Carl Hagwood - Defense Wins

The Mississippi State Supreme Court affirmed a directed verdict previously obtained by MDLA member firm Hagwood Adelman Tipton Attorney Carl Hagwood in McIlwain v. Natchez Community Hospital. Mr. Hagwood represented the firm’s client, a pediatrician, in the wrongful death lawsuit in a two-week trial in Natchez, MS, November 2012. The pediatrician had assisted in the treatment of a one-year child presented to the emergency room with a stomachache and a history of vomiting. The pediatrician had no knowledge the child had suffered a bleed on the brain, a year later, in a motor vehicle crash. The child was an unrestrained passenger, in a car driven by his mother, when he hit the windshield when she ran off the road.

The Plaintiff’s expert, from San Francisco, California, testified to the alleged breach of the standard of care by the firm’s client. Plaintiff’s expert opined that the standard of care required a pediatrician evaluate a child admitted to the emergency department within one hour of the admission. On cross-examination, Hagwood established that this standard was not nationally recognized and was merely part of the medical staff bylaws of the teaching hospital in San Francisco where the expert practiced. The trial court excluded this testimony based on the law that in Mississippi, there is a national standard of care. The standard of care cannot be set by the bare bones opinion of an expert no matter how well qualified. The plaintiff appealed and by Opinion rendered on September 3, 2015, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s exclusion of this testimony and the verdict rendered in favor of the pediatrician.

Founding Shareholder Hagwood is a trial attorney skilled in litigating in the areas of medical malpractice and medical negligence defense. Over the course of his career, Mr. Hagwood has defended a range of clients in the medical industry including physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living providers. Mr. Hagwood’s record of success has led to his inclusion in Best Lawyers of America, from 1995-2015, and Super Lawyers, from 2009-2015. Mr. Hagwood has been recognized by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys and holds the AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability.

CASE NAME – Jennifer McIlwain, Individually And For And On Behalf Of The Wrongful Death Beneficiaries Of Hunter McIlwain, A minor, Deceased v. Natchez Community Hospital, Inc., Jennifer Vermaelen Russ, M.D., Natchez Pediatric Clinic, PLLC., And Michael L. Wheelis, M.D.

FIRM NAME – Hagwood Adelman Tipton, PC

ATTORNEY – Carl Hagwood, Founding Shareholder


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