A young woman walked into a hospital emergency room seeking help for a relatively minor ailment and ended up brain dead after suffering through a series of shocking oversights at the hands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists. The hospital’s mistakes were so profound that it eventually agreed to settle the woman’s medical negligence case for $15.5 million – one of the largest verdicts of its kind in North Carolina history. But the agreement came with an all-too-common catch: The hospital could not be named and the identities of its attorneys and the plaintiff also had to be withheld from the public. Even the court in which the case was filed had to be kept secret. Alan W. Duncan (pictured), Allison O. Van Laningham and Stephen M. Russell Jr. of Greensboro’s Smith Moore Leatherwood, which typically defends health care providers in medical malpractice cases, represented the young woman whose life was altered by the hospital’s negligence.
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