Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the trial's verdict.
Douglasville, GA— Jurors Wednesday awarded more than $2.66 million to a Georgia woman for the debilitating leg injury she suffered in a fall from a hospital's wheelchair. Byrom v. Douglas Hospital, 13-SV-00346.
The Douglas County State Court jury deliberated less than three hours before finding Douglas Hospital liable for a 2013 fall from a hospital wheelchair that Carolyn Byrom contends broke her thigh bone and left her unable to walk.
The verdict, which apportioned 100 percent of responsibility to the hospital, includes $2.5 million for Byrom's pain and suffering and more than $165,000 for her medical expenses.
According to court documents, Byrom was being seen for a finger infection at the Douglasville, Georgia hospital when she contends a hospital employee negligently took her along a route with a doorway too narrow for the oversized wheelchair to fit. The employee, she claims, asked her to stand and walk, but neither helped her from the chair nor raised its foot pedals, causing her to fall and break her femur.
The hospital counters that it properly cared for Byrom and is not responsible for her injury, according to court documents.
In a statement to CVN after the verdict, Byrom's attorney, Fried Rogers Goldberg's Michael Goldberg, said "We always felt like our client did nothing wrong, and the hospital just didn’t have the right policies and procedures in place to protect wheelchair patients. It is evident from the verdict that the jury really heard Carolyn, listened to her, and believed her.
"She walked into the hospital on her own and never walked again," Goldberg said. "That shouldn’t happen.”
CVN has reached out to attorneys for the hospital, and will update this article with any response.
CVN has recorded the trial and will provide video as soon as possible.
Email Arlin Crisco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn Byrom is represented by Fried Rogers Goldberg’s Michael Goldberg and Brad Thomas and the Singleton Law Firm’s Donald Singleton.
Douglas Hospital is represented by Downey & Cleveland LLP’s Curtis Anderson and Jack Slover.
CVN recorded the trial and will provide gavel-to-gavel video as soon as possible after the verdict.
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