Earlier this month, a jury awarded a Georgia doctor $7 million in a premises liability lawsuit brought against the hospital where the doctor sustained a career-ending head injury after falling to the ground after slipping off a rolling stool. According to one local news report covering the case, the doctor alleged that the hospital provided an unsafe rolling stool in the operating room where the fall occurred.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was a doctor who had performed thousands of surgeries at the defendant hospital. On the day of the accident, the plaintiff had just finished with a surgery and sat down to complete the post-op paperwork. However, as he sat on the rolling stool provided by the hospital, the stool shot out from under him, causing him to fall to the floor.
The doctor hit his head on the floor but initially seemed fine. It was not until hours later that he started to become nauseous and then started experiencing double vision. Later, he began to have seizures. He was hospitalized for several days and eventually tried to return to work. However, since he was routinely suffering from seizures, he had to close down his practice. The doctor was later diagnosed with trauma-induced epilepsy and continues to suffer from cognitive and memory problems, migraine headaches, and seizures.
The doctor filed a personal injury lawsuit against the hospital, claiming that the stools provided in the operating room were not fitted with the proper type of wheels. Specifically, the doctor claimed that the wheels on the stool that caused his fall were suitable for carpeted or soft flooring but not the hard vinyl flooring in the operating room.
The hospital’s defense was that the doctor should have known that he needed to be careful when sitting on a rolling stool. Additionally, the hospital explained that the doctor had performed thousands of surgeries at the hospital with identical rolling stools, and he was accustomed to their use.
In the end, the jury determined that the doctor’s damages were $10 million and that the hospital was 70% liable for the doctor’s injuries and the doctor 30% liable. Given that finding, the judge reduced the $10 million award by the doctor’s own percentage of fault, leaving the doctor with a total recovery amount of $7 million.
An Important Difference in Maryland Law
It is important for those in Maryland to understand that this case may have had a different outcome had it been brought under Maryland law. That is because in Maryland, a plaintiff cannot recover at all if he is found to be even the slightest bit at fault for the accident resulting in his injuries. This makes the role of a personal injury attorney even more crucial. To learn more about premises liability cases in Maryland, contact a dedicated personal injury attorney.
Are You in Need of an Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently suffered a serious slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled injury attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience assisting victims in seeking the compensation they deserve through personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Posts:
Court Reversed $1.2 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case, Based on Plaintiff’s Untrue Statements, Maryland Accident Law Blog, January 16, 2017.
Court Allows Premises Liability Plaintiff to Seek Punitive Damages, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 1, 2017.