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ATHENS, Ga. — A jury has awarded $12 million to a man whose routine trip to the doctor ended with paralysis. They also awarded his wife $3 million to care for him.
Cris Nelson was a truck driver for Frito Lay before the accident at his doctor’s office. Like many people, he had to get a physical exam for work.
“A lot of people are not aware of how dangerous it is to give blood. It has affected every part of his life,” stated Lloyd Bell, an attorney for the couple.
On Oct. 17, 2012, Nelson went to Emory Newton Medical Clinic in Covington, which is just southeast of Atlanta. He sat on an exam table while a medical worker drew his blood.
“She turned away to get a band aid and he fell off the table face first and landed on his neck and broke his neck,” Bell explained. Bell shared Nelson was paralyzed as a result of the fall and will never fully recover.
“There’s no amount of money in the world that Mr. Nelson, Cris would have chosen to take to give up his health and the way he was before this incident,” Bell contended.
Bell said people often pass out while having their blood drawn and the medical worker was not trained by Emory how to safely perform a blood draw.
“Nobody should ever give blood while they are sitting up on a table. They need to be laying down, they need to be in a chair with arms. One of the things that Cris and Debbie are hopeful for is by telling their story that other people will be aware of this very important safety rule and that hopefully this type of incident won’t happen again,” said Bell.
WGCL reached to Emory Healthcare to find out if they plan to appeal and they issued the following statement:
“Emory Healthcare is reviewing the verdict and will determine next steps accordingly.”