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Mistrial, After Jurors Declare Deadlock in Case Against Doctor Over Patient's Fatal Heart Attack

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Jul 19, 2018 7:34:00 AM

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Lawrenceville, GA—Jurors declared themselves deadlocked Friday over whether a Georgia doctor was responsible for her patient’s ultimately fatal heart attack, sending the case against the physician to mistrial. Herrington v. Tree Lane Inpatient Services, LLC., 16C00703-4.

Gwinnett County State Court Judge Pamela South declared a mistrial after jurors deliberated without resolution across two days over whether Dr. Shazia Naib was responsible for the 2014 death of Laura Herrington. Judge South declared the mistrial, while on the bench for Judge Joseph Iannazzone, who had presided over the trial.

Herrington, 75, suffered a heart attack overnight on May 9-10, 2014, hours after allegedly being taken off of heart telemetry, or monitoring equipment, at Snellville’s Eastside Medical Center, where she had been seen by Naib.

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The heart attack left her with massive brain damage, and she died days later.

Herrington had been admitted to Eastside on May 4 suffering from acute respiratory failure. Staff treated her for the condition and placed her on a heart monitor. However she had been taken off the equipment as part of a discharge from the facility ordered, and ultimately rescinded before its completion, by Naib.

The three-day trial focused largely on who was responsible for Herrington not being connected to telemetry when she suffered her heart attack.

Herrington’s family contends Naib never should have issued the discharge order in light of Herrington’s condition and that the doctor should have issued new treatment orders ensuring heart monitoring resumed when the discharge was rescinded.

“If there had never been a discharge order, there never would have been a disconnecting from telemetry,” Pope & Howard’s Geoffrey Pope told jurors when trial opened. “They would have been able to revive her in time… to prevent the devastating brain injury.”

The defense contends the initial discharge order was appropriate because Herrington had improved and that Naib instructed nursing staff to continue all prior orders, including telemetry, when she rescinded the discharge.

“Dr. Naib… was clear that the orders [prior to discharge] be continued,” Owen Gleaton’s Theodore Pound told jurors when trial opened. “Dr. Naib understood the patient would remain on telemetry. She remained in the same bed where she had been on telemetry throughout that hospitalization. There was no reason not to continue her on telemetry.”

There is no word yet on when a new trial will be held.

CVN covered the trial and will publish gavel-to-gavel video on demand as soon as possible.

Email Arlin Crisco at acrisco@cvn.com.

Related Information

Plaintiff is represented by Pope & Howard’s Geoffrey Pope and J. Marcus Howard and the Summerville Firm’s Darren Summerville.

The defense is represented by Theodore Pound and Kathleen Simcoe, of Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney.

CVN covered the trial and will publish gavel-to-gavel video on demand as soon as possible.

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Topics: Herrington v. Tree Lane Inpatient Services, Georgia, Medical Malpractice