Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to $9.6 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict

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Last month, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in which a Houston-based obstetrics and gynecology practice and one of its physicians argue that there was legally insufficient evidence to support a $9.6 million jury award in favor of a woman who sustained a permanent brain injury as a result of alleged medical malpractice. In September 2004, Shannon McCoy was admitted to Woman's Hospital of Texas to give birth to her first child. Upon admission, Ms. McCoy's baby had already died in utero due to placental abruption. Ms. McCoy also developed complications and ultimately suffered brain damage requiring around-the-clock care for the remainder of her life. In 2006, Ms. McCoy's husband filed suit against Debra Gunn, M.D. and her practice, Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates (OGA). According to the lawsuit, Dr. Gunn's negligence in failing to make adjustments to the administration of blood and blood products caused Ms. McCoy's permanent brain injury. A jury returned an 11-to-1 verdict in favor of the McCoys as to Dr. Gunn's negligence and awarded the McCoys $9.6 million. The Houston Fourteenth Court of Appeals upheld the jury award in December 2015.

In May 2017, OGA filed a petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court. Dr. Gunn filed her petition for review the following month. Both OGA and Dr. Gunn argued that the testimony of the McCoy's liability expert-that the volume of blood loss caused Ms. McCoy's brain injury-was conclusory, speculative, and not supported by the evidence presented in the case. Both OGA's and Dr. Gunn's liability experts testified that a blood clotting disorder caused Ms. McCoy's brain injury. Oral arguments are set for February 2018.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.

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