Ben Whittington v. Robert Jackson

Parties Involved

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: February 20, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to the Plaintiff: $0.00

About the Case


On September 20, 2017, Plaintiff Ben Whittington saw neurosurgeon Dr. Robert J. Jackson (Defendant) for cervical myelopathy. His medical history included diabetes, hypertension, chronic anemia, and Stage 3a chronic kidney disease. Dr. Jackson recommended cervical spine surgery on November 21, 2017.

Pre-operative labs on October 30, 2017, showed a creatinine of 1.41 and an eGFR of 50, indicating his kidney disease. Dr. Jackson prescribed IV antibiotics Vancomycin 1g and Gentamicin 120 mg, to administer before surgery and again 12 and 24 hours later.

The November 21, 2017 surgery proved more difficult than expected, causing significant bleeding. Dr. Jackson completed only the anterior stage, postponing the posterior stage. On November 22, 2017, after hydration, Mr. Whittington’s creatinine was normal at 1.05 with an eGFR of 72.

Mrs. Whittington testified that her husband showed intermittent confusion at home post-surgery, which she reported to Dr. Jackson’s office. She was told the confusion was due to anemia and advised to double his iron supplements.

Mrs. Whittington also testified about being late for their post-operative appointment on December 6, 2017. She claimed they met Dr. Jackson’s physician assistant in the lobby, who conducted the check-up there instead of in an exam room. The confusion issue was not addressed.

On December 8, 2017, Mr. Whittington was admitted to Mission Hospital’s emergency room with acute renal failure (creatinine of 6.48) and respiratory failure, requiring intubation and ICU admission. His renal function did not recover. A renal biopsy on December 13, 2017, showed acute tubular necrosis with myoglobin casts, consistent with rhabdomyolysis, and tubular vasculopathy. Proteinuria, IV contrast, volume expanders, IVIG, and nephrotoxic medications like Vancomycin potentially caused this.. Mission Hospital physicians noted Mr. Whittington’s acute renal failure resulted from nephrotoxic antibiotics, specifically Vancomycin and Gentamicin.


It was claimed that the medications directly caused the patient’s acute and irreversible renal failure on December 8, 2017. They alleged the patient had required significant medical services over the past six years. Furthermore, he would continue to need extensive medical care for his remaining 2.5-year life expectancy, primarily due to complications from lifetime dialysis.


The medical expenses for the past six years totaled $736,582, and future medical expenses had a present value of $819,178. They calculated the present value of lost household services at $174,484. Additionally, Mr. and Mrs. Whittington claimed they incurred $72,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses since the patient’s acute renal failure in December 2017.

Both Plaintiffs sought at least $250,000, the statutory maximum, in non-economic damages for their injuries.

Jury Verdict

On February 20, 2024, a twelve-panel Georgia jury unanimously found in favor of Defendant Robert Jackson, M.D. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before declaring that they attributed no negligence to the Defendant. Accordingly, they awarded no damages to the Plaintiffs.

Court Documents:

Available upon request