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NC Supreme Court Restores $6 Million Award Against Hospital

By Brown Moore

October 30, 2020

Home News & Resources NC Supreme Court Restores $6 Million Award Against Hospital

The North Carolina Supreme Court recently restored a $6 million judgment to the family of a man who died of a heart attack only hours after being released from a Charlotte-area hospital.

According to the opinion released by the court, Anthony Savino, 53, was suffering from severe chest pain when he was taken by an ambulance to what was then known as CMC-Northeast in Concord on the afternoon of April 20, 2012. Records indicate that he was released from the emergency room a few hours after he arrived at the facility. Unfortunately, Savino’s body was found by his wife that evening. According to court documents, he had died of a heart attack.

In 2016, a lawsuit named the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority along with Carolinas HealthCare System and CMC-Northeast as being parties responsible for Savino’s death. The latter two are now known as Atrium Health and Atrium Health Cabarrus.

Lawyers for Savino’s estate argued that critical information gathered by emergency medical personnel while Savino was being taken to the hospital never reached his attending ER physician. As a result, he received incomplete testing that ultimately led to his release. The lawsuit claims that this incomplete testing kept him from receiving treatment that would likely have headed off his heart attack.

After a trial in 2016, a Cabarrus County jury found the hospital and the chain liable for the death on the grounds of negligence and negligent performance of administrative duties. The jury awarded the Savino estate approximately $6.13 million in damages.

In 2018, a North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimous decision pushed back on the case on procedural grounds and ruled that the testimony from the estate’s expert witnesses had not sufficiently supported the amount awarded by the jury for pain and suffering. The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial to determine the amount of non-economic damages. The court also ruled that a judge had erred by allowing plaintiffs to include administrative negligence in a medical negligence case.

Both sides appealed this decision, and the case was argued before the North Carolina Supreme Court. The court subsequently threw out the lower-court order for a new trial and determined that the judge had not committed a procedural error. Ultimately, the original damages were restored and will be paid to the Savino estate.

The Charlotte personal injury attorneys from Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC represented the Savino estate, and they have extensive experience handling similar cases. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling us at 704-335-1500.