A jury awarded a DeKalb County family more than $17 million after
it found a local doctor and a physician's assistant liable for causing a teen's brain injuries.
When Sheriod Merritt was 19, he was hit by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting as he was leaving a Walmart in Lovejoy.
The bullet went through his cheek. Merritt was taken to Grady where his parents said doctors told him he'd be OK but needed surgery.
"He (the doctor) explained when he woke up we could take him home. But that didn't happen," said the victim's father, Patrick Merritt.
"We went back the next day and we found that Sherrod was in a coma, non-responsive," said Angela Merritt, the victim's mother.
Sheriod Merritt's parents say they never got an answer from doctors as to what happened during the surgery, which
When the case went to trial, the Merritt's attorney told a jury that an anesthesiologist from Emory University Hospital and a physician's assistant from Grady Hospital didn't follow the proper procedure when Merritt was coming out of surgery. The attorneys contend that
According to the civil complaint, Merritt went without oxygen for seven to eight minutes, which caused detrimental brain damage.
"The jury believed what the record stated the defendants (the doctor and physician's assistant) didn't follow their own plan, the anesthesiologists didn't follow their own plan," said attorney Jane Lamberti
The jury found the doctor, the physician's assistant, Grady
"I really can't give you a total that would make up for what we lost," said Angela Merritt,
A spokesperson for Grady Hospital paints a different picture of what happened that day.
"Sheriod Merritt was rushed to Grady from Lovejoy,
Emory University Hospital says they have no comment on this case.