- Bette Donathan was in an automobile accident in Winchester, Tennessee. She had a broken leg. She had surgery that was supposed to repair her broken lower right leg. However, as she was prepared for surgery at Southern Tennessee Medical Center in Winchester, medical personnel inserted an epidural catheter for post-operative pain control. "The epidural catheter should have never been inserted because she was on blood thinner due to her having a mechanical heart valve,", Randall L. Kinnard, her attorney, said. Bette Donathan developed a spinal bleed that left her paralyzed from the waist down. The jury, in a trial that lasted almost two months, awarded 62 year old Bette Donathan 19.2 million dollars, and 3 million dollars to her husband, Ben Donathan. It was reported that the verdict for Bette Donathan was the largest malpractice judgment for an individual in the history of Tennessee. "This should never have happened," Mr. Kinnard said. "Bette Donathan went into the hospital with a broken lower leg, and came out a paraplegic." Randy Kinnard and Daniel Clayton of Kinnard Clayton & Beveridge in Nashville, Tennessee represented Bette and Ben Donathan in this medical malpractice trial. Read more about this case here. (see links below)
"Record malpractice judgment awarded in Franklin case". Chattanooga Times Free Press. FindArticles.com. 02 Apr, 2010.
"Federal Jury in Chattanooga Awards $22.26 Million in Malpractice Case"
This trial lasted five weeks, tried before a jury of 5 men and 7 women, in Dresden, TN. Randy Kinnard and Mary Ellen Morris represented the plaintiff, a 23 year-old man. The jury returned their verdict of $15.2 million for the plaintiff.
When he was 17 years old, Cody Wade was in a car wreck in Weakley County and suffered multiple injuries. He was air flighted to Memphis to The Regional Medical Center, a trauma center. He had a tracheostomy tube placed via neck, into airway after being entubated for four days. He had serious injuries: ten broken ribs, broken bones, broken wrist, had skin grafts, abrasions on back and legs, arms and face.
After a slow month of recovery at The Med, he was not able to walk or talk, but was able to communicate by typing. The medical providers tried to remove the trach. After 24 hours, he complained he could not breathe right. They reinserted the trach tube.
He was sent to HealthSouth Cane Creek rehab hospital in his rural, West Tn. home town. His family doctor, Dr. Susan Lowry, became the attending doctor at rehab hospital. Cody was to be rehabbed with eventual removal of trach.
He made progress. Finally he could walk a football field with assistance. While he still had some moderate cognitive dysfunction, he was able to write messages and to mouth words.
During third week of rehab, Dr. Lowry decided to remove the trach tube. She removed it at the bedside, in the rehab center. Cody West was very worried, due to what happened with the trach tube in Memphis. Dr. Lowry reassured the family he would be fine.
18 hours later, he complained, "Feels like something is caught in my throat." Dr. Lowry and the nursing staff attributed the complaint to mucous. Dr. Lowry went home. The patient was left in the building with nurses only. He kept saying that he could not breathe right. They calmed him down.
A few hours later his airway collapsed.
They could not save him at rehab hospital. Nurses could not do an emergency trach. Paramedics arrived. Cody Wade arrested. They did CPR, and he came back, but with huge anoxic brain injury. Cody is now severely disabled, confined to bed for life. He cannot speak or move. The verdict of $15.2 million will take care of Cody the rest of his life.
Assisting Mr. Kinnard and Ms. Morris in representing Cody Wade was local counsel Roy Herron of Dresden, TN.
$6.5 million for woman who went into the hospital for a tubal ligation. The doctor put a small hole in her large colon during the procedure and did not recognize it. Five days after the surgery, the woman developed severe peritonitis, was operated upon, and found to be severely infected. Shortly after that surgery, a nasogastric tube was removed too early, causing the patient to vomit alone in her room. She aspirated her own vomitus and suffered a brain injury as the result of lack of oxygen. A Davidson County Circuit Court jury made the record award.
$4 million to a 24 year old college student who had an arterial venous malformation on his spine, which went untreated until it was too late. He became paralyzed from the waist down. Davidson County Circuit Court jury made the award.
$3 million for wrongful death of 16 year old boy who developed a severe headache, was taken to a local hospital and admitted. The young man complained of horrible headaches, vomited, and lost consciousness. He had diabetic ketoacidosis and went untreated, until it was too late to save his life. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
$2.6 million for 54 year old female who had a vaginal wart burned off by a physician in office. The physician used the wrong chemical compound, resulting in severe burns to the patient. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
$2 million for wrongful death of 47 year old high school principal. This high school principal and football coach had a condition known as diverticulitis. After undergoing two annual, routine colonoscopy procedures for screening purposes, the gastroenterologist failed to warn the patient that his condition could lead to cancer if he did not take appropriate precautionary measures. The patient developed colon cancer and by the time it was discovered, it was too late to save the patient's life. Hamilton County Circuit Court jury made the award.
$2 million for Middle Tennessee State University girl's basketball coach. The patient developed blood clots in his leg and was admitted to the hospital for "clot busting" therapy. The IV medication caused the patient to start bleeding freely about the spinal column. The patient complained of pain and other problems and the complaints were not called to the treating physician. The patient suffered neurological damage. Although he ultimately was able to walk, his quality of life was permanently impaired. Rutherford County Circuit Court jury made the award.
$2 million for pain and suffering of brain injured patient at rehabilitation center who had feeding tube accidentally pulled out and improperly replaced, resulting in liquids going into peritoneal cavity instead of stomach organ. Developed peritonitis. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
$1.6 million for death of 44 year old single mother, who gave birth to twins and went home from hospital. Two days later, developed pain in legs, called doctor, told to stay at home. Died one day later of blood clot. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
$1 million for a patient who lost the ability to speak. The 47 year old female patient went to her family practitioner, complaining of signs and symptoms which were caused by pneumonia. The family practitioner failed to diagnose the problem or treat the condition. Five days later, the patient collapsed and went into a coma. Her lungs essentially filled with fluid. She suffered a loss of oxygen to the brain and a resulting permanent loss of the ability to speak. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
$1 million for wrongful death of Vietnam veteran with post traumatic stress disorder. Took overdose of pills. Neighbor called police and said they should take him to hospital. They took him to jail instead where he died on cell floor. Middle District of Tennessee Federal Court jury award.
Misdiagnosis of Cancer
$1.8 million verdict for the wrongful death of a 63 year old man whose tongue cancer went undiagnosed for one year. His CT scan was originally interpreted as normal. When his cancer was discovered one year later, it had metastasized leading to his death. Davidson County Circuit Court jury award.
Truck or Tractor Trailer Accidents
Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Wrecks and Motorcycle Accidents
$1.1 million settlement for man killed on his way home when the defendant driver crossed the center line and struck his motorcycle. The $1.1 million settlement represented the total amount of insurance limits available. Davidson County Circuit Court case.
Personal Injury or Wrongful Death
$3.25 million settlement for the wrongful death of a 53 year old woman and injuries to her daughter following a tractor-trailer wreck where the tractor-trailer changed lanes forcing the decedent's car off the road.
Marisa and Julian Rowland (sister and brother and both age 7) were riding the bus home from school. Their bus driver for Metro Government, Sherrie Rogers, proceeded on New Hope Road in Hermitage. The road was described as a narrow, hilly and curvy two-lane road. It was also raining this day.
As Rogers came around a curve and topped a hill, she was met by an oncoming pick-up driver, Gerald Stanley. Stanley lost control and struck the school bus head-on. It was a significant impact.
Marisa suffered an open skull fracture and a traumatic brain injury. Her cognitive function is permanently limited. Marisa's medical bills were $281,637. Julian too has suffered from post-traumatic stress related to witnessing his sister's injuries.
At the time of the crash, the bus driver was not on an approved route. [Bus drivers are not permitted to deviate from their routes without permission.] She was also drinking a Coke (held between her legs) and was entertained by a boom box. Both of those distractions were also against the rules.
Thus, the plaintiffs developed that had Rogers followed the rules and avoided this dangerous route, the crash would not have occurred. Metro Government defended that there was a single tortfeasor - it was Stanley who lost control while speeding and operating his pick-up on the wet roadways with bald tires. While it conceded technical rule violations by the bus driver, the government denied this was a proximate cause of the collision.
The court heard the proof over a course of four days without the benefit of a jury. Marisa was awarded $2,000,000 - Julian's award was $30,000. This case was tried by Mark Beveridge.
$1.6 million verdict for a gentleman who sustained permanent back injuries when the deck collapses at a house he was visiting. Deck was improperly constructed. Davidson County Circuit Court jury verdict.
The firm has tried hundreds of other civil lawsuits across Tennessee, from the most populated counties to the smallest. In a recent seminar to trial lawyers, Randy Kinnard told the audience, "In the last 25 years of trying cases across the state of Tennessee, I have never been impressed with the notion that there are any so-called 'country juries'. All juries are smart."
We have won car wreck cases, products liability and multiple other types of personal injury cases before juries, collecting millions of dollars for our clients.
The firm has a philosophy about trials: we are unafraid to go to Court. If the defense does not offer a fair sum of money to our clients in cases which we feel the clients have been wronged, we are happy to go to Court and seek justice.
We have collected tens of millions of dollars for injured people and their families in settlements.