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Laura D. Eschleman

Laura D. Eschleman is a partner at Nall & Miller.  She practices in the areas of medical malpractice, professional licensing, medical board matters and hospital privileging issues, and has represented numerous medical professionals including chiropractors, critical care doctors, dentists, dermatologists, emergency room physicians, family practice physicians, hospitalists, intensivists, internal medicine physicians, neurologists, obstetrician-gynecologists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, perfusionists, podiatrists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and surgeons in medical malpractice cases and in front of their respective licensing boards.  In addition, Laura represents healthcare providers in Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance company audits and administrative actions.

Laura also represents healthcare companies, staffing companies, and mental healthcare facilities in cases involving claims of negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent credentialing, as well as professional negligence, negligence, HIPAA breaches, and intentional torts.

Laura has additionally represented clients in an assortment of cases including affirmative equitable relief, bankruptcy, catastrophic injury, commercial litigation, construction litigation, contract disputes, insurance coverage, legal malpractice and professional liability, premises liability, product liability, real estate litigation, trucking litigation, and wrongful death.

With a national practice, Laura handles cases throughout the country and has tried them to jury verdict in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, and South Carolina.  In addition to her Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri state bar licenses, Laura has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in courts in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.  She has additionally worked on cases in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.

In 2016, Laura was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for Lekotek of Georgia, a local non-profit whose mission is to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities into their families, schools and communities by providing accessible play, adapted toys, technology, information, and resources.

Background and Education

A native of Atlanta, Laura attended the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in 2002.  She earned her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 2005.  While at the University of Georgia, Laura was on the Editorial Board and was an Articles Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law.  Additionally, while in law school, Laura was sworn in under the Third-Year Prosecutor’s Act and gained trial experience with her involvement in the prosecution clinic and work in the Office of the District Attorney.

Representative Cases

Obtained a defense verdict for a physician’s practice in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in March 2017.  The allegations were based upon the physician owner of the practice’s performance of an injection.  The plaintiff alleged that the physician breached the standard of care in the physician’s sterilization techniques in both preparing and delivering the injection; and, he argued the physician therefore negligently caused a post-injection infection.  The patient claimed that in the days following the injection, he suffered severe pain, redness and swelling at the injection site and in the surrounding soft tissue.  Rather than returning to his physician, he presented to the hospital with multiple complaints and was diagnosed and treated for cellulitis.  The plaintiff further alleged he was at risk for sepsis, which required blood monitoring after his treatment and discharge from the hospital.  Despite the plaintiff’s contentions, a defense verdict was swiftly entered for the physician’s practice, and the physician’s record remains unblemished. (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, April 26, 2017, Vol 16 Issue 14)

Obtained a defense verdict for a physician and his practice in a medical malpractice case following a six day trial in Atlanta, Georgia in 2014 where the plaintiff alleged the defendant physician should have reappointed the patient every week to ten days following the application of a fiberglass cast for the diabetic patient’s fractured fibula.  Instead, the physician instructed the patient to return in six weeks.  The patient went on to have a cut from the cast which became infected and resulted in the amputation of the patient’s five toes and soft tissue from her left foot.  The plaintiff asked the jury for over $800,000 in damages.  The defense overcame an incredibly damaging pre-trial ruling barring evidence of the patient’s noncompliance and the resultant inability to have the jury apportion the parties’ comparative fault.  Despite that obstacle, the jury came back with a defense verdict for the physician and his practice. (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, July 2, 2014, Vol 13 Issue 26)

Obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon and his practice in a medical malpractice case in Selma, Alabama in 2012.  The plaintiff alleged the defendant surgeon severed the medial and lateral branches of the posterior tibial nerve as well as the dorsal medial and lateral cutaneous and plantar medial and lateral cutaneous nerves during surgery.  The plaintiff additionally alleged that the defendant surgeon altered his records to create fictitious office visits and that the defendant surgeon wantonly refused to see the plaintiff after surgery.  The plaintiff prayed for four million dollars in damages, including two million dollars in punitive damages.  Despite these allegations, supported by the plaintiff’s subsequent treating doctor, the jury returned a defense verdict for the surgeon and his practice. (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, October 24, 2012, Volume 11 Issue 42)

Obtained affirmative equitable relief in the form of deconstruction of a cricket pitch and a permanent injunction against the City of Fort Oglethorpe following a jury trial in Ringgold, Georgia in 2012.  The jury awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $80,000.00. (Read Article)

Obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon and his practice in a medical malpractice case in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2010.  The plaintiff suffered an extremity amputation following the defendant’s surgery to the extremity.  Despite allegations, supported by the plaintiff’s subsequent treating doctors, that the surgeon caused not only the amputation but also CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and phantom and chronic pain, the jury returned a defense verdict for the surgeon and his practice.   (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, June 9, 2010, Volume 9 Issue 23)

Obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon and his practice in a medical malpractice case in Charleston, South Carolina in 2009.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant surgeon negligently performed tarsal tunnel release surgery by cutting a nerve and causing CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) in the plaintiff’s foot.  The plaintiff’s subsequent treating surgeon testified in the plaintiff’s favor and opined that the defendant cut plaintiff’s lateral plantar nerve.  Despite these allegations, the jury returned a defense verdict for the surgeon and his practice in under 10 minutes.  (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, August 26, 2009, Volume 8 Issue 34.)

Successfully moved to dismiss an accusation filed by the California Board of Optometry against an optometrist in 2011.

Successfully set aside, through judicial review, disciplinary sanctions issued by the Nevada Board of Optometry against an optometrist in 2010.

Successfully moved to dismiss charges filed by the Iowa Board of Podiatry against a podiatrist in 2009.

Successfully defeated a summary judgment motion brought by a real estate lienholder against a mortgage company.  Further defended the ruling in the Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court.  The case is reported at Deljoo v. SunTrust Mortg., Inc., 295 Ga. App. 187, 671 S.E.2d 234 (2008) and is cited in secondary sources at Fletcher Cyclopedia Law of Private Corporations § 2467, Necessity and use of seal–Deeds, mortgages, leases and contracts respecting real property (2010) HN:  1,2 (S.E.2d); Georgia Real Estate Finance and Foreclosure Law § 3:1, The nature of collateral (2010) HN:  1 (S.E.2d); Georgia Real Estate Sales Contracts § 12:11, Mortgages and security deeds (2010) HN: 1 (S.E.2d); Georgia Real Estate Title Exam and Closings § 2-35, Security deeds (2010) HN: 1 (S.E.2d); Georgia Admissibility of Evidence in Civil Cases C33, Corporations (2010) HN: 1,2 (S.E.2d); Pindar’s Ga. Real Estate Law & Proc. with Forms § 21-16, Execution of security deeds (2010) HN: 1 (S.E.2d); Pindar’s Ga. Real Estate Law & Proc. with Forms § 21-18, Recording (2010) HN: 1 (S.E.2d); Ga. Jur. Corporations, etc. § 5:24, Statutory apparent authority; effect of attestation (2010).

Successfully defended a roofing company against claims of negligent construction made by an Atlanta, Georgia nightclub. The case was resolved in 2009 with no payment by the defense and full payment by the nightclub of amounts owed to the roofing company.

Obtained a bench trial verdict in favor of a shipping company for amounts owed in 2008.

Membership
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • DRI For Life Committee 2015-Present
    • Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee 2010-Present
      • Chair, Seminar 2016-2017
      • Vice-Chair, Seminar 2015-2016
      • Chair, Publications 2012-2015
      • Vice-Chair, Publications 2010-2012
      • Seminar Steering Committee 2010-Present
      • Complex Medicine Seminar Steering Committee 2013-2014
    • Women in the Law Committee 2010-Present
      • Medical Liability & Health Care Law Substantive Law Committee Liaison 2014-2017
      • Annual Meeting Subcommittee 2010-2011
      • Program Marketing Subcommittee 2010-Present
    • Young Lawyers Committee 2008-2015
      • Steering Committee 2010-2015
        • Long Range Planning Subcommittee 2014-2015
        • Co-Chair, Marketing Subcommittee 2013-2014
        • Co-Vice-Chair, Marketing Subcommittee 2012-2013
        • Co-Chair, Legislative Liaison Subcommittee 2011-2012
        • Co-Vice-Chair, Legislative Liaison Subcommittee 2010-2011
      • Annual Meeting Subcommittee 2010-2011
      • Legislative Liaison Subcommittee 2009-2012
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • Georgia Association of Women Lawyers
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2012 – 2017)
Publications

“What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Have to Stay There:  DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar focuses on emerging issues in medical liability litigation,” DRI’s For the Defense, May 2017

“From the Publications Chair:  You Get What You Give,” DRI’s For the Defense, August 2013

“GA Court Strikes Noneconomic Caps; Two Other Tort Reform Provisions Survive,” DRI, 2010 (DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, Medlaw Update, December 13, 2010, Volume 15 Issue 2)

“Default by Purchaser and Judicial Process After Termination,”  National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education, 2003 (Co-authored by Charles W. Brown, Esq.)

Speaking Engagements

“Why Patients Sue, ” Heartland Foot & Ankle Conference, Des Moines, Iowa, October 2016

“Dealing with Audits and Compliance with Medicare, HIPAA and Healthcare Insurance,” Chiropractic and Beyond Continuing Education Program, Marietta, Georgia, September 2016

“Wound Care:  Have a Seat at the High Stakes Table,”  Conference on Wound Care, Roswell, Georgia, May 2016

“Why Patients Sue,” Georgia Podiatric Medical Association Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, February 2016

“Chiropractic Board Matters:  Compliance with Board Rules and What to Do if You Receive a Board Subpoena or Complaint,” Chiropractic and Beyond Continuing Education Program, Marietta, Georgia, September 2015

“Do You Want to be Dr. Smith or Dr. Jones?  Demonstrating and Documenting Careful, Competent and Caring Treatment,” North Carolina Foot & Ankle Society 2015 Winter Scientific Seminar, Greensboro, North Carolina, January 2015

“Adjusting Your Behavior to Avoid the Pain of a Lawsuit,” Chiropractic and Beyond Continuing Education Program, Marietta, Georgia, December 2014

“Don’t Let a Lawsuit Trip You Up,” Georgia Podiatric Medical Association Meeting, Hiawassee, Georgia, October 2014

“Adjusting Your Behavior to Avoid the Pain of a Lawsuit,”  Chiropractic and Beyond Continuing Education Program, Marietta, Georgia, September 2014

“Lawsuits Are A Pain In The Neck,” Chiropractic and Beyond Continuing Education Program, Marietta, Georgia, 2013

“Collaborative Care:  The Use of Consultants,” The Podiatry Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010

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