Lawyers Weekly Featuring Wade E. Byrd

Verdicts & Settlements

February 14, 2005


Cumberland Jury Awards $3 Million in Mammogram Fall
Premises Liability - Woman Fainted During Mammogram - Known Risk - Massive Skull Fractures, Brain Damage - Plaintiff Claimed Padded Floor Required - $2.5 Million Jury Verdict - $ 500,000 Lost Consortium

Type of action:
Ordinary negligence and premises liability

Injuries alleged: Massive skull fractures, cerebral edema, subdural hematoma resulting in permanent brain damage, stroke rehabilitation and paralysis on the right side of the body

Name of case: C. Douglas Maxwell, as Guardian for the Estate of Cynthia Taylor, Incompetent, et al v. Cumberland County Hospital System, Inc. d/b/a Cape Fear Valley Health System

Court/county: Cumberland County Superior Court

Case no.: 03 CvS 7974

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge: Joseph R. John Sr.

Special damages: n/a

Verdict/settlement: Verdict

Amount: $2,500,000 for the estate of Cynthia Taylor for injuries sustained; $500,000 for her husband for loss of consortium

Date obtained: Trial: Dec. 10, 2004; judgment filed Dec. 17, 2004

Demand: n/a

Offer: Low six figures, according to plaintiff's counsel

Experts: Most helpful: Kelly B. Kennett, M.S., InSciTech, Inc., Suwanee GA, biomechanical engineer

Insurer: Hospital was self-insured up to $3 million

Plaintiff's attorneys: Wade E. Byrd and Gerald F. Meek, the Law Offices of Wade Byrd, Fayetteville; Randy Gregory, Rand & Gregory, P.A., Fayetteville

Person submitting: Wade Byrd

Description: The plaintiff suffered brain damage after she fell while undergoing a mammogram. According to the plaintiff's lawsuit, she fainted as her left breast was compressed during a mammography she sought after finding a lump in her breast. According to the plaintiff's summary judgment brief, fainting is a known risk with mammograms and the machine used by the plaintiff had an ammonia capsule stored on it. The plaintiff's suit claimed the machine's operator was negligent in failing to protect or rescue the plaintiff from harm, and that the hospital failed to keep the premises in a safe condition by padding the floor around the machine. The jury found the mammogram machine operator was not negligent, but found the hospital was negligent.


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