Jury Returns $30 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Ohio Medical Malpractice Guide

This guide is intended to help you understand the proper steps to take if you think you might be the victim of medical malpractice in Ohio. If you still have questions please contact our office today for a free case review.

    Family Receives $30 Million Verdict in Malpractice Case Against Surgeon

    According to Tuscaloosa News, a jury in Alabama returned a verdict of $30 million in a medical malpractice case against a surgeon at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.
    Johnny Sledge, age 24, was caught in the middle of a gunfight on December 27, 2013, in west Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was shot in the back and was rushed to the hospital but was left waiting in an emergency room while the on-call surgeon performed an elective surgery.
    When Sledge arrived at the hospital around 2:15 PM on December 27th, he was alert and responsive. He was treated by the emergency room physician who recognized that Sledge needed surgery, however, he never had the opportunity to be evaluated by a surgeon.
    According to Sledge’s attorneys, the physicians felt that an emergency abdominal surgery was needed to save his life as he had serious internal injuries from the gunshot wound. Dr. Bradley Bilton, the on-call trauma surgeon, was paged three times from 2:15 PM to 4 PM in attempts to retrieve him to perform the emergency surgery, however, Dr. Bilton responded that he was in surgery and said to “call someone else” and to “find a different surgeon”.
    The staff at DCH claimed to have made several attempts to locate an available surgeon with no success, leaving Sledge to lay suffering in the emergency room for hours. After the third page to Bilton, the doctor responded that he had started a second elective surgery and should be transferred to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
    Johnny Sledge died in the emergency room waiting for a surgeon that never arrived.
    According to Sledge’s attorney’s, Dr. Bilton wasn’t the only one to blame. They claimed that Sledge died as a result of “numerous errors and negligence in hospital policies and procedures for trauma calls”. The DCH Regional Medical Center policy allowed the on-call trauma surgeon the ability to schedule elective procedures during their on-call hours, a policy that could obviously interfere with a time-sensitive, emergency situation. In the policy, it states that the on-call trauma surgeon was responsible for locating another surgeon to take his place if a situation arose where they were unavailable in an emergency. This procedure was clearly not followed in this case, leaving DCH staff scrambling to find an unavailable replacement.
    The lawsuit claimed that DCH was negligent for failing to comply with hospital rules and the surgery-on-call physicians’ schedule, in addition to not having a backup plan in place for occasions when an on-call surgeon was unavailable.
    Five years later, a jury in Tuscaloosa County delivered a guilty verdict against Dr. Bradley Bilton, his practice group University Surgical Associates, P.C., Dr. George Nunn, DCH’s director of trauma services, and DCH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Aldridge.
    The Tuscaloosa jury returned a record $30 million verdict, and although the family knows the money will not bring Johnny back, they hope it will send a message and prevent a situation like this from happening to anyone else.

    Contact Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer right away. Not sure if you have a case? Download a free copy of our Ohio Medical Malpractice Guide here or call 216-285-9991.

    Contact Us

      First Name *

      Last Name *

      Phone Number *

      Email *

      Tell us what happened *

      Cleveland Office:
      Tittle & Perlmuter
      4106 Bridge Ave.
      Cleveland, Ohio 44113
      (888) 604-9299
      Get Directions
      Chardon Office:
      100 Center St
      Chardon, Ohio 44024
      Get Directions
      Sandusky Office:
      308 W Adams St 2nd Floor
      Sandusky, Ohio 44870
      Get Directions
      Elyria Office:
      124 Middle Ave
      Elyria, Ohio 44035
      Get Directions