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HomeLaw$5 Million Settlement Reached Against WorldStrides, Inc. by Cunningham Bounds and Laird,...

$5 Million Settlement Reached Against WorldStrides, Inc. by Cunningham Bounds and Laird, Baker & Blackstock Law Firms in Student Death Case

MOBILE, Ala., Jan. 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The legal firms of Cunningham Bounds and Laird, Baker & Blackstock secured a $5 million settlement against Lakeland Tours, LLC d/b/a WorldStrides, Inc. The settlement, obtained on the fifth day of the trial, was on behalf of the family of a 15-year-old boy who tragically lost his life after falling ill during an educational trip to Washington, D.C.

WorldStrides, a prominent student travel company operating educational trips worldwide, marketed a “Doctors on Call” program, assuring customers access to a dedicated team of emergency physicians for the care of students during trips. The settlement exposed a disturbing discrepancy between what the company’s told parents and the actual care provided.

In June 2018, a Cunningham Bounds client entrusted her 15-year-old son, Ryan Stokes, to a WorldStrides trip. Relying on the company’s representations, especially due to her son’s medical history, she believed that if a medical issue arose, a qualified doctor would be readily available. Unfortunately, when Ryan became sick during the trip, the reality starkly differed from the promised “Doctors on Call” program.

Despite the chaperone’s notification to WorldStrides and the belief that a doctor was en route, an unlicensed physician assistant—rather than an emergency physician—was dispatched to the hotel. The physician assistant misdiagnosed Ryan and failed to involve a doctor, leading to devastating consequences. Ryan collapsed the next morning, was rushed to the emergency room, diagnosed with a bowel obstruction, underwent surgery, but tragically, never regained consciousness and passed away three days later.

Attorney Joseph McGowin of Cunningham Bounds emphasized the need for accountability, stating, “Companies like WorldStrides should be held accountable when they choose to put children at risk through deceptive sales tactics. Ryan’s family deeply appreciates the dedication of the jurors in Covington County who served on this case. After years of denying responsibility, WorldStrides only offered a fair settlement once a jury had heard the evidence and a verdict was imminent.”

Representing the Stokes family alongside Joseph McGowin were Cunningham Bounds attorneys Skip Finkbohner, Dave Wirtes, and Joe Steadman, as well as attorney Wesley Laird of Laird, Baker & Blackstock.

Cunningham Bounds remains focused on and committed to fighting for plaintiffs in cases involving serious personal injury, products liability, industrial accidents, and complex civil litigation. For more information on Cunningham Bounds, visit: www.cunninghambounds.com.

The law firm of Cunningham Bounds has offices in Mobile, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia and has been representing plaintiffs for more than 65 years. Today the firm continues its tradition of representing victims in cases involving catastrophic personal injury, industrial accidents, defective products, truck and automobile accidents, and medical malpractice. The firm also has expertise in business litigation, complex litigation, and national and state class action litigation involving defective products and consumer fraud.

Media Contact:
Amanda Cotton
[email protected]

SOURCE Cunningham Bounds

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/5-million-settlement-reached-against-worldstrides-inc-by-cunningham-bounds-and-laird-baker–blackstock-law-firms-in-student-death-case-302049722.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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