This post is my follow up to my 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 one where the Jury was called upon to determine, among other issues, the value suffered by the Plaintiff due to the loss of part of his leg.
It is not uncommon for the finder of fact to have to determine the economic loss of the value of a limb, or other injury, such as lost wages from not being able to work during treatment, the lost wages of not being able to go back to the job that the Plaintiff was originally trained to do and, therefore, suffer a loss in pay. These damages can be relatively easy to determine.
The difficult decision that the Jury in this case had to make, however, was: What is the Value of a Leg?
It is worth noting that many cases settle out of court with only a small percentage seeing the inside of a courtroom. The reason that cases get to the point of a trial is that there is a genuine issue of material fact or law that the Plaintiff and Defendant, the Defendant usually being the Defendant’s insurance company, can not agree upon. In this case, it was two fold and the disagreements were: 1.) Did the Defendant commit Medical Malpractice; and 2.) If so, then What is the Value of a Leg?
When these disagreements arise and can not be settled out of court, our judicial system turns to the finder of fact, Judge or Jury, to determine these questions. Often times these questions are determined by looking at case law as precedent and determining what has been ruled in the past under the same or similar circumstances and following the case precedent. Other times, in reality, these decisions are based on emotion or empathy for the Plaintiff or the Defendant. In this case, it appears that the verdict was rendered in large part due to the Jury’s empathy for the Plaintiff.
In this case, the Jury, after determining that Medical Malpractice had been committed, was then asked to decide what the value was for the loss of the Plaintiff’s leg. The Plaintiff presented this to the Jury by showing the Jury that the Plaintiff will not be able to engage in activities that he was able to enjoy prior to the injury.
These joys included, but were not limited to, not being able to enjoy these type of activities with his two (2) sons that the Plaintiff was able to enjoy prior to his injury: Playing football in the yard; Kneeling to catch his sons’ baseball pitches; Teaching his boys to ride a bicycle by running alongside the bike; and Climbing into a deer stand when his children were old enough to learn how to hunt.
Just thinking of these lost moments in time, among other parts of the case, were enough for this Jury to award Mr. Childress more than $1M for the loss of a part of his leg.
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, 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.