Kristin Pierson is a Partner with Bendin Sumrall & Ladner, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her law degree from the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina, where she founded the Health Law & Bioethics Society and served as its President, creating the law school’s annual Bioethics Symposium. Kristin also served as a member of the Moot Court Board and the Charleston Law Review, and she worked with the Medical University of South Carolina to establish a collaborative teaching relationship between the medical school and the law school.
Kristin received her undergraduate degree in Health Law & Bioethics from Davidson College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. While at Davidson, she co-founded Davidson’s Bioethics Society and started The Ethical View, a bioethics publication of the Medical Humanities Department. She served on Davidson’s Medical Humanities Advisory Council to Ethics Committees and its Human Subjects Institutional Review Board. She also sat on the Ethics Committee at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina as a consultant and conducted an extensive two-year clinical internship in the Level 1 hospital’s Trauma Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department.
Prior to joining the firm, Kristin served as Trauma & Risk Management Research Specialist at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in North Carolina and then as Research Coordinator at Emory University School of Medicine, where she conducted neurosurgery research on traumatically brain-injured patients at Grady Memorial Hospital under then–Chief of Neurosurgery, Dr. Odette Harris.
Kristin was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Atlanta in 1996. She enjoys running and cooking Louisiana Cajun and Creole favorites, like gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffé.
Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice
Kristin represents hospitals, physician, nurses, and other allied health care professionals in medical malpractice and intentional tort lawsuits, as well as in pre-litigation medical malpractice matters, including Georgia Composite Medical Board matters.
Kristin also represents hospitals in general liability matters, including trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall litigation, and in hospital inpatient transfer and discharge practice matters, as well as ethical-legal matters that arise in the course of day-to-day medical care.
- Juris Doctor, Charleston School of Law (2007)
- Bachelor of Arts, Davidson College (2002)
- Georgia (2007)
- Court of Appeals of Georgia
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Northern District of Georgia
- DeKalb County Bar Association
- Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
- Georgia Society for Healthcare Risk Management
- State Bar of Georgia
- Author, Amicus Curiae Brief of Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Stephens v. Castano-Castano, in the Georgia Court of Appeals advocating against the trial court’s exclusion of evidence that the plaintiff’s own attorney referred her to seek medical treatment from a particular treating physician as opposed to a referral in the normal course of the practice of medicine (2018).
- Author, Amicus Curiae Brief of Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Curles v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. and Kern v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., in the Georgia Court of Appeals advocating for dismissal of claims against psychiatric inpatient health care institutions for failure to “control” a patient who, upon her discharge, killed two individuals, as claims for professional negligence requiring an expert affidavit and subject to the 5-year medical malpractice statute of repose (2017).
- “Who Can Consent for an Incapacitated Patient? Important New Changes to Georgia’s Medical Consent Laws,” GSRHM Gazette (April 2011)
- Co-Author, Amicus Curiae Brief of Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Baker v. Wellstar, in the Georgia Court of Appeals advocating for ability of defense attorneys to communicate ex parte with plaintiffs’ treating healthcare providers (2010).
- Kristin LeBlanc, Abandoning Patients and Clients: Where Medicine can Learn from the Law, Charleston Law Review 237 (Spring 2007).
Annual Presenter, “Update on Georgia Law”, Annual Medical Malpractice Liability seminars, Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (since 2011)
Addressed Labor & Delivery nursing staff and medical staff in hospital mock trial involving birth trauma litigation to demonstrate charting/documentation, chain of command, and electronic fetal monitoring issues common to litigation.
Routinely presents to hospital clinical departments on litigation practice pointers.
- Three-week medical malpractice trial resulting in defense verdict involving allegations against PACU and medical-surgical nursing staff related to compartment syndrome following wrist surgery.
- Secured dismissal of hospital and hospital’s head of security from lawsuit involving claims of false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress by former employee related to patient identity fraud activities.
- Secured defense verdict for hospital and hospitalist physician following two-week trial involving claims that physician inappropriately managed massive pulmonary embolus patient’s intravenous Heparin following administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and decision not to place inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, where patient expired.
- Obtained exclusion of plaintiff’s life care planner and economist during medical malpractice/birth trauma trial for failure to satisfy expert qualifications and for unreliable expert analyses, resulting in inability of plaintiff’s counsel to support any claim for economic damages at trial.
- Secured dismissal of plaintiff’s appeal from jury verdict in favor of hospital and its nursing staff which lasted over 2 years due to plaintiff’s failure to follow Georgia procedural appeals rules.
- Obtained defense verdict on behalf of hospital and it Labor and Delivery nurses in a 2-week medical malpractice/birth trauma involving allegations of: failure to insist that obstetrician come to the bedside to evaluate the patient; failure to notify obstetrician when Pitocin restarted following a deceleration in the fetal heart tones; and failure to insist that obstetrician perform Cesarean section.
- Obtained defense verdict on behalf of hospital and its emergency medicine physician in a two-week medical malpractice trial involving allegations of physicians: failure to consider vertebral artery dissection, failure to obtain a neurology consult, and failure to obtain neuroimaging studies on an 18-year-old patient who became unresponsive following an assault, who experienced a prolonged period of inadequate oxygenation prior to arrival to the Emergency Room, and who was found to be 11½ weeks pregnant. Also secured defense verdict on allegations of in utero injuries to the fetus.
- Obtained exclusion of Plaintiff’s Nurse Expert for insufficient qualifications and, consequently, directed verdict at close of Plaintiff’s case-in-chief in medical malpractice trial against hospital and its nursing staff for allegedly negligent care resulting in sacral decubitus ulcer.
- Obtained exclusion of Plaintiff’s Nurse Expert under Daubert and, consequently, full summary judgment in and dismissal of medical malpractice case against hospital and its Med-Surg Nurse for alleged IV infiltration of Dilantin.
- Reduced settlement value of wrongful death, medical malpractice case involving accidental extubation of patient by strong panel of 10 defense experts and tactical foreclosure of Plaintiff’s Counsel from deposing any defense experts before trial.
- Obtained full summary judgment in 8-year long litigation against hospital and its ICU Social Worker for allegedly negligent discharge of patient to outpatient dialysis provider.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of wrongful death case against hospital and its Med-Surg Nurse for alleged Dilaudid overdose of post-surgical patient given strong panel of defense 9 supportive expert reviews in case.
- Obtained defense verdict in 2-week trial involving allegations of emergency nursing negligence in a 19-year-old stroke case.