In 2012, baby boy Mangus died as a result of Midwife, Clairce Winker’s, negligence in the delivery of the baby that took place in a birthing center in Michigan. The Parents of baby Mangus brought a Wrongful Death lawsuit against the midwife, and the midwife didn’t even bother to show up for Court.
Therefore, the Judge entered a Default Judgment in favor the Parents in for $ 5M. Although the midwife is ordered to pay, she did not have any medical malpractice insurance and, therefore, it will be difficult, but not impossible, for the Plantiff’s to collect any money under the circumstances.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are truly sorry that this has happened to this family. We know how painful losing a child can be. If you or a loved one has lost a child, or a child has been seriously injured, due to the negligence of another, the we are experts in these types of Medical Malpractice cases and we courage you to Contact Us immediately or your free legal consultation. We will not only zealously represent you so that you receive the just compensation that you deceive, we make sure that you collect your money as well.
This case in point was in Michigan and I am not licensed to practice law in Michigan so I do not know the laws in Michigan that apply specifically to the collection of Default Judgements. In Georgia, however, there are many post-judgement collection methods and if the Plaintiff’s are persistent in collecting this money then they could very well collect some, if not all, of the judgment over time.
Since the Judgement is of such a sizable amount, the process would be very slow . In the end, however, they would receive some just compensation for their little boy’s loss of life. We all know that money will never bring baby boy Mangus back but the parents are entitled to see a check or two every month as a reminder that their baby boy did have value as a human being.
In Georgia, there are several methods that can be employed in post-jugdement collection including, but are limited to:
1.) Garnishment of wages. This tends to hurt people the most since they have a budget and that budget is in now cut dramatically putting financial strain on both the party that owes the judgement as well as that person’s family; and
2.) Liens on any and all real and personal property including, but not limited to, bank (checking and saving) accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement funds, life insurance policies or annuities, a lien on the the car, and the like.
In Georgia, you have the right to post-judgment discovery whereby you can find out all the assets of the party who owes you money. Remember as well, that in a Default Judgement situation, the party can not release the debt through bankruptcy. Furthermore, if the Defendant has been found to have committed fraud or punitive damages were award for a complete lack of care in the situation, then a Judgement (not just a Default Judgement) in this type of case could not be discharged in bankruptcy; at least not the portion of the award that was determined as punitive damages.
Even if the person does file for bankruptcy, then you can become a part of the bankruptcy process as a Creditor in the action, and you, in that case, will stand in line in the order in which debts are owed by the Debtor under Georgia Law, and Judgements are usually high on the list of the priority that debts must be paid through certain types of Bankruptcy.
Although the midwife was found negligent by the State’s Nursing Board, and she had to subsequently surrender her nursing license as result, she will most likely work again doing something to support herself. The wages from that job, or any job, could be garnished. Most likely she will drive and have a car that could be have a lien placed on it. If she buys, or presently owns , any property, that property could have a lien placed on it for when it sells, then the proceeds from the sale would have to be used to pay the lien.
It is interesting in this case that the Birthing Center was not brought into the litigation as a party since most likely the center would have had adequate insurance that may cover this type of situation. Even if the Winder’s signed a Release Agreement to Release the Birthing Center from any liability , these type of Release Agreemets can be challenged and set aside. Furthermore, if it was determined that the Birthing Center itself was in any way negligent in this action, then they should be held accountable as well.
If you or a loved on has been injured or killed in this type of situation, then we experts in these types of Medical Malpractice cases, and we encourage you to Contact Us immediately as set forhinabove for your free legal consultation. Please kindly remember as well that we represent you in these types of cases on a contingency fee basis meaning that you do not have pay any legal fees unless we win your case. We look forward to hearing from you soon.