Warshauer Woodward Atkins Secures $1.5 Million Dollar Settlement for Medical Malpractice/Prison Case

Warshauer Woodward Atkins Secures $1.5 Million Dollar Settlement for Medical Malpractice/Prison Case
Aug 27, 2018

ATLANTA, Ga., August 9, 2018 – The State of Georgia has paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging substandard medical care provided by State-employed medical providers to a 38-year-old woman who was an inmate at Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Georgia and Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, Georgia. Lyle Griffin Warshauer  of Warshauer Woodward Atkins teamed with Darl Champion of the Champion Firm and Sidney Weinstein of the Law Offices of Sidney Weinstein, to represent Mollianne Fischer. ““The State of Georgia failed Molli not once, but several times. Our team was proud to represent a young woman who could not speak for herself due to the negligence of numerous healthcare providers for the Georgia prison system,” said Pérez.

In March 2014, Ms. Fischer was incarcerated for violating her probation stemming from a disputed, prior bad check writing offense. On May 21, 2014, Ms. Fischer was transferred to Arrendale State Prison. Over the course of several days, she complained numerous times of being sick, and exhibited signs of an illness, including vomiting, shortness of breath and incontinence. Healthcare providers at the prison accused her of faking, and she was deprived of medical care by a physician despite her complaints and objective signs of duress. Said Mrs. Warshauer, “despite numerous signs and symptoms that she was ill, Molli received virtually no care and suffered tremendously.”

On May 25, 2014, Ms. Fischer was found on the floor and unable to get up due to her illness. Rather than taking her to the medical unit to be seen by the doctor, non-medical prison officers forcibly took her to a segregation unit “for being uncooperative and feigning illness.” Documentation on the 25th, 26th and 27th indicated that prison officials were aware that she remained on the floor of the segregation cell, was not eating and was verbally unresponsive.

On the morning of May 27th, Ms. Fischer was found in the segregation cell lying face down on the floor with feces smeared on her arms and having urinated and defecated on herself. Over 4 hours later, Habersham EMS was called to take Ms. Fischer to the hospital where she was found to be unresponsive and septic. She was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in a coma. Amazingly, Ms. Fischer awoke from her coma, and was discharged from Northeast Georgia Medical Center on June 17, 2014, able to verbally communicate, mentally intact but with limited mobility and requiring dialysis as a result of multi-system organ damage suffered while at Arrendale State Prison.

Rather than giving her a medical reprieve due to her condition, the State of Georgia moved Ms. Fischer to another state prison where she could receive dialysis. This action was vigorously protested by her parents and Weinstein, who fought for her release so that her parents could care for her due to her complex medical condition.

At Pulaski State Prison she was admitted to the infirmary, which was under the supervision of Dr. Yvon Nazaire. Dr. Nazaire has since been fired by the State of Georgia and has been the subject of several lawsuits related to the care he provided to inmates at Pulaski and other facilities. Despite being virtually immobile when brought to Pulaski, Dr. Nazaire did not give Ms. Fischer blood thinners to prevent a blood clot. On June 30, 2014, she went into cardiopulmonary arrest, and was later found to have suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travels to the lung, usually from a lower limb. As a result of oxygen deprivation to her brain, Ms. Fischer is now incapacitated and is being cared for by her parents after an extended battle to prevent the State from simply letting her die. The State of Georgia finally granted a medical reprieve to Ms. Fischer in July 2014. The original court of law simultaneously dismissed all charges against Ms. Fischer.

Beginning 4 years ago, Molli’s parents have cared for her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though her condition remains unchanged. The settlement funds are being used to set up a trust to cover the costs of Ms. Fischer’s future needs.

“We are happy that Molli’s family will now have the resources to care for their daughter who was horribly injured by the substandard care provided in the state prison system,” said Champion.

“As a legal professional, helping to save Molli’s life, assisting the Fischers in recovering their daughter, obtaining funds to make sure Molli has the ongoing care she requires, and hopefully, helping to shine a light on the substandard medical care provided to inmates in the Georgia prison system has been the highlight of my legal career so far” said Weinstein.