Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Involving Physicians Who Negligently Failed to Give Vaccines Needed by an Asplenic Patient to Prevent Overwhelming Post-Splenectomy Infection
Ragland & Jones, LLP has helped a severely injured woman achieve an important appellate victory in a medical malpractice case. The Georgia Supreme Court has just ruled in favor of an asplenic patient who pursued a malpractice lawsuit against several of her physicians after suffering an overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI) which resulted in the amputation of her limbs. The plaintiff, a wife and mother of three young children, became asplenic as a teenager due to injuries she suffered in a car accident that necessitated the surgical removal of her spleen. During the next two decades, none of her treating physicians ever warned her about the risks of OPSI or advised her to receive vaccines recommended for anyone with asplenia (lack of a functioning spleen).
Because she never received immunizations needed by asplenic patients, the plaintiff contracted an OPSI in September 2004, just a few months after giving birth to her third child. She was hospitalized for nearly a year and underwent multiple procedures including surgeries to amputate her arms and legs. In 2006, she retained medical malpractice attorney Daniel Ragland who filed a lawsuit against a primary care physician and several OB-GYN physicians who the plaintiff had seen regularly during the 1999-2004 period just prior to her OPSI. The malpractice lawsuit, filed in August 2006, alleged that each physician knew that the plaintiff had lost her spleen, and committed malpractice by failing to vaccinate her against the various bacterial pathogens known to cause OPSI.