Med Mal Trial Set to Open Over Stroke That Left Georgia Man With "Locked-In Syndrome"

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Oct 3, 2022 4:04:35 PM

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Atlanta, GA— Trial is expected to begin this week over whether medical negligence caused a Georgia man to suffer catastrophic brain damage from a 2015 stroke. Buckelew v. Womack, et al., 17EV004146.

According to court records, Jonathan Buckelew, then 32, collapsed and became unresponsive during an October 2015 chiropractic visit. He was transported to Roswell, Georgia’s North Fulton Medical Center, where he was treated by several healthcare professionals, including emergency room physician Dr. Matthew Womack, radiologist Dr. James Waldschmidt, neurologist Dr. Peter Futrell, and physicians assistant Christopher Nickum.

Buckelew’s attorneys contend imaging performed shortly after Buckelew’s arrival in the hospital’s ED indicated he was suffering a stroke, and that the medical professionals failed to properly treat him or accurately diagnose the condition until the next day, leading him to suffer profound brain damage. 

Buckelew now suffers from “locked-in syndrome,” which renders him unable to move any part of his body but his eyes, while leaving him conscious and with his cognitive faculties intact.

Each defendant contends that they complied with the applicable standard of care while treating Buckelew. Further, defendants contend that Buckelew’s stroke was so severe that he would have suffered the same outcome regardless of when his condition had been diagnosed and treated at the hospital. 

The chiropractor who initially treated Buckelew is not a defendant at trial. 

The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks and features a slate of Georgia’s most prominent medical malpractice attorneys:

Buckelew is represented by Shamp Silk’s Laura Shamp and Joshua Silk and by The Bell Law Firm’s Lloyd Bell. 

Womack and North Fulton Emergency Physicians are represented by Hall Booth Smith’s John Hall and Beth Kanik. 

Nickum and North Fulton Pulmonary Specialists are represented by Huff Powell & Bailey’s Brian Mathis and David Mackenzie. 

Futrell is represented by Weathington LLC’s Paul Weathington and Henry Green.

North Fulton Medical Center is represented by Huff Powell & Bailey’s Daniel Huff and Sarah Akinosho. 

Waldschmidt and Waldschmidt, P.C. are represented by Huff Powell & Bailey’s Scott Bailey and Michael Frankson. 

North Fulton Neurology is represented by Peters & Monyak’s Robert Monyak and Sean Hickey. 

Jury selection is currently underway and openings, before Fulton County State Court Judge Eric Richardson, are expected as soon as Tuesday. 

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Topics: Medical Malpractice, Georgia, Buckelew, et al. v. Womack, et al.