Chatham County jury sets $18 million verdict record

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - A Chatham County jury is making history this week - awarding $18 million in a medical malpractice case - setting a new record for jury verdicts in the county.

The attorneys involved in the case say it's hard to put a price tag on any kind of medical malpractice case, but this was one of the worst cases they've seen.

Harris Lowry Manton attorneys just wrapped up an entire week of court, representing a woman who went into the hospital four years ago complaining of back pain. Little did she know, she would not only not walk out of the hospital - she would never walk again. According to her attorneys, her back pain was being caused by an infection on her spine that went undiagnosed and untreated until it was too late.

The malpractice lawsuit named Southcoast Medical Group and the infectious disease doctor who was treating her for failing to diagnose and treat the infection. In just a couple of hours, the jury reached a verdict of $18 million.

"I think the jury recognized that she was tragically, catastrophically injured and she's going to be a paraplegic the rest of her life, and as a result, the verdict reflected that," said attorney, Jeff Harris.

They say that money will be used to help cover medical bills, make her house handicap accessible, and basic living costs because she is no longer able to work.

That doctor no longer works in Savannah and is now practicing in Orlando, FL. We reached out to SouthCoast for a statement and are still waiting to hear back.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.