Defense Wins Malpractice Case in Gilmer County

Case Caption:  Milton Oliver v. Perry Thomas, Civil Action File No. 2003CV-35
Court:  Gilmer County Superior Court
Judge:  Hon. Martha Christian
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Bart Turner, Savage Turner Pinckney & Madison, Savannah
Defendant’s Attorneys: Jonathan Peters, Peters & Monyak, Atlanta
Alleged Damages: Paralysis, $124,000 past medicals, $2.7 million future costs
Verdict: Defense verdict
Date of Verdict: July 19, 2012

Summary:  
Plaintiff, a 33-year-old employee of Crisp County Regional Hospital, injured his back while lifting a linen cart at the hospital.  The treating physician who initially saw Plaintiff allegedly missed Plaintiff’s worsening symptoms of numbness in his feet and legs, and the hospital failed to perform an MRI which was ordered.  Barred from suing the hospital because of workers comp and the physician who was uninsured and bankrupt, Plaintiff filed suit against Dr. Perry Thomas, the doctor who admitted Plaintiff a week after the fall with a diagnosis of a rare low back injury.    By then, it was too late to reverse the damage and Plaintiff was left paralyzed.

The defense strategy of blaming the empty chairs, the hospital and the original treating physician, paid off and the jury returned a defense verdict.  One also had to wonder whether race played a role in the verdict as Plaintiff was African American and the verdict was returned by an all-white jury.  According to the Fulton County Daily Report, Plaintiff, who is 6 feet, 7 inches tall, was harassed during the trial at a local Wal-Mart when someone threw a Confederate flag at him and his nephew.

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