Hagwood and Phillips Receive Defense Verdict in Arbitration

After a three-day arbitration hearing held Dec. 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Carl Hagwood and Michael Phillips Jan. 29, 2020. The hearing involved a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the Estate of Lee Norman Scales against the Brian Center in Winston-Salem. 

The plaintiff, Mr. Scales, alleged that Brian Center staff provided negligent care, resulting in the development of a stage IV sacral pressure ulcer that became infected, turned septic and caused Scales’ death. The plaintiff also relied on a previously conducted complaint survey conducted by the North Carolina Department of Health where the facility was cited with failing to consistently assess the residents for pressure ulcers.

Hagwood and Phillips countered with proof that the sacral wound was in fact a SCALE (Skin Changes at Life’s End) wound, and that it developed because Scales was actively dying. Additionally, they relied on medical records, which indicated that the source of the infection stemmed from a long-standing vascular heel wound present before Scales’ admission to the facility. Hagwood and Phillips also presented Scales’ death certificate, which states that he died from sepsis due to end-stage peripheral vascular disease. 

In addressing the personal injury/pain and suffering allegations, Phillips showed that Scales was in fact pain-free following the development of the SCALE wound and was never administered pain medication when being provided wound care.