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JNOV unanimously reversed in Medical Malpractice case involving aspiration.

Talley Anthony’s Craig Robichaux, assisted by Josie Guidry, successfully defended several unnamed nurses at a Level II trauma center in an ED case, with a presentation of stroke (later determined to be Guillain Barre Syndrome). 

The medical malpractice case involved the plaintiffs’ allegations  of negligent protocol and procedure by several unnamed nurses resulting in the aspiration of the plaintiff’s mother. The patient was brought to the emergency room under suspicion of having suffered a stroke but was later diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome. When a nurse made a judgment call to encourage the patient to attempt swallowing a crushed prescription tablet mixed in applesauce, the patient was unable to do so.  The plaintiffs alleged  the nurse did not follow doctor’s orders or conduct the necessary examinations to determine if the patient was able to swallow pills without the risk of choking.

Upon conclusion of the evidence, the jury was asked if there was a preponderance of evidence to show that North Oaks or its nurses breached the standard of care in the treatment of the deceased, and the jury unanimously answered ‘No.’  The plaintiff filed a Motion for a JNOV and new trial, and the request was granted.  The trial court awarded judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $534,338.78 plus court costs. In granting the motions, the  judge reasoned  that the jury did not follow her instructions regarding their legal responsibility in weighing evidence to make a decision.

On appeal, the three judge panel reversed

The case is cited as Myles v. Hospital Service District No 1 of Tangipahoa Parish, 2017-1014 (La. App. 1 Cir. 4/6/18), ____ So.3d ____,