Georgia Family of Dead Teen to Finally Get a Jury Trial - Van Sant Law, LLC

Georgia Family of Dead Teen to Finally Get a Jury Trial

Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers have been following the legal case over the tragic death of 15 year old Shaquille Johnson in 2007. The Supreme Court of Georgia issued its judgment in the case last week and sided with the Johnson family, meaning they can finally have a jury trial and seek justice for their son’s death.

In December 2007, Shaquille had arthroscopic knee surgery for a football injury. Eight days later, his mother, Thelma Johnson, took him to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, complaining of pain on the left side of his chest. Dr. Price Paul Omondi examined him, diagnosed him with pleurisy, prescribed him Naprosyn as a painkiller and sent him home. About two weeks later, Shaquille again complained of pain in his chest and he had trouble breathing. He was taken by ambulance to Phoebe Putney, where he died of a bilateral pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs.

The Johnson’s sued Dr. Omondi and Southwest Emergency Physicians, PC, for medical malpractice. The trial court granted summary judgment for Dr. Omondi and his employers, using Georgia’s emergency medical care statute, which says that in an emergency setting, a doctor or health care provider won’t be held liable unless they acted with “gross negligence. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision.

The Supreme Court, however, took a different approach in a unanimous decision in Johnson v. Omondi. The Court stated that the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for Dr. Omondi was an error. The Court, in previous cases, defined gross negligence as, “the absence of even slight diligence, and slight diligence is defined €¦ as that degree of care which every man of common sense, however inattentive he may be, exercises under the same or similar circumstances. In other words, gross negligence has been defined as equivalent to the failure to exercise even a slight degree of care or lack of the diligence that even careless men are accustomed to exercise.Dr. Omondi testified at trial that he recognized the potential for a pulmonary embolism. The Supreme Court concluded that, “a reasonable jury could find, by clear and convincing evidence, that in addressing Shaquille’s symptoms, Dr. Omondi acted with gross negligence, i.e., that he lacked €˜the diligence that even careless men are accustomed to exercise’.

It has been a long process for the Johnson family to seek justice for their son’s death. And this decision just means that a new trial will start and a jury will reach a verdict, so there are still more legal proceedings to come. But this is a win for the Johnsons and could impact other medical malpractice cases in Georgia arising from emergency room care.

Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If a you or a family member has been harmed due to medical malpractice, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law, LLC may be able to help get the compensation needed and deserved. To discuss your case, contact the Van Sant Law, LLC as soon as possible at 404-991-5950, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

David M. Van Sant
Atlanta personal injury lawyer dedicated to helping clients throughout GA get the compensation they deserve.
Stopwatch

Time is Running Out!

Georgia gives you a limited amount of time for you to file a claim. Call us now for a free consultation.

24-7 Support

(855) GA-INJURY

404-991-5950

Atlanta

307 14th St NW #100
Atlanta, GA 30318

404-991-5950

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Duluth

3675 Crestwood Pkwy NW #400-A
Duluth, GA 30096

678-771-9001

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Alpharetta

11175 Cicero Drive, Suite #100-A
Alpharetta, GA 30022

678-679-6710

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Lawrenceville

113 S Perry St #205
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

678-771-9000

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Athens

824 S Milledge Ave #203
Athens, GA 30605

706-395-5529

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Sandy Springs

6095 Lake Forrest Dr NE #250-A
Atlanta, GA 30328

678-679-6711

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Cumming

123 Tribble Gap Rd #100
Cumming, GA 30040

770-886-9199

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Gainesville

311 Green Street NW, Suite 400
Gainesville, GA 30501

678-771-9019

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

©2019 Van Sant Law, LLC, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission Privacy Policy | Site Map