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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filed After Serious Permanent Injury to 22-Year-Old Mother

— March 23, 2022

Skyla Shepherd secures Bell Law Firm following unnecessary gallbladder surgery resulting in permanent bile-duct injury.

Earlier this month, Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm confirmed the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of Skyla Shepherd in Cobb County, against Wellstar Health System Inc., Wellstar Medical Group, LLC, Kennestone Hospital, Inc., Quantum Radiology, PC, Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, PC, and nine individual healthcare providers, following negligence and other wrongdoing that caused Skyla serious injury.

In March 2020, Skyla saw surgeon Grant Taylor of Wellstar General Surgery with abdominal pain. Although imaging showed that Skyla’s gallbladder was normal, Dr. Taylor persuaded her to undergo a cholecystectomy, a surgery to remove the gallbladder. On March 19, 2020, Dr. Taylor performed the unnecessary surgery at Wellstar Douglas Hospital.

On March 24, 2020, after Skyla returned with severe post-operative distress, Dr. Taylor suspected she had a bile leak and ordered an imaging study. After radiologist Charles Sykes misread the study, Dr. Taylor failed to order further testing. Instead, Dr. Taylor sent Skyla home with her severe symptoms unresolved—and undiagnosed.

On March 28, 2020, Skyla returned to Wellstar Douglas Hospital suffering from sepsis. There, the original study and other imaging confirmed that Skyla indeed had a bile leak. Nevertheless, Wellstar Douglas Hospital did not order further tests to determine whether Skyla had a bile-duct injury. Instead, Wellstar Douglas Hospital transferred Skyla to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, an affiliate, to treat the bile leak.

Over weeks, Kennestone providers repeatedly failed to treat the bile leak and locate the source of the bile-duct injury. On Skyla’s third admission, Kennestone providers finally identified the location of the injury—26 days after Dr. Taylor had caused it during the unnecessary surgery.

In May 2020, as a direct result of the failures by her medical providers, Skyla had to undergo a Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy, a procedure that replaces the bile duct with part of the small intestine. Skyla will also have to live out the rest of her life in pain, with significant restrictions and limitations, as a result of those failures.

“This case sheds light on troubling medical negligence, systemic failures, and civil battery,” states Lloyd Bell, lead counsel and founding partner at Bell Law Firm. “Without any medically valid reason, Dr. Taylor performed a serious surgery on Skyla Shepherd, without first explaining the risks so she could make an intelligent decision. Dr. Taylor damaged Skyla’s bile duct during the procedure, and then, along with other providers, failed to diagnose the injury even though Skyla kept coming back in obvious pain.”

“Skyla was a young mother when she put her health in the hands of these providers and facilities,” adds Dan Holloway, senior attorney at Bell Law Firm. “Now her life will be forever changed because of their wrongdoing.”

To review the complete filing, click here. For more information about Bell Law Firm’s mission to help victims of medical malpractice and wrongful death, visit

About Bell Law Firm

Bell Law Firm logo: Get Answers. Get Results. 20 Years of Innovation, Service, Truth. Courtesy of Bell Law Firm.
Bell Law Firm logo: Get Answers. Get Results. 20 Years of Innovation, Service, Truth. Courtesy of Bell Law Firm.

Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s leading law 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 30 years of experience in federal and state courts, and has represented clients in more than 100 jury trials across the country. Specializing in cases involving misdiagnoses, wrong-site surgeries and other surgical errors, pharmacy medication mistakes, and other types of medical negligence, Bell Law Firm has deep legal experience, a mastery of technology in the courtroom, and a compelling manner of storytelling that consistently gets results. In 2018, Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta, named Bell Law Firm “Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.” Firm founder Lloyd Bell is one of only two Georgia lawyers to be invited to join the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only organization of the 100 top trial lawyers in the country.

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