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Lightfoot Secures Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

September 5, 2023

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partners Michael L. Bell and JT Thompson, along with associate Rachelle E. Sanchez, secured a favorable defense verdict on behalf of a neurosurgeon and his practice group in a medical malpractice case. 

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant neurosurgeon breached the standard of care by not returning her to surgery after she developed new post-operative symptoms, which her retained expert attributed to an alleged compressive fluid mass. 

During the trial held in Jefferson County, Alabama, the Lightfoot team presented medical records and expert testimony to challenge the plaintiff’s allegations. Their approach focused on establishing that the medical procedures in question were carried out in accordance with accepted standards of care and that the patient’s post-surgical complications were not due to negligence but were within the range of expected outcomes for a surgery of this complex nature. 

In their verdict, the jury sided with Lightfoot’s clients on all claims, securing a defense verdict. 

“We are gratified by the jury’s verdict, which reaffirms the integrity of the medical procedure and the professionalism of our client,” said Michael L. Bell.  

Sam McAllister, the firm’s Director of Litigation Technology, was instrumental in designing trial exhibits and other materials the Lightfoot team used to explain complex medical information to the jury. Lightfoot has extensive experience in the defense of sophisticated and complex medical malpractice cases for a range of clients.

Bell represents clients in wrongful death cases, class actions, commercial disputes, general products liability, consumer fraud cases, automotive litigation, professional negligence cases and more. He currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and Marketing & Business Development Committee and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation.

Thompson represents clients in several industries involving a broad array of cases. He regularly defends doctors in medical malpractice matters and manufacturers in product liability cases. Thompson has tried many cases to defense verdicts in both areas of practice. He also represents companies in general business litigation and serves as trusted counsel to media companies in First Amendment and defamation cases.

Sanchez is a former criminal prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona, where she gained significant trial experience. At Lightfoot, her defense litigation practice focuses on healthcare, medical malpractice, product liability, and automotive cases. She frequently handles cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.  

McAllister provides Lightfoot’s clients a unique blend of art and science tailored specifically for the fast-paced world of high-stakes litigation. He has been with the firm for 15 years and is an integral part of expanding innovation into all aspects of Lightfoot’s work. He is the leader of the firm’s Case Clarity group, which provides highly-developed technology to clients throughout the duration of a case, e-discovery collaboration with Lightfoot lawyers and adaptive evidence models to make complex ideas simple.


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