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$1.775 Million Settlement For Parents Of Girl Who Died In Hospital Due To Delayed Transfer

A four-year-old girl with a serious heart defect died because of a delay in transferring her from a local hospital to a major medical center which was only two hours away. The little girl was in her local hospital for severe breathing problems caused by her heart defect. She was seen by her doctor during the afternoon, but after dinner her condition began to deteriorate. Nurses called the doctor several times over a five-hour period before he agreed to come into the hospital. After ordering an urgent and immediate transfer to a major medical center only two hours away, the doctor left the hospital.

The on-call EMS transfer crew was scheduled to go off duty in three hours, and because the round trip to the major medical center was four hours, they chose not to transfer the child but to wait for the crew change nearly three hours later. Since her doctor had left the hospital, he was unaware of the delay, and during the three-hour period the child continued to deteriorate. Approximately one hour after the crew change, the transfer began, and as a result, the little girl arrived at the major medical center at 6:30 a.m. instead of 2:00 a.m. By the time she arrived there, she was nonresponsive, barely breathing, and she died within two hours. Her doctor initially refused to admit responsibility as did the hospital. After 2½ years of litigation revealed that the doctor initially had refused to come to the hospital and then after coming to the hospital chose to leave before transfer and that the hospital’s transport team delayed the transfer while waiting for a “crew change,” the case was settled for $1.775 million.

(Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its owns merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results. Unless otherwise specified, each of the following matters was contested on liability and/or damages, the opposing parties were represented, the matters involved complex legal and/or factual issues, and the law firm was successful in collecting the amounts stated. Case summaries are from 2000 through the present.)

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“We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did.” 

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.