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Jury Awards $8 Million Verdict Against Shands Teaching Hospital for the Wrongful Death of a Child

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Searcy Denney Law Firm Secures Justice for Victim’s Family 

West Palm Beach, Fl. – South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA (Searcy Denney) recently announced that a jury awarded $8 million to the family of a fifteen year old boy from Suwannee County who died after Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc. failed to provide timely medical treatment for a life threatening medical condition.

The boy, Nathan Hannon, died after he failed to receive emergency care and transportation to a medical facility qualified to treat his life threatening medical condition. According to the jury’s findings, Shands negligent treatment contributed to his death.

Nathan Hannon had hydrocephalus, a condition which causes an excessive accumulation of spinal fluid in the brain. As a child, he had a shunt placed in his brain to drain off excessive fluid. Although Nathan lived with a shunt, he had entirely normal, full life. On October 29, 1999, he began suffering from symptoms consistent with a life-threatening shunt malfunction. While receiving treatment at Shands Medical Group clinic, his parents were directed by an emergency room physician to drive him to Shands Live Oak in Gainesville, Florida. During the transport, he suffered irreversible brain damage and died in the arms of his mother.

“The tragic death of this young boy was preventable,” said James Gustafson of Searcy Denney. “It is hoped that this verdict will help prevent a future tragedy.”

At the close of the trial, the jury cited negligence on the part of Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc. for failing to have a clear policy and procedure in place for the transfer of patients from Shands Medical Group Clinic to Shands at Live Oak for treatment. The trial took place in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit in Suwannee County.

“We trust our lives to medical centers and hospitals,” said Chris Searcy, of the Searcy Denney law firm. “It is our hope that Shands will put appropriate measures in place to prevent the untimely death of another child or loved one.”

 About Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA:

A nationally recognized trial law firm, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. is committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people injured through negligence, deceit and abuse of power.  Over the past 45 years, the firm has represented clients in courtrooms throughout Florida and across the nation.

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