability and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts.
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Turnbull Law Firm is a nationally-recognized personal injury firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia. The firm has achieved success throughout the U.S., including large jury verdicts in numerous states and in a wide variety of areas including trucking litigation, product liability, medical malpractice, and motor vehicle collisions.
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