Largest Medical Malpractice Payment In Arkansas History
Attorneys Keith Blythe of Ft. Smith and Bobby McDaniel of Jonesboro reached a record lump sum settlement of $15,591,664.22 in a medical malpractice case filed in Ft. Smith. The client arrived at the ER in Ft. Smith on July 16, 2011, following an automobile accident in which she suffered severely fractured ankles and seat belt injuries to her sternum, an abdominal hernia and a blood clot in her aorta and common iliac arteries which supply blood to the legs. Although the blockages were observed by a radiologist on the day of admission, no treatment was provided for the artery blockages.
On July 26, 2011, 10 days after admission, both of the client’s legs were amputated above the knees, which could have been prevented with proper care, even according to several defense expert witnesses.
The specific terms of the settlement are confidential as to which defendant(s) contributed to the settlement, or how much, if any, each defendant contributed. According to Mr. Blythe, “We wanted to make sure we took care of our client and her tremendous future needs by way of settlement or otherwise we were going to trust a Ft. Smith jury to do so. With this settlement, she will be able to get the medical care, prosthetics and support equipment she needs, and is compensated in some measure for her pain, suffering, loss of quality of life and disfigurement.”
Trial was set to begin Jan. 4, 2016, before Judge Jamie Cox in Sebastian County. Settlement was reached just days before trial was to begin, and after four days of pretrial hearings and three failed mediation settlement conferences ordered by Judge Cox.