By Todd Kleffman
Jurors will resume their deliberations on Monday in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed after the death of a teenage girl following routine surgery to correct an overbite.
Jurors heard two weeks of testimony in the suit filed against Montgomery anesthesiologist Dr. William Ware and nurse Lil Hayes about the 1998 death of Brandi Timmons, 17. The trial phase ended Friday afternoon, and jurors deliberated about two hours before being dismissed for the weekend.
In his closing arguments Friday, plaintiff's attorney Buddy Brown of Mobile asked the jury to award a $20 million verdict against Ware, Hayes and their employer, Anesthesiology and Pain Management of Montgomery.
"Brandi was young, healthy, vibrant, perfect in every way until this 25-minute period where they dropped the ball," Brown told jurors.
Brown said Ware and Hayes, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, made several crucial mistakes while treating Timmons -- who attended Sidney Lanier High School -- which led to her December 1998 death.
They gave her too strong a dose of anesthetics, which caused her breathing to slow; waited too long to assist her when she began having breathing problems; gave her the wrong medicine after they realized she was in trouble; and failed to shock her with a defibrillator device when she was in crisis, Brown told jurors.
However, defense attorney Billy Bates said Timmons' death remains a mystery, Ware and Hayes acted appropriately and they tried to save her. Timmons was "looking like every normal patient does after an operation like this" until she unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest, Bates told jurors in his closing statement.
"We all want to know what caused this tragedy, but we're not going to know here," said Don Jones, another defense attorney. "Lil and Dr. Ware did all they could. They used all the knowledge they had."
Timmons' mother, Johnnie Timmons, and several other family members have attended the trial, but declined to comment.
Lawyers for both sides also declined to discuss the case beyond their courtroom statements until the jury reaches its verdict.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Charles Price is presiding over the case, which began June 9.