BIRMINGHAM, Ala. , Aug. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, August 5, 2022, a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury returned a unanimous verdict awarding $15,000,000.00 in damages for the wrongful death of a nine-year-old child who was in the custody of the Alabama Department of Human Resources at the time of his death.
Attorneys Andrew Moak of Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, P.C., and Brett Turnbull and Robert LeMoine of Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, P.C. collaborated to prepare the case and take it to trial. The jury deliberated for approximately 1.5 hours before returning a unanimous verdict for $15,000,000.00, finding that the DHR case worker and foster caregiver were responsible for the child's death.
"This was an especially devastating case of reckless mismanagement by DHR, and this verdict proves that our judicial system won't be a bystander of this severe injustice," states Alexander Shunnarah, Founder and CEO of Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. "We are proud of Andrew Moak for his unwavering dedication to this case over the last seven years as he fought for justice for the innocent life of a nine-year-old that was lost far too soon."
The child had sickle cell anemia when he was taken into DHR custody. Sickle cell anemia is a chronic, potentially life-threatening illness, and the child had numerous care requirements to ensure his condition was properly monitored and managed for complications. The plaintiff alleged that the DHR case worker's and foster caregiver's reckless mismanagement of the child's specific symptoms and complaints led to the child suffering a sickle cell anemia attack. The child died of complications of the sickle cell crisis at Children's Hospital in Birmingham in May 2013.
"We worked for seven years to bring this case to trial," states Attorney Andrew Moak. "When DHR chooses to take a child into its custody, whatever its reason may be, the child does not have a choice in the matter. This child died because adults who took responsibility for his life disregarded their rules and their training and unnecessarily allowed him to slip into a medical crisis that he did not survive. They knew this little boy had a dangerous disease and knew what could happen to him if they ignored its symptoms, but they refused medical care until it was too late."
"This is a landmark case in which the jury clearly sent the message that we have the right to expect more from an agency with as much power as DHR in terms of taking its own rules more seriously to ensure that clear medical instructions are followed, and children do not die needlessly," says Attorney Brett Turnbull, Founding Partner of Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, P.C. "This child's death was completely preventable, and hopefully this verdict will cause DHR to re-examine its practices. This should not happen to anyone, and especially not to a child."
The verdict marks the third substantial verdict for Andrew Moak in 2022, including a verdict for $3,200,000.00 arising out of a police vehicle crash in Birmingham, Alabama and a $25,000,000.00 verdict arising out of a distracted driving case in Morgan County, Alabama.
"This is a state full of good people who follow the rules and want to see those in positions of authority and responsibility follow their rules too," states Moak. "When they do not, and people are hurt or killed, it is encouraging to see juries seek justice."
The case was defended by Felicia Brooks, head of the DHR legal department and Robert Meadows of the Montgomery law firm of Capell & Howard.
The child's name is confidential for privacy reasons.
For more information about this awarded verdict or Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, please contact Krista Conlin at email@example.com.
Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is committed to protecting the legal right to be compensated for individuals who have suffered loss, accidents, or injuries the chance to rebuild their lives after misfortune. The practice was founded on the belief that the civil jury system is the best means to provide compensation and deter wrongdoers from injuring others in the future. With over 500 attorneys and staff, the firm has a vast knowledge and experience in handling all types of claims for clients who have been injured. The firm consistently recovers substantial settlements in lawsuits involving personal injury, auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, social security disability, pharmaceutical litigation, drug recalls, medical devices, and mass torts throughout the United States.The premier, award-winning, and nationally recognized firm has represented over 60,000 clients and recovered over $1 billion for them to date. The firm prides itself on providing outstanding legal advice and excellent representation for their clients.
Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, PC has a national reputation for successfully trying cases to verdict. They are a team comprised of top-rated litigators with an exclusive focus on personal injury law, such as trucking accidents, negligent security and catastrophic injuries. The firm prides itself on providing elite legal services to its clients and maintaining collaborative working relationships with referral partners throughout the country.
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