Betty Smart v. Carroll County Memorial Hospital, Case No. 12CR-CC00202

Case Type
Injuries, ,
Court
County
City
State
Amount$350,000.00

M. Blake Heath, along with Brett Emison of Langdon and Emison, obtained a $350,000.00 verdict in favor of our client Betty Smart in a medical malpractice claim against Carroll County Memorial Hospital. Prior to trial, the defendant opted out of mediation and offered no monies to settle the claim. The case was tried in Carroll County Missouri.

On the morning of January 3, 2011, Mrs. Smart went to the emergency department with nausea and vomiting. She was 81 years old at the time, and she had a history of cardiac issues. The doctor working in the emergency department that morning was Mrs. Smart’s primary care physician, and he was worried she had the stomach flu. The doctor admitted Mrs. Smart into the hospital for observation.

During the course of her stay, Mrs. Smart developed chest pain. The night nurse caring for Mrs. Smart did not report the complaint of chest pain to any physician. On the morning of January 4, 2011, Mrs. Smart told her doctor about the chest pain. The doctor ordered tests and determined Mrs. Smart was having a heart attack. Mrs. Smart was sent by life flight to another hospital where a heart catheterization was performed. The cardiologist that performed the catheterization also determined that Betty had significant heart damage due to the delay in treatment.

At trial, Mr. Heath and Mr. Emison argued that the hospital staff failed to timely report the chest pain. Every health care professional agreed a nurse must report a change in a patient’s condition immediately to a doctor. Through expert testimony, they also submitted evidence to the jury that Mrs. Smart would not have needed additional procedures but for the delay, and she ultimately would have had a much better quality of life.

The jury deliberate for more than three hours and returned with a unanimous decision awarding Mrs. Smart $350,000.00.  The verdict is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in the history of Carroll County.

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