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$1M was Awarded to a Woman in Georgia for Faulty Breast Augmentation Surgery


A young lady, Amanda Lawson, from Coffee County, Georgia had breast augmentation at Southeast Laser & Plastic Surgery in Waycross, GA in May, 2010. There were several mishaps during this procedure as follows:

1.) Ms. Lawson was not given an adequate pre-operation exam nor was she measured for the proper size of the implants;

2.) Ms. Lawson was not introduced to her Surgeon, Dr. David Cheney, at any time before the procedure started;

3.) Ms. Lawson was not given any anesthesia except a local anesthetic, valium as a tranquilizer, and Percocet as a pain reliever; and

4.) Her surgery took 3-4 hours and the assistant to the surgery was not certified as a medical professional.

The following month, she returned to the clinic complaining of severe pain and the gel implants were exposed due to broken incisions. The doctor simply gave her antibiotics and pain killers.

Ms. Lawson’s condition continued to go down hill. As a result, in June, she sought medical assistance at the Irwin County Hospital and was diagnosed with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus a/k/a MRSA whereby she was in the hospital for almost a week.

In July, she went back to the hospital and was treated again for the infection but this time with intravenous antibiotics and then had to undergo another surgery for the removal of both implants. Now, she is permanently disfigured.

She sued the Doctor, the assistant, and the clinic and went to trial in Ware County State Court whereby the jury, after a very short deliberation, awarded her $ 1M as follows: $ 500,000 on the part of the Doctor, $ 250,000 on the part of the assistant, and $ 250,000 on the part of the clinic.

Neither the Doctor nor the Clinic had Medical Malpractice Insurance, however. Nevertheless, Ms. Lawson’s Attorney stood by his client through the entire trial and plans on collecting the judgement through the doctors assets, home, and retirement account. The case is Lawson v. Cheney, No. S11V-494.

This was not the first time that Dr. David Cheney has committed malpractice as he was sanctioned by the medical board in June, 2012 for 19 breast augmentations and cosmetic surgery procedures at the same clinic where Ms. Lawson’s surgery took place. He is now only able to practice medicine on inmates in jail and is strictly forbidden to perform plastic surgery.

The dramatic, and practical, take away from this case and other cases like it, some of which the women have died from surgery, is that these clinics are usually not properly certified and, therefore, these mishaps are common. It is frightening to learn that neither the doctor nor the clinic did not even have medical malpractice insurance which is a basic necessity if a doctor is treating patients in this, or any other, manner, as well as the clinic allowing such procedures.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we have handled these types of cosmetic surgery and other types of medical malpractice cases so if you or a loved one has been injured or died in such a procedure, it is important that you Contact Us right away for your free legal consultation so that we may assist you in any way that we can. These cases have very short time limits so it is important to seek legal attention as soon as possible.