Man Who Injured Himself During Rehab Sues Hospital
A former patient has filed a lawsuit against George Washington Hospital after he fell and injured himself during skull surgery rehab three years prior. The patient was walking out of his room after a shower when he fell. The lawsuit states that he suffered permanent and temporary injuries, had to get additional surgery, and the expenses related to that treatment have put a financial strain on him.
The plaintiff was admitted to the hospital after a head injury. He required surgery. After the surgery, he was left in his room where he took a shower, fell, and suffered further injury. The plaintiff alleges that the hospital committed medical negligence. The plaintiff further alleges that a malfunctioning shower led to slippery conditions, and medical staff never warned him about the shower. The lawsuit further states that the hospital failed to implement a “fall prevention” program that is typical of hospitals.
Is This Really a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The lawsuit has been filed in Washington D.C. where it may move forward as a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Florida, there are statutory restrictions on medical malpractice lawsuits that make them much more difficult to pursue than ordinary negligence cases.
If the case was filed in Florida, the plaintiff might pursue a premises liability case and argue that this is not medical negligence simply because it occurred in a hospital. Since the hospital knew that the shower was broken and allowed a vulnerable patient to use it after which he slipped and fell, the elements of a premises liability lawsuit are neatly packaged. On the other hand, the hospital may argue that the plaintiff’s allegation that a failure to implement anti-fall measures is a medical allegation. In Florida, for a negligence action to qualify as medical malpractice, there must be a medical service provided.
Who Would Win?
In Florida, this case would likely move forward as a premises liability lawsuit as opposed to a medical malpractice lawsuit, because slip and falls are usually not considered medical malpractice. Then the plaintiffs would need to prove that the hospital knew or had constructive knowledge about the defective shower and did not fix it.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical provider, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the matter in more detail.