Matt is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who focuses his practice on medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury claims, particularly those where the client has suffered a stroke. Matt is a national leader in stroke litigation, having served as the founding chairman of the Stroke Litigation Group of the largest organization of trial attorneys in the United States. Matt has also written for and made presentations to trial lawyer groups on how to successfully prosecute stroke cases. Over his 30 years of practicing law, Matt has obtained numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients on incredibly complex stroke cases. He has handled stroke cases involving the following:
Strokes caused by:
- Clots blocking arteries in the brain
- Neck trauma during car wrecks
- Medication errors causing reduced blood flow to the brain
- Medication error causing clots to form in the brain
- Venous thromboemboli (DVT) traveling through the heart and onto the brain
- Air embolism
- Cardiac tamponade reducing blood flow to the brain
- Misuse of surgical instruments
- Birth trauma
Negligence of health care providers to prevent stroke:
- Failure to investigate and treat cause of pre-stroke Transient Ischemic Attack(s)
- Failure to recognize or appreciate the warning signs of impending stroke
- Failure to prescribe blood thinners and/or anti-platelet medicines
- Failure to properly monitor patients on medicines known to cause stroke
Negligence of health care providers to properly treat a patient having a stroke:
- Failure of Emergency Department to activate hospital’s Stroke Alert
- Failure to timely give clot busting medicine to patient having a stroke
- Failure to timely transfer a patient having a stroke to a Stroke Center
- Failure of floor nurses to activate hospital’s Stroke Alert
- Misdiagnosis of the cause of stroke symptoms
- Failure of code team to consult on-call neurologist
Matt is a sixth generation Floridian who has spent his entire career representing clients harmed by professional negligence or corporate misconduct. After earning a law degree from the University of Alabama, Matt spent two years researching banking law and creditor’s rights with the Dean of his law school. He then joined the commercial litigation department of a large Jacksonville law firm where Matt developed a special interest in prosecuting professional malpractice lawsuits.
Matt and his wife Sara are in their thirtieth year of marriage. Sara is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner who helps evaluate many of the medical malpractice cases Matt handles. They have two daughters, Megan and Rachel, who have achieved the athletic success that Matt never did. Megan attends law school at Florida State University having earned her undergraduate education at The Citadel where she was on the women’s volleyball team. Rachel is on the rowing team at The University of Alabama. Matt’s family is active at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.
Juris Doctor (1986). University of Alabama, School of Law.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Economics and Finance (1983). Baylor University.
Sowell MW, Expert Analysis: When can stroke claims result in a malpractice action? Stroke: Challenges, Risks, and Liability Issues, Medical Law Perspectives, September 2016.
Sowell MW, Present the whole picture in stroke cases. Trial, Vol.51, No. 1, 16–23 (January 2015)
Sowell MW, Lovelady CL, Brogdon BG, Wecht CH. Infant Death Due to Air Embolism from Peripheral Venous Infusion, J. Forensic Sci. 2007 Jan; 52(1): 183–8.
Hansford VN, Sowell MW. Loan Participations and the UCC: The rights of secured and priority creditors when a bank fails, 106 Banking L.J. 62 (1989)
“Current Trends in Stroke Litigation,” American Association for Justice, Stroke Litigation Group, Annual Convention, Palais des congrès, Montreal, Canada, July 2015
“Identifying Meritorious Stroke Cases,” American Association for Justice, Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD, July 2014
“Avoiding Legal Malpractice” Paralegal Association of Florida, Spring Seminar, Jacksonville, FL, June 2014
Civil Trial, Florida Bar Board of Education and Specialization
Medical Malpractice, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
The Florida Bar
Alabama State Bar
American Association for Justice
Stroke Litigation Group (Chair 2013–2015)
Republican Trial Lawyers Caucus
Florida Justice Association
American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Stroke Advocacy Network, National Stroke Association