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What is the Value of a Leg? $1.8M Awarded in a Georgia Case where Ankle Surgery Led to Leg Amputation Due to Medical Malpractice ~ part one


Recently, a Jury in Valdosta, GA awarded a young man of 32, Zan Childress, $ 1.8M for the loss of his leg that was a result of an amputation from Medical Malpractice committed on his ankle after a car accident. This case is interesting in many respects.

Both the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s focused very intensely on the jury selection since this was in a small town and many of the potential jurors knew the Plaintiff, and he was very well liked in the community. This is unusual since it is usually the Doctor that is favored by the Jury in these types of cases; not the Plaintiff.

Although many of the potential jurors that knew the Plaintiff and his family were struck from the Jury, the Jurors that were ultimately selected to hear the case were very sympathetic to the Plaintiff which, it appears, resulted in part in such a high verdict.

It also appears that this may be the highest medical malpractice verdict in Lowndes county, although this has not been confirmed to date. The case, tried before Lowndes County Superior Court Judge Frank Horkan, is Childress v. Kendrick, No. 2012-CV- 2346.

The Plaintiff’s ankle was injured in a car accident. The argument for Medical Malpractice was that the first orthopedic surgeon who operated on the ankle, Dr. John Kendrick with the group of Valdosta Orthopedic Associates, operated too soon on the ankle after the accident, claiming that Dr. Kendrick operated on the ankle 20 hours after the accident and, instead, should have waited at least five (5) to (7) days to operate after the swelling in the ankle subsided.

The Defense argued that there was no breach in the standard of care by Dr. Kendrick and that the operation was timely and appropriate under the circumstances.

Following the first operation, the Plaintiff’s ankle was operated on eight (8) more times by a new doctor and this to no avail when, in November, 2011, Mr. Childress’ leg was amputated just below the knee. The Defense argued that since the subsequent surgeries were not able to save the ankle or part of the leg either that this further supported the theory that the first doctor Defendant did not breach the standard of care.

The Jury obviously disagreed.

A discussion of the other interesting issues of this case will be continued in my next blog post: What is the Value of a Leg? $1.8M Awarded in a Georgia Case where Ankle Surgery Led to Leg Amputation Due to Medical Malpractice ~ part two.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at Medical Malpractice, and all other Injury Cases, so if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the negligent actions of another, or others, then please Contact Us as soon as possible for your free legal consultation.

We are here to make sure that you receive the just compensation that you deserve, and that if you lose life or limb that you will be compensated for all of the joys that you or your loved one will miss as a result. We are on your side and here for you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.