Firm Successfully Defends Family Medicine Doctor in Ozark

Fred W. Tyson and Ben C. Wilson successfully defended a family medicine physician in a medical malpractice/wrongful death case tried before the Honorable Thomas E. Head in the Circuit Court of Dale County, Alabama. The case involved the death of a patient who experienced a rupture of the ascending thoracic aorta approximately three days after being seen by the defendant physician. The plaintiff contended that the patient, who had a long-term history of high blood pressure and more recently back pain, was experiencing a dissection of the thoracic aorta at the time of the visit to the physician’s office. The plaintiff further contended that the physician breached the standard of care by failing to address the patient’s elevated blood pressure and failing to order tests that allegedly would have indentified an aortic abnormality. These allegations were vigorously disputed by the defense, who maintained that the patient’s blood pressure was properly evaluated and addressed and that no aortic abnormality was present at the time of the care in question. The defense, primarily through the testimony of the state medical examiner, further maintained that the patient subsequently experienced a sudden, catastrophic rupture of the aorta that could have neither been detected nor prevented by the defendant physician. After a five-day trial, the jury rendered a defense verdict following approximately ninety minutes of deliberation. The Plaintiff was represented by Joel Williams of Troy, Alabama and Yvonne Gabrielson of Dothan, Alabama. The case number is CV-2003-80 (Circuit Court of Dale County).