FIRM SUCCEEDS IN UPHOLDING SUMMARY JUDGMENT OBTAINED FOR EMPLOYER ON FMLA CLAIMS THROUGH 11TH CIRCUIT COURT APPEALS AND PETITION TO U.S. SUPREME COURT
After obtaining summary judgement for a local business facing allegations of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation, Tracie Macke of Brennan, Wasden, & Painter, LLC continued to successfully represent the employer after its former employee appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and petitioned for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The former employee claimed he was fired after requesting FMLA leave to care for his pregnant wife. In obtaining summary judgment for the employer, Ms. Macke presented evidence showing the employee’s termination stemmed from several reasons unrelated to his FMLA request, such as his use of profanity and other offensive behavior directed to a community volunteer during a fund raising event hosted by the employer. The district court ruled against the employee, using a “but-for” standard of causation. On appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, the employee argued that the court should use a less stringent “mixed-motive” standard utilized by some other federal court circuits, but the Eleventh Circuit rejected this argument and upheld the grant of summary judgment. The United States Supreme Court recently declined to hear the employee’s petition, allowing the decision to stand so the “but-for” standard is currently the applicable standard for FMLA retaliation claims in the Eleventh Circuit.
Firm Obtains Dismissal of Hospital in Medical Malpractice Case
James V. Painter and Andrew A. Murdison recently obtained a dismissal of a hospital in a medical malpractice action, in which the plaintiff alleged that a broken IV needle was left inside her arm following a 2012 procedure. She claimed not to have discovered the so-called IV portion until 2015. Plaintiff then delayed filing a lawsuit until 2017, a full five (5) years after the alleged act of negligence. Georgia’s statute of limitations for foreign object claims runs for one (1) year after the alleged negligence is discovered; in this case, it passed in 2016. Plaintiff tried to utilize the two-year statute of limitations that applies to all other medical malpractice cases, but that statute begins to run at the time of alleged injury. The trial court properly refused to conflate those two statutes, which would have created a brand new “discovery” rule with a two-year statute of limitations for foreign object claims. The case is now pending before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
GEORGIA COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMS DISMISSAL
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal obtained by Wiley A. Wasden, III and Sandra V. Foster on behalf of a hospital in a medical negligence action. Among other things, Wasden and Foster argued that the Plaintiff’s Complaint failed to state a claim because the Plaintiff’s expert’s required affidavit failed to set forth at least one specific negligent act or omission by the hospital and did not set forth any factual basis for a claim against the hospital. The trial court granted the hospital’s motion to dismiss, agreeing that the Plaintiff’s expert’s affidavit was defective and failed to satisfy statutory requirements. The Plaintiff filed an appeal. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Plaintiff’s lawsuit on May 12, 2017.
Firm Obtains Dismissal of Hospital in Medical Malpractice Case
James V. Painter and Amanda D. Lynde recently obtained a dismissal of a hospital in a medical malpractice action, in which the plaintiff alleged a surgical sponge had been left inside a chemotherapy port. The complaint and accompanying expert affidavit failed to identify any act of negligence by any particular member of the defendant hospital’s staff. Furthermore, the purported expert was unable to demonstrate he was adequately qualified to testify in the case. These defects violated O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1 and required dismissal of the case. The case is now pending before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
FIRM OBTAINS DISMISSAL IN HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[March 10, 2016]
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Sandra V. Foster obtained a dismissal for a hospital client from a case wherein Plaintiff alleged that x-rays taken in the emergency room of the hospital were improperly interpreted as contusions instead of fractures. In addition to the hospital client, Plaintiff sued the emergency room physician, the interpreting radiologist, and the radiology group which employed the radiologist. Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants were negligent and grossly negligent and that, as a result, he sustained permanent injuries. Wasden and Foster were able to show that the hospital could not be liable for any of the claimed acts or omissions of the persons involved in the interpretation of the x-rays at issue, and thus, the hospital was dismissed.
FIRM OBTAINS DISMISSAL IN MEDICAL MALPRATICE CASE
[September 14, 2015]
James V. Painter and Amanda D. Lynde recently obtained a dismissal in a medical malpractice case wherein the Plaintiff alleged that the client, an internist, caused serious permanent injury by missing a diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome. After Painter deposed Plaintiff and his experts, Plaintiff dismissed the suit.
FIRM OBTAINS DISMISSAL IN HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[August 28, 2015]
James V. Painter and Samuel E. Britt, III recently obtained dismissal in a medical malpractice case against a hospital client. Plaintiff filed suit in Georgia against a South Carolina hospital alleging that employees of the hospital negligently wrapped the Plaintiff’s broken foot in a manner that caused irreparable damage to the foot. Painter and Britt were able to show that there was no basis for a Georgia court to assert personal jurisdiction over the hospital. The hospital was located and operated solely in South Carolina, was registered as a South Carolina corporation, and was wholly separate and distinct from its corporate parent such that any contacts the corporate parent had with Georgia could not be used to assert personal jurisdiction over the hospital.
FIRM OBTAINS DISMISSAL IN HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[August 26, 2015]
James V. Painter, Amanda D. Lynde, and Samuel E. Britt, III obtained dismissal for a hospital client from a case wherein the Plaintiff alleged the hospital employed several medical providers who negligently caused the Plaintiff to experience permanent vision loss. Painter, Lynde, and Britt were able to show that the hospital did not employ the medical providers at any time relevant to the allegations contained within the complaint.
FIRM WINS MOTION TO DISMISS IN HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[August 19, 2015]
James V. Painter, Amanda Lynde, and Samuel E. Britt, III obtained a dismissal with prejudice in favor of a hospital client and members of its nursing staff in a case alleging nursing negligence and wrongful death.
DISMISSAL AWARDED TO SOUTH GEORGIA CHIROPRACTOR
[August 19, 2015]
Daniel Tucker had claims asserted against a South Georgia chiropractor dismissed in a professional malpractice case where it was alleged that the chiropractor fractured Plaintiff’s rib when performing a chiropractic adjustment. While Plaintiff’s Complaint had the necessary affidavit to support his claims of professional negligence, during the course of the litigation, the affiant withdrew as an expert. After securing an affidavit from a chiropractic expert who testified his client had not breached the standard of care, Tucker argued that Plaintiff’s claim for professional malpractice could not go forward absent contrary testimony from an expert of Plaintiff’s own. Following extensive briefing by both parties, Plaintiff elected to dismiss his claims against the chiropractor.
FIRM WINS SUMMARY JUDGEMENT IN PREMISES LIABILITY CASE
[June 19, 2015]
Daniel Tucker won summary judgment in a premises liability case filed against a local hospital. After extensive briefing by both parties, the Court found that no hazardous condition existed on the date of the alleged incident, and, even if a hazardous condition had existed, the hospital did not have superior knowledge of it.
DEFENSE VERDICT OBTAINED IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE (TELEVISED)
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Travis D. Windsor obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their clients, a local cardiologist and his practice, after a five day trial. The Plaintiffs sued the Defendants for injuries they alleged were related to treatment performed in 2009. Specifically, the Plaintiff had a heart catheterization and stent placed in his left anterior descending artery to open up a blockage. The Plaintiff was discharged on appropriate medications for his condition and instructed not to engage in strenuous activity for one (1) week. Four (4) days after the procedure, the Plaintiff traveled to a rural piece of property and hiked 200 yards to a tripod deer stand. After climbing 20 feet to the top of the stand, the Plaintiff became nauseous and faint. The Plaintiff passed out and fell out of the stand resulting in a fracture of his T7/T8 vertebrae. As a result, the Plaintiff is a complete paraplegic. The Plaintiffs filed suit claiming that the Defendants prescribed excessive hypertension medication, failed to warn of the side effects of the medication and failed to give clear instructions on discharge for post-procedure activities. The Defendants presented expert testimony that the medications prescribed to the Plaintiff were indicated and necessary, that the warnings regarding the drugs were adequate and that the Plaintiff received clear instructions not to engage in strenuous activity for a week. The Plaintiffs claimed special damages in the amount of $683,081.19 for past medicals and $1,800,029.00 to 2,184,097.00 for a life care plan. Prior to trial, the Plaintiff made a demand of $1,000,000.00. At trial, the Plaintiffs asked the jury for $7.4 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendants after approximately 2 hours of deliberation. This trial was televised by the Courtroom View Network and is available for viewing here. CVN.com posted this follow up article on the verdict: Defense Attorney Praises “Amazing Job” Done by Plaintiff: GA Trial Highlight
DISMISSAL AWARDED TO LOCAL LANDLORD
[March 13, 2015]
Daniel Tucker had claims asserted against a local landlord dismissed in a nuisance case. The landlord’s tenant operated a trucking terminal on the landlord’s property and Plaintiff alleged that the landlord was responsible for the noise generated by its tenant. After extensive briefing by all parties, the Court ruled in favor of the landlord and dismissed the claims filed against it. The claims against the tenant remain pending.
DISMISSAL AWARDED TO LOCAL LANDLORD
[March 10, 2015]
Daniel Tucker had claims asserted against a local landlord dismissed in a premises liability case. The landlord’s tenant operated a grocery store on the landlord’s property and Plaintiff alleged that the landlord was responsible for the actions of its tenant. After extensive briefing by all parties, Plaintiff dismissed his claims against the landlord.
FIRM WINS SUMMARY JUDGEMENT IN DENTAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[February 24, 2015]
Richard Dekle won summary judgment in a dental malpractice case which included claims of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. The Court found that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that his expert witness possessed the necessary qualifications to be able to offer expert testimony in Georgia. Additionally, the Court ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove that he had withdrawn consent to the subject procedure. Finally, the Court found that there was no merit to the Plaintiff’s claim for damages arising from alleged stubborn litigiousness.
FIRM SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS STORE OWNER AGAINST PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM
[February 3, 2015]
Robert Pace recently won a judgment for Defendant in a premises liability case. The Plaintiff claimed to have slipped and fallen while walking in and around gas pumps on the Defendant’s premises pre-dawn one morning. Plaintiff claimed to have injured his neck and back in the fall, causing him great pain and suffering as well as missed time at work. During a bench trial on the merits, Pace was able to demonstrate for the Court that the Defendant store owner had adequate inspection procedures in place, the Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof in showing that any foreign substance caused his fall and failed in proving his damages. The Judge agreed, and entered a judgment for the defense, casting all costs upon Plaintiff.
DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT REVERSED IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
[January 12, 2015]
Joseph P. Brennan, W. Richard Dekle, and Sandra V. Foster obtained a reversal of the trial court’s denial of their client’s motion for summary judgment. Their client, an orthopedic surgeon, performed surgery to repair Plaintiff’s hip fracture. X-rays taken after the surgery showed that the surgery failed because a screw used to fix the fracture started to come loose from the bone. After the hip repair surgery failed, Defendant orthopedic surgeon performed a second surgery in which he replaced Plaintiff’s injured hip. After Plaintiff continued to have pain in the replaced hip, she had the hip examined by another orthopedic surgeon, who determined that the hip replacement hardware placed by Defendant orthopedic surgeon in the second surgery had loosened. Plaintiff’s new orthopedic surgeon performed another hip replacement surgery on Plaintiff’s hip to revise the earlier replacement surgery performed by Defendant orthopedic surgeon. Plaintiff sued Defendant surgeon and alleged that he failed to recognize and treat a staph infection in her hip joint before proceeding with hip replacement surgery. In support of her case, Plaintiff introduced the testimony of her subsequent treating orthopedic surgeon who opined that the probable cause of the failure of the first hip repair surgery performed by Defendant surgeon was the development of a staph infection; that the infection was present in the hip when Defendant surgeon replaced the hip in the second surgery; and that the infection likely caused the loosening of the replacement hardware placed by Defendant surgeon in the second surgery. On deposition, defense counsel was able to elicit testimony from the subsequent treating orthopedic surgeon that he found no basis to conclude that Defendant orthopedic surgeon violated any standard of care during his treatment of Plaintiff. On this ground, defense counsel filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. Defense counsel filed an appeal on their client’s behalf, and the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court, holding that the trial court erred in denying Defendant surgeon’s motion for summary judgment and that Defendant surgeon was entitled to summary judgment because there was no expert medical evidence in the record that Defendant orthopedic surgeon violated any medical standard of care. Plaintiff filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Plaintiff’s petition was denied.
BRENNAN WASDEN & PAINTER RECEIVES FIRST TIER RANKING
in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
Regional law firm Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC was recently recognized in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2015 report with first-tier rankings in six practice areas. Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC is one of the few law firms to earn this distinction for five consecutive years.
Founded in 1989, Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC has offices in Savannah and Augusta, Georgia and a staff of 16 attorneys actively practicing in the state and federal courts of Georgia and South Carolina.
The Savannah-based firm received metropolitan first-tier rankings in the following practice areas: Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Litigation – Bankruptcy; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Real Estate; and Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants.
Conducted annually since 2011, the U.S. News – Best Lawyer “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on peer review from leading attorneys in their fields as well as independent client and lawyer evaluations. The national survey ranked 12,000 firms in 120 practice areas and the sponsoring organization, Best Lawyers, is widely regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC has been named to a “Best Law Firm” since the ranking’s inception.
PAINTER AND TAYLOR RECOGNIZED BY BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA®
James V. Painter and F. Michael Taylor were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. Mr. Painter was named in the Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants field and Mr. Taylor was recognized for Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants. Mr. Painter was also named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Augusta, GA.
DEFENSE VERDICT OBTAINED IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CASE
[September 16, 2014]
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Travis D. Windsor obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their clients, a local auto repair business and its employee, after a two day trial. The Plaintiff sued the auto repair business and its employee after a motor vehicle collision that occurred in February of 2010. The Plaintiff filed suit against the Defendants and alleged that the Defendant employee ran a stop sign causing the Plaintiff to lose control of his vehicle and collide with a telephone pole. The Plaintiff alleged injuries to his neck and back requiring a cervical fusion and lumbar disc replacement. The case was defended on both liability and causation. The Defendants presented evidence that the Defendant employee came to a complete stop at the intersection but was unable to get a clear view of oncoming traffic due to an obstruction. The Defendant employee then moved forward slightly to get a clear view of traffic and was struck by the Plaintiff who was speeding. The Defendants also presented evidence of numerous motor vehicle accidents both before and after February of 2010 which resulted in the Plaintiff making claims for similar injuries. Prior to trial, the Plaintiff made a demand of $350,000. At trial, the Plaintiff asked the jury for $1.6 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor the Defendants after approximately 45 minutes of deliberation.
ABOTA NAMES WASDEN PRESIDENT
Wiley A. Wasden III has been elected president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Southeastern Georgia Chapter. ABOTA is a national association of trial lawyers and judges working to uphold the jury system by educating the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury. Wasden is the managing partner of Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC.
AUGUSTA ATTORNEYS JOIN BRENNAN & WASDEN, NEW PARTNERSHIP FORMS
Brennan & Wasden LLC is expanding its medical and professional negligence practice with the addition of three prominent attorneys and the opening of an office in Augusta. Joining Brennan & Wasden are Augusta attorneys James V. Painter, F. Michael Taylor and Amanda D. Lynde, formerly with Hull Barrett PC. Painter joins as managing partner of the new Augusta office and the firm will now operate as Brennan, Wasden & Painter LLC. (MORE)
PACE JOINS BRENNAN & WASDEN, LLC
Robert S. D. Pace has joined Brennan & Wasden, LLC where he continues his practice in business, corporate and real estate matters as well as estate and probate matters, contracts, banking, bankruptcy, and civil litigation. Pace received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Oglethorpe University and his juris doctor (JD) from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.
WASDEN RECEIVES AWARDS FOR 2014
Wiley A. Wasden, III was once again named as a Georgia Super Lawyer for the year 2014 by Thomson Reuters. He was also recognized as one of the top attorneys in Georgia by Atlanta Magazine.
BRENNAN & WASDEN AGAIN RECOGNIZED AS MEMBER OF BAR REGISTER OF PREEMINENT LAWYERS
Brennan and Wasden has once again been recognized in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for the year 2014. This recognition is made only to AV Preeminent Attorneys, which are those who have achieved the highest possible peer review rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.
BRENNAN & WASDEN RECOGNIZED BY US NEWS & WORLD REPORT
Brennan and Wasden has been recognized as one of the best law firms in Georgia by U.S. News and World Report, as published in January 2014.
WASDEN CONTINUES TO RECEIVE RECOGNITION IN 2013
Wiley A. Wasden, III was once again recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Lawyer in Georgia, and was named one of Georgia’s top rated lawyers in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Wall Street Journal. Further, Mr. Wasden was again named one of Savannah’s leading lawyers for the year 2013 by Savannah Magazine, and named a Super Lawyer for the year 2013 by Thomson Reuters.
MCGAHEE SERVES AS FACULTY AT GEORGIA WORKERS COMPENSATION SEMINARS
Marvin W. McGahee recently participated as a faculty member at several seminars involving Georgia Workers Compensation. On December 10th, Mr. McGahee participated as faculty for the “Hearings and Appeals: From the Request for a Hearing to Before the ALJ” presentation at the Workers Compensation Update in Georgia seminar. Mr. McGahee also presented a paper, under the same title, at this seminar. On December 12, Mr. McGahee participated as faculty for the “Ethical Obligations” presentation at the Advanced Workers Compensation seminar that was held in Savannah, Georgia.
FIRM PUTS ON MOCK TRIAL FOR HOSPITAL SYSTEM
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Tracie Smith performed a mock trial for the nurses at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia on December 9, 2013. The trial was used as an in-service for training of all the nurses of the Health Care System. The firm regularly performs such in-service trainings for hospitals in the South Georgia area.
DISMISSAL AWARDED TO LOCAL DENTIST
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Robert Pace obtained an Order granting the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss a claim which had been pending against a local dentist. Plaintiff’s claim was for alleged injuries related to a tooth extraction. Wasden and Pace successfully argued that Plaintiff’s claim for professional malpractice could not go forward without a supporting Affidavit pursuant to O.C.G.A. §9-11-9.1. After plaintiff was unable to secure such an affidavit the Chatham County Court granted the dismissal.
DEFENSE VERDICT FOR LOCAL SURGEON
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Daniel Tucker secured a defense verdict on behalf of a local surgeon on November 20, 2013. The case involved a patient who underwent fusion surgery at L2-3. Two days later the patient returned with abdominal pain and was diagnosed with a ureteral transection, which was subsequently repaired. Defense counsel presented evidence that the physician did not negligently perform the surgery and that any resulting injury was due to a recognized complication. After a three day trial, and the Chatham County jury deliberated for sixteen minutes before returning a verdict in favor of the defendant physician.
DISMISSALS WITH PREJUDICE AWARDED TO CONTRACTOR
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Robert Pace obtained two separate orders dismissing a Brunswick general contractor and its principal from a negligent construction lawsuit. Wasden and Pace argued that the plaintiff was not entitled to recovery as her claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations and Georgia’s laws requiring privity of contract. Wasden and Pace were likewise able to obtain a dismissal of a co-defendant’s claims for contribution and indemnity; basing those arguments on recent changes to Georgia’s laws regarding the allocation of damages. The Glynn County Superior Court granted the dismissals after briefings and oral argument. The dismissals were of both the corporate general contractor and its principal, who had been sued individually.
SETTLEMENT FOR SCREVEN COUNTY LANDOWNERS IN FISH KILL LITIGATION
Wiley A. Wasden, III and Daniel Tucker represented a group of Screven County landowners in a lawsuit arising out of a chemical spill in the Ogeechee River, which was successfully resolved in July, 2013.
GEORGIA COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMS SUMMARY JUDGEMENT WON BY BRENNAN AND WASDEN ON BEHALF OF HOSPITAL
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment obtained by Joseph P. Brennan and Kathryn A. Westberry on behalf of a hospital in a civil action arising out of a plaintiff’s claims for personal injury. The plaintiff alleged that she sustained injuries that required her to have a hip replacement after tripping on a curb cut at the hospital. She claimed the curb cut posed a hazardous condition because it was not clearly marked or sufficiently marked. The plaintiff also alleged there were prior falls on the curb cut.
The hospital moved for summary judgment on the basis that 1) the plaintiff failed to establish there was any hazardous condition concerning the curb cut; 2) even if there was a hazardous condition concerning the curb cut, plaintiff’s claims are barred because the curb cut is a trifling, static condition; 3) the defendant hospital had no duty to warn of the open and obvious condition of the curb cut, but satisfied its duty to warn even if it did have such a duty; 4) the plaintiff previously traversed the subject curb cut; and 5) the plaintiff failed to exercise ordinary care for her own safety and assumed the risk of any alleged static defect as a matter of law.
The trial court granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the testimony regarding prior falls was inadmissible and the hospital correctly argued that the plaintiff presented no evidence that the curb cut was hazardous. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the hospital on February 1, 2013.
MEMBER OF FIRM NAMED AS RISING STAR
J. Curt Thomas has been named as a Rising Star in the State of Georgia by Super Lawyers Magazine. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers for more than seventy practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
WILEY A. WASDEN, III NAMED OFFICER OF AMERICAN BOARD OF TRIAL ADVOCATES (ABOTA)
Wiley A. Wasden, III has been elected as Vice President of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Southeast Georgia Chapter. Mr. Wasden was elected at the inaugural meeting of the new chapter. Mr. Wasden maintains the rank of Advocate in the National Association. Other members of the American Board of Trial Advocates in the firm are Mr. Joseph P. Brennan who has been a member of the Association since 1994.
DEFENSE VERDICT OBTAINED BY TRACIE SMITH AND CURT THOMAS IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
Tracie Smith and Curt Thomas secured a defense verdict on behalf of a local physician. Plaintiff claimed the physician breached the standard of care in the surgical removal of his vas clips, which allegedly resulted in an orchiectomy with prosthesis implantation approximately six (6) months later. Defense counsel presented evidence that the physician did not negligently perform surgery and that any resulting injury was due to a recognized complication. After a three day trial, the Chatham County jury returned a verdict for the defendant physician.
MEMBERS OF FIRM AWARDED DESIGNATION AS ONE OF THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA®
Partners Joseph P. Brennan and Wiley A. Wasden, III have been designated as two of the Best Lawyers in America® based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising nearly four million confidential evaluations by the top attorneys in the country. For over a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers® has been regarded – by both the profession and the public – as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Tracie Smith was also designated to the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.™
Mr. Wasden, Mr. Brennan and Ms. Smith also maintain an AV ranking by Martindale Hubbell, the leading organization of ranking attorneys in America. The AV rating is the highest rating awarded by Martindale Hubbell.
MEMBERS OF FIRM NAMED AS SUPER LAWYERS
Joseph P. Brennan and Wiley A. Wasden, III have once again been named as Super Lawyers in the State of Georgia. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers for more than seventy practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Mr. Wasden has been designated a Super Lawyer since 2007, and Mr. Brennan since 2006.
THE FIRM WINS LANDMARK CASE ON BEHALF OF ONION FARMERS AGAINST CLAIMS OF FAILURE TO PROPERLY PAY H2A VISA WORKERS FROM MEXICO
Wiley A. Wasden, III and William E. Dillard, III successfully defended one of the nation’s largest onion growers in an FLSA claim brought by Georgia Legal Services on behalf of Mexican farm workers claiming that they had been underpaid. The claim resulted in a two week trial in Federal Court before Judge B. Avant Edenfield, the result of which was a dismissal of the majority of the claims against the onion grower, and a verdict totaling only $13,080.23 on all remaining claims. During the course of this case the Court entered a landmark ruling in favor of the onion growers, which ruling has been appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and is expected to wind up at the United States Supreme Court for final determination.
DEFENSE VERDICT IN ISCHEMIC OPTIC NEUROPATHY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
Wiley A. Wasden, III and B. Nicole Smith obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a hospital system sued by a patient who suffered ischemic optic neuropathy following back surgery which led to partial blindness. The patient alleged that the nurses failed to properly monitor the patient following surgery. After a two week jury trial in front of Judge Gregory Fowler in Chatham County, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant healthcare system.
J. CURT THOMAS NAMED PRESIDENT OF THE EMERGING LEADERS COMMITTEE OF THE SAVANNAH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR 2011-2012
On July 1, 2011, J. Curt Thomas was named President of the Emerging Leaders Committee of The Savannah Community Foundation for 2011-2012.
The ELC is comprised of young professionals who are expected to be among Savannah’s business and philanthropic leaders in future years. Members benefit by meeting other young professionals, visiting the requesting charities, sharing their knowledge about the charities with each other and participating in the grant making process, which requires analysis of numerous worthwhile proposals to determine what charities get the limited amount of funds available for distribution.
As President of the ELC, Curt will serve as an ex-officio member of The Savannah Community Foundation board, which is an umbrella philanthropic organization through which individuals, families, businesses and charities support the wellbeing of the Savannah community.
DEFENSE VERDICT IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE IN BRUNSWICK, GA
Wiley A. Wasden, III and B. Nicole Smith obtained a defense verdict for an emergency room physician in Brunswick, GA in a wrongful death suit. The claims against the physician were that he failed to recognize that the patient was in distress and discharged her home. After a five day jury trial presided over by Judge Orion Douglass, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant healthcare provider.
J. CURT THOMAS NAMED AS MEMBER OF NATIONAL DIOCESAN ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
J. Curt Thomas was recently accepted as a member of the National Diocesan Attorneys Association and joins Joseph P. Brennan, the firm’s senior partner and a long-standing member. The Association is a division of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and focuses on advising and assisting Catholic dioceses across the country. Mr. Brennan has served as counsel for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah for over twenty years.
J. CURT THOMAS ACCEPTED AS MEMBER OF STATE BAR YOUNG LAWYERS’ LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
J. Curt Thomas was recently accepted as a participant in the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division’s Leadership Academy. The Academy is limited to approximately 50 lawyers from around the state and focuses on developing leadership skills, addressing critical issues facing the state and the legal profession, and developing relationships with key state leaders.
DEFENSE VERDICT IN RADIATION MYELITIS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
The firm won a defense verdict in a medical malpractice trial in January 2010. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma tumor of the larynx and was treated with radiation therapy by the defendant physician. Several months later, he developed a radiation myelopathy of the spinal cord which resulted in quadriplegia. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant physician and his practice group alleging that the defendants violated the standard of care in providing radiation therapy to cure and prevent the spread of cancer in the patient’s larynx and lymph nodes. Joseph Brennan assisted by Richard Dekle joined by a second defense firm represented the defendants in a six day trial in Chatham County.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AWARDED TO LOCAL PHYSICIANS
Tracie Smith obtained an order dismissing three local physicians from a premises liability lawsuit. Here, defense counsel introduced evidence showing that none of the physicians had any ownership or supervisory control over the property where a plaintiff claimed she had been injured. The Chatham County Superior Court granted summary judgment to the physicians after finding that the plaintiff had no legal right of recovery where none of the physicians could legally be deemed an occupier under applicable state law.
DISMISSAL OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
Wiley Wasden and Sally Perkins successfully obtained a dismissal in a medical malpractice case brought against a local hospital and two of its nurses. Citing to the failure of the plaintiff to obtain proper expert testimony needed to sustain their allegations in the case, attorneys Wasden and Perkins argued to Chatham County State Court that the case should be dismissed. The Court granted the motion and dismissed the case with prejudice.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OBTAINED FOR HOSPITAL
Wiley Wasden, Sally Perkins, and Greg Sewell obtained summary judgment in a negligence case brought against a local hospital. The plaintiff alleged she was injured in the hospital waiting area. Through discovery, attorneys Wasden, Perkins, and Sewell were able to show there was no evidence linking the hospital or any of its employees to the plaintiff’s alleged injury. The Superior Court of Chatham County in turn granted summary judgment to the hospital.
TRACIE SMITH TRAINED TO MEDIATE AND ARBITRATE GENERAL CIVIL AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS MATTERS
[ SEP 2009 ]
Tracie Smith, a partner with Brennan & Wasden, now offers mediation and arbitration services in areas of general civil and domestic relations. Tracie has tried multiple civil litigation cases in southeast Georgia. After completing training in these areas of alternative dispute resolution, Ms. Smith is a registered mediator and arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.
JOSEPH P. BRENNAN AND WILEY A WASDEN, III SELECTED AS AMERICA’S BEST LAWYERS
[ AUG 2009 ]
Joseph P. Brennan and Wiley A. Wasden, III have been selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America®. Joseph Brennan was recognized for his expertise in the specialty of Medical Malpractice Law, and Wiley Wasden was selected for his expertise in the specialties of Commercial Litigation and Professional Malpractice Law. For over a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers® has been regarded – by both the profession and the public – as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Selection to Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 2.8 million confidential evaluations by the top attorneys in the country.
BRENNAN & WASDEN CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY OF OUTSTANDING LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Brennan & Wasden, LLP will celebrate the twentieth (20th) anniversary of the firm’s founding in August this year. Since its inception, founding partners, Joseph Brennan and Wiley Wasden, have committed the firm to providing superior legal skills on a broad range of matters, ranging from effective advocacy at trial and appellate levels in both state and federal courts to advising its clients on formation and dissolution of business relationships, professional liability issues, workers compensation issues, contractual and commercial disputes, and product liability issues. With this philosophy, the founding members attracted skilled and talented attorneys to serve its clients Since its founding, the firm has grown to eleven attorneys and provides legal representation in both Georgia and South Carolina. Brennan & Wasden has been recognized for its excellence by receiving the highest rank of AV and been named as one of the Preeminent Law Firms in America by Martindale-Hubbell.
MEMBERS OF FIRM SPEAK DURING NURSES WEEK 2009
[ MAY 2009 ]
Wiley A. Wasden III and W. Richard Dekle spoke on “Trials and Tribulations of Documentation” to the nursing staffs at Candler Hospital, Inc. and St. Joseph’s Hospital, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia during Nurses Week. They presented a mock trial based upon an actual case involving poor documentation. The presentation was approved by the Georgia Nurses Association and American Nurses Credentialing Centers Commission on Accreditation for continuing education credits to the nursing staff. The presentation covered how the quality of documentation in the medical records can make the difference between settling and defending a medical malpractice claim.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OBTAINED FOR PHYSICIAN
[ MAY 2009 ]
On June 24, 2009, Joseph Brennan, assisted by Gregory Sewell, obtained summary judgment in a medical malpractice case on behalf of a family medicine physician in the Chatham County State Court. Plaintiff alleged the defendant physician was negligent in failing to diagnose and treat a patient’s cardiac risk factors and underlying coronary artery disease, which resulted in the patient suffering a fatal heart attack. The Court held the claim was barred by the statute of repose as the plaintiff failed to assert a claim within five years after the physician first allegedly misdiagnosed the condition. On February 24, 2010, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment.
DEFENSE VERDICT IN EMERGENCY ROOM MALPRACTICE CASE
[ MAY 2009 ]
On June 4, 2009, lead counsel Joseph P. Brennan, assisted by W. Richard Dekle, obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death case on behalf of an emergency room physician in the State Court of Chatham County. The defendant physician was asked to evaluate a patient who was suspected of having an anaphylactic reaction to IV Rocephin. It was alleged that the defendant physician was negligent in failing to timely order the administration of intravenous Epinephrine. The co-defendant internal medicine physician was also alleged to have been negligent due to the failure to order Epinephrine when the problem was initially reported. Following a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
PARTNER SPEAKS TO MEDICAL STAFF
[ MAY 2009 ]
Wiley A. Wasden III recently spoke to the medical staff of Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, Georgia and the medical staff at Candler Hospital, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia. Mr. Wasden gave a presentation entitled “Beating the Medical Liability Odds” which covered closed case reviews demonstrating trends in medical liability cases and the physician’s role in assisting with the defense of a case. The talk was approved for continuing education hours by the AMA PRA.
FIRM TO SPEAK AT MEDICAL RECORDS SEMINAR ON 8/12/09
[ MAY 2009 ]
Wiley A. Wasden III, Sally Haskell Perkins, Gregory G. Sewell, and Elizabeth Yarborough will be featured speakers at an upcoming seminar on August, 12, 2009, in Savannah. The seminar will address confidentiality, disclosure, documentation requirements and HIPAA issues for the handling of medical records. The speakers will focus on recent judicial interpretations and legislative changes, including the HITECH Act of 2009 from the Economic Stimulus Package (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Interested attendees may contact the firm for registration information.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FIRM’S SUPER LAWYERS AND RISING STARS
[ APRIL 2009 ]
Joseph P. Brennan and Wiley A. Wasden, III were both again recognized as a Super Lawyer of Georgia. B. Nicole Smith, was also selected as a Rising Star in the field of medical malpractice defense. These outstanding recognitions were announced by a national publisher which lists attorneys based upon attorney peer nominations and evaluations. W. Richard Dekle was previously selected as a Rising Star.
SELECTION AS FELLOW TO THE LITIGATION COUNSEL OF AMERICA
[ APRIL 2009 ]
Tracie Smith was invited to become a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society whose national membership is limited to 3500 attorneys, which comprises less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellows are selected for membership after being evaluated on effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and trial work, along with ethical reputation.
FIRM EXPANDS ABILITY TO PROVIDE REPRESENTATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA
[ FEBRUARY 2009 ]
In early 2009, the firm was pleased to announce that J. Curt Thomas become a member of the South Carolina bar. Together with Marvin W. McGahee, these two talented attorneys offer clients the opportunity to represent individuals and business in both trial and appellate courts in South Carolina.