Attorneys from the Nashville law firm of Walker Tipps & Malone have won a large verdict in a medical negligence case tried in Memphis.
Following a two-week trial in Shelby County Circuit Court, a jury awarded a family a $14 million judgment against an anesthesiologist and his practice group for the wrongful death of a husband and father who was a Shelby County real estate developer and philanthropist.
The plaintiff family was represented in the case by Gayle Malone and Charles Malone of Walker Tipps and their former partner, Steve Anderson, now of Anderson & Reynolds.
According to the pleadings in the case, Collierville resident Mark Neel in May of 2007 underwent a routine procedure to treat a kidney stone. The procedure was performed by urologist David Hickey of Conrad|Pearson Clinic and anesthesiologist Charles Gairhan of Metropolitan Anesthesia Alliance.
In the hours following the procedure, Mark Neel suffered several complications, including primarily a full-blown infection throughout his body. The defendant doctors kept Neel in the surgery center’s recovery room throughout the day before transferring him to Methodist Germantown Hospital that evening.
Shortly after his arrival at the hospital, Neel suffered cardiac arrest, which led to brain death. He died on May 22, 2007. At the time of his death, he was 45 years old, had been married for 23 years to wife Stacey, and had three minor children.
On behalf of the Neel family, the attorneys tried the wrongful-death action against Gairhan and his group Metropolitan Anesthesia Alliance. Just prior to trial, Hickey and Conrad|Pearson settled with the Neel family on undisclosed terms.
Following the trial against Gairhan, the jury unanimously found liability and awarded total damages of $20 million to the Neel family. The jury assigned 70 percent of the fault for Neel’s death to Gairhan.
At this stage, the case is not yet concluded since Gairhan could seek relief from the Circuit Court Judge or pursue an appeal.