Verdict - Summer 2011 - (Page 33)

how i obtained justice for my client Cranford v. Ernest Homes BY OWEN MURPHY AND ROB KELLY T he case of Cranford v. Ernest Homes, LLC was tried on Feb. 17-18, 2011, in the Superior Court of Bryan County. Defendant Ernest Homes was represented by Denise Spitalnick and James Fisher of Hall Booth Smith & Slover, PC. The Honorable Charles P. Rose, Jr. presided over the case. The trial was memorable for many reasons, most prominently the remarkable circumstances of the Cranford family and a one-of-a-kind loss of consortium claim for which there was no legal precedent. Liberty County, Georgia school system. Patricia gets home from work at about 6 p.m. and prepares dinner for the family. After dinner, Patricia bathes Ryan and gets him ready for bed. After Ryan is asleep, Patricia bathes Brandon and transfers him from his wheelchair to their bed. The next morning Patricia wakes up and does it all over again. On the weekends, Patricia tackles the yard work, cleans the house and pays the bills. Despite their challenging circumstances, the Cranford family was persevering and living a good life. Our Clients: The Cranford Family The day before his 16th birthday, Brandon Cranford broke his neck playing high school football in California. The injury left Brandon an incomplete quadriplegic — paralyzed from the chest down with limited use of his arms. After enduring numerous surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, Brandon returned to high school and became an assistant coach for the football and baseball teams. He also volunteered at local hospitals to counsel young people that had suffered similar injuries. Brandon graduated from high school with his class and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in social work. He worked for Easter Seals counseling stroke victims and later for DaVita Dialysis Center helping dialysis patients. During college, Brandon met his wife Patricia, who was studying to become a speech therapist. After Brandon and Patricia were married in 1996, Patricia became Brandon’s primary caregiver. While interning at a nursing home, staff therapists trained Patricia to properly transfer Brandon, who is 6’ 4”, from his wheelchair to his bed using a specialized transfer board. In 2005, Brandon and Patricia were blessed to have their only son, Ryan. A typical day for Patricia Cranford begins at about 5:30 a.m. Patricia transfers Brandon out of the bed and into his wheelchair, catheterizes him, and then helps him with all of his personal hygiene needs. Next Patricia gets Ryan up and ready for school and prepares breakfast for the family. After her mother picks Ryan up for school, Patricia goes to work as a speech pathologist for the Summer 2011 33

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Summer 2011

Let the Jurors Be Heard
A Rule Needing Limits: The “Right For Any Reason” Rule
Speaking Out of Turn: Ex Parte Interviews With Plaintiff’s Treating Physicians
GTLA 2011 President’s Gala: In Pictures
Legislative Relationships: The Key to Legislative Results
Welcome to the Federal Rules of Evidence: Georgia’s New Evidence Code
Judicial Spotlight: Reflections from the Bench
Book Review: The Fall of the House of Zeus
How I Obtained Justice for My Client: Cranford v. Ernest Homes
Technology Update: Securing Justice for Victims of Negligence? There’s an App for That!
Lessons from the Listserver: Is Defendant Driver History Permissible
Recent Updates in Workers’ Compensation
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Profile Listings

Verdict - Summer 2011