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Jury awards $20.5 million to mother whose son died during sleep study

The Cochran Firm Atlanta obtains $20.5 million in wrongful death lawsuit

On Jan. 22, 2010, Brandon Maurice Harris took part in a sleep study at Emory University. The 25-year-old medical assistant died of a sudden cardiac arrest and, according to his family’s wrongful death lawsuit, he repeatedly gestured for help, but none was provided. Harris took part in the sleep study because he suffered from sleep apnea.

According to news reports, Harris was supposed to be observed and monitored by trained providers while he slept. According to Harris’ uncle who watched video footage of Harris during the sleep study, he waved seven times during a 40-minute period to draw attention but no providers responded.

On Sept. 25, 2015, an Atlanta jury deliberated for four hours and then awarded Harris’ mother a $20.5 million verdict. She filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Emory Sleep Center, alleging that Harris death was caused by negligence.

“This verdict sends a clear message about the value of Brandon’s life. It also establishes the standard of how a DeKalb County jury believes a sleep lab should safely operate,” said attorney Shean Williams of The Cochran Firm Atlanta.

At The Cochran Firm, D.C. we represent families in wrongful death claims and individuals who have suffered injuries caused by another’s negligence. Although no amount of money can replace a life, legal action can hold wrongdoers accountable, force changes in policy, and send a message to society that careless and reckless behavior will not be tolerated.


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The Cochran Firm handles Medical Malpractice, Catastrophic Personal Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents & Wrongful Death Claims for clients throughout the United States of America. The information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship. Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
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