On October 12, 2011 the Circuit Court of Rankin County, Judge John Emfinger, rendered a verdict and judgment of $333,319.08 against the Mississippi Department of Health. The actual trial was on May 10, 2011.
The case was filed by Mike French on behalf of the wrongful death beneficiaries of Sandra Kay French. Sandra French was a sixty-six year old resident of Jaquith Nursing Home. She had some mental disabilities and physical limitations.
In 1999 Ms. French was critically injured while being transported from the nursing home to a doctor’s appointment. She was strapped into her wheelchair, but the wheelchair was not secured in the vehicle. The vehicle bounced severely (must have entered Jackson city limits) and she was thrown forward striking her head. She suffered head and spinal cord injuries and died a week later.
The Department of Health admitted liability and defended on the issue of damages.
The Court awarded the following damages:
- $52,040.75– medical expenses
- $6,278.33– funeral expenses
- $25,000– loss of companionship and society
- $250,000– pain and suffering.
It’s my understanding that the defendant did not appeal and paid the judgment.
John Giddens of Jackson represented the plaintiff. Jim Bullock of Shell Buford represented the defendant.
With a May trial date, you can bet that Giddens wore his lucky burlap suit.