Martin Walker Law Firm Earns Entry to Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame

Martin Walker has been inducted into Texas Lawyer newspaper’s Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame. The news comes after the firm secured a record $43 million medical malpractice against East Texas Medical Center.

Pierce v. East Texas Medical Center saw Martin Walker co-founders Jack Walker and Reid Martin and trial attorney Marisa Schouten represent a man who suffered serious medical complications after being misdiagnosed by a gastroenterologist who was on probation with the Texas Medical Board. According to the lawsuit, the doctor, who should not have been allowed to work at the hospital at the time of the procedure, wrongly concluded that surgery was not an option to remove bile duct stones. The man was placed in a medically induced coma for a more than a month until a second doctor rejected the original diagnosis and operated without complication.

“This verdict was commensurate with the damage that was done to my client,” Mr. Walker said. “Regular people trust their doctors to handle some of the most important decisions in their lives. To allow such a serious medical error to occur was unconscionable. We’re grateful to Texas Lawyer and our colleagues in the legal community for recognizing the work we did to ensure justice won the day.”

The plaintiff was awarded approximately $18.5 million for past and future pain and suffering, lost income and medical care. Another $25 million in punitive damages was awarded for the hospital’s gross negligence. The total sum has been recognized as the largest medical malpractice verdict in Texas in 2018.

Inductees into the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame were chosen across five categories, each representing a different area of practice. This year’s honorees represent the firms with the highest verdicts from 2015-2019 and will be recognized in the September 2020 issue of Texas Lawyer.

Martin Walker Handles Case Of 13-year old's Preventable Death

In August 2018, Kyrell McBride-Johnson collapsed on the football field during tryouts and later died while being taken to the hospital. It was determined that Kyrell had died of a pre-existing heart condition even though he had been screened and cleared by CareNow clinic in Fort Worth. Critically, Kyrell had checked yes to three important questions:

"Have you ever had chest pain during or after exercise?
"Have you ever become ill from exercising in the heat?"
"Do you have asthma?"

"These questionnaires are designed to be a screening tool, and it needed to be taken seriously,” Reid Martin said about the case. “They just didn’t do their job in this case. He should be with us today because this was a preventable death.”

An autopsy showed that Kyrell died of a heart anomaly called an anomalous coronary artery, which is the second most common cause of death among young athletes.

"I want the medical community to know what happened and to take these screenings more seriously,” Kyrell's mother, Monica McBride-Debbs said. “That would prevent any other parent, any other mom, to have to go through what I went through with my 13-year-old son, who had a very promising life ahead of him."

This case has gotten coverage on The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, NBC 5 News in Dallas, and others.