If you are reading a post on a personal injury law firm blog and it mentions a lawsuit filed against a hospital, you might assume that it is a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, hospitals often become defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits when physicians or other healthcare personnel make errors that injure patients or otherwise worsen their health. When someone other than a patient sustains injuries on hospital property, though, the injured person has recourse to a premises liability lawsuit. If you were injured in an accident at a place of business, including a hospital, consult a personal injury lawyer to see if you should file a premises liability lawsuit.
Details of the Palms West Hospital Case
Earletta Blackwood went to Palms West Hospital on May 24, 2012 to visit her mother, who was a patient there. The floor of her mother’s hospital room was wet because of water leaking from the roof, and Blackwood slipped and fell, injuring her back. She underwent several surgeries to treat her injuries, and she was fitted with a lumbar pain pump implant and a lumbar spinal cord stimulator.
Blackwood filed a premises liability lawsuit on May 24, 2013. She alleged negligence on the part of Palms West Hospital; the hospital in turn filed a complaint against Charles Cherry Partners, Inc. (CPPI), the contracting company that had done work on the roof, and CPPI filed a complaint against Salvador Construction and Certified Roofing, the company it had hired as subcontractors to do the work. Blackwood sought $3,200,000; she claimed that her past medical expenses were $500,000 and her future ones were more than $3,000,000.
The parties agreed on November 3, 2016 to settle, with the plaintiff receiving $1,600,000. CPPI paid the largest share of the settlement, namely $550,000; Palms West Hospital paid $375,000, and the subcontractor companies paid lesser amounts.
The Legal Issues
In premises liability cases, the owner of the premises has a duty of care to prevent accidents on the premises, but it can claim that some of the liability belongs to parties that contributed to an unsafe environment on the premises. In a separate lawsuit, a man injured when he fell from a defective stepladder at a Tire Kingdom warehouse received damages both from Tire Kingdom and from the manufacturer of the stepladder. In cases like these, product liability and premises liability can overlap.
Blackwood’s case, like the majority of personal injury cases, ended in a settlement without going to trial, and each the defendant parties paid a portion of the settlement. In some complex cases, some defendants settle while others go to trial. A personal injury lawyer can help you decide which parties you should name as a defendant.
Contact Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers About Premises Liability Cases
A personal injury lawyer can help you decide if a premises liability lawsuit is the best way to recover damages for injuries you sustained in an accident at a place of business. Contact Palm Beach County premises liability lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers for a consultation.