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Jury Awards $7.8 Million After Doctors Fail To Diagnose Flesh-Eating Bacteria

hospitalimage0604.jpg Imagine taking your child to the emergency room to treat a cut and leaving days later with your child suffering from brain damage. One family’s nightmare came true when they took their twelve-year-old son, Jonathan, to Dyersburg Regional Medical Center to treat a cut he received when he fell on an exposed nail head while playing laser tag at Upon This Rock Amusement. Dr. Joseph Flagge and Alan Hopkins, ARNP, treated him for the cut at Dyersburg Regional. He was discharged the same day, but returned two days later with extreme pain and redness and swelling that was “steadily moving up his leg.” Dr. Randy Isaacs treated him, but did not diagnose Jonathan with any other illness. Three days later, another doctor treated Jonathan, diagnosed him with a significant infection of flesh-eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) and sent him to Lebonheur Children’s Hospital. The complaint, filed by Jonathan’s parents, alleges that he “suffer[ed] severe physical injuries from the hospitals’ negligence with most of the flesh from his knee to his groin decomposing, requiring extensive tissue removal and skin grafts, but he also suffered severe brain injuries.” As a result of his injuries, Jonathan fell into a coma and suffered a series of seizures that caused permanent brain damage.

Jonathan’s parents filed suit against Dyersburg Regional Medical Center; David Criswell, owner of Upon This Rock Amusement in Dyersburg; Dr. Joseph Flagge, and Alan Hopkins, ARNP. Their complaint alleges that the Dr. Flagge and Hopkins improperly treated their son and “failed to take proper precautions to avoid infection, including the failure to administer necessary and appropriate antibiotics and other medicines.” Their complaint continues to state that Dr. Isaacs failed to diagnose the flesh-eating bacteria that caused Jonathan’s symptoms.

The trial has been a long process for Jonathan and his parents. The accident occurred in 2004, and went to a civil trial in 2007 but the judge declared a mistrial. The case was heard again recently and after a 15-day trial, a jury awarded the family $7.8 million for Jonathan’s injuries. Prior to trial, Dr. Flagge and Hopkins settled with the family for an undisclosed amount. Halfway through the trial, the hospital also settled for an undisclosed amount. The jury allotted the fault as follows: David Criswell was 13% responsible, Dr. Joseph Flagge and Alan Hopkins were each 20% liable and the Medical Center was 47% responsible. The jury ultimately determined that Jonathan should receive $7,816,740 in damages, but the court has sealed the final settlement amounts.

Jury awards $7.8M in hospital negligence suit, www.miamiherald.com August 31, 2012.


Jonathan went to spend a fun day playing laser tag and his life changed forever. Had the doctors properly diagnosed his condition, he would not have suffered for the past eight years. Doctors are expected to treat their patients with an appropriate standard of care and when they fail to treat their patients in such a manner, they become liable for any injuries. If you or your loved one has suffered injuries as a result of medical error or negligence, contact the Miami medical malpractice lawyers at the Friedland Law Group today. As expert child injury lawyers, the Coral Gables personal injury lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping victims and their families recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you believe you’ve been injured as a result of medical malpractice or from use of a defective medical device, call the insurance litigation lawyers at the Friedland Law Group! Don’t hesitate! Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami medical malpractice lawyers at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of medical malpractice injuries throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective medical devices, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation. Call today and let our family take care of your family!