·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Bell Law Firm Wins $4.7M Verdict in MedMal Case – Botched Central Line

— February 20, 2019

Jury finds doctor liable for negligence resulting in amputation for a patient represented by Bell Law Firm.

Late last month, a Fulton County jury ruled in favor of an Atlanta woman after a misplaced central line caused complications ultimately resulting in a below-the-knee amputation. The plaintiff, Connie Lockhart was represented by Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm, Georgia’s preeminent law firm for victims of medical malpractice, and Darren Summerville of Summerville Law Firm. During the course of the two-and-a-half-week trial, Bell and his team showed how Sachin Lavania, M.D., the critical care doctor responsible for caring for Ms. Lockhart in the intensive care unit, failed to detect the misplaced catheter, or provide timely care as complications developed, in violation of the medical standard of care.

Plaintiff Connie Lockhart ultimately suffered a below-the-knee amputation following a transfer to Northside Hospital-Atlanta less than two weeks after being admitted to Northside Hospital-Cherokee’s emergency room following an adverse reaction to a prescription medication.

Lockhart was awarded $4.7 million as a result of the successful medical malpractice case. In its January 31 verdict, the jury found Dr. Lavania and Cherokee Lung and Sleep Specialists 27% at fault for the damages and apportioned the remaining verdict to non-party medical providers who were not named defendants in the suit. Prior to the jury getting the case, the court granted a verdict in favor of the ER physician, Dr. Glen Bloom, a decision which Bell is confident will be reversed on appeal. “The court determined that our medical doctor who works in a critical care unit setting could not provide testimony against an ER doctor, a decision that runs afoul of a long line of Georgia statutory and case law,” adds Lloyd.

Central line equipment; image by Clinical_Cases, via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, no changes.
Central line equipment; image by Clinical_Cases, via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, no changes.

“Both Dr. Bloom and Dr. Lavania failed their patient from the very beginning,” said Bell. “Not only did Dr. Bloom place the catheter in the wrong blood vessel, the artery rather than the vein, Dr. Lavania failed to detect the misplaced catheter in a timely manner. Even worse, Dr. Lavania failed to come in to treat Ms. Lockhart for seven hours after he learned that her leg had turned cold, mottled, and pulseless due to the misplaced device and the toxic medicine that was passing through the catheter. Their negligence led directly to my client having her leg cut off.”

“The trial judge misapplied the law with respect to Dr. Bloom, and erroneously allowed him out of the case. We expect the Court of Appeals to correct the mistake, and we anticipate a trial against Dr. Bloom once the appeal runs its course,” said Bell.

Within 30 minutes of the jury announcing their verdict, Dr. Lavania, through his attorney, agreed to pay his policy limits of $1 Million to settle the case against him. The settlement was announced in open court and concludes the case against Dr. Lavania.

For more information about Bell Law Firm’s success in helping victims of medical malpractice, visit:

About Bell Law Firm

Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s preeminent firm for victims of medical malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the firm has recovered more than $100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state courts, and he has represented clients in more than 75 jury trials and hundreds of successful settlements. Specializing in litigating misdiagnoses, surgical errors and other types of malpractice, Bell Law firm differentiates itself with deep legal expertise, a mastery of technology in the courtroom and a compelling manner of storytelling. In 2018, the firm was recognized as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year by Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta.

Join the conversation!