IADC member Edwin Stuardi, member at Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, P.C., recently obtained a defense verdict in Mobile County for a local hospital involving a psychiatric patient (attempting to leave the ER) colliding with a visitor in the ER lobby, which resulted in the visitor sustaining multiple fractures, including a hip fracture. The lawsuit was filed by the visitor and only named the hospital as a defendant.
In the lawsuit, Plaintiff alleged that a hospital security guard was negligent in his actions in de-escalating the situation with the patient. The Plaintiff was hospitalized for 30 days and was in physical therapy for 60 days after her discharge from the hospital. The lawsuit initially asserted personal injury claims of negligence, wantonness and battery with the plaintiff seeking damages for pain, suffering and mental anguish, as well as punitive damages. At trial, the hospital established, through well-developed testimony, that the security guard’s actions were reasonable and appropriate. A total of 16 witnesses testified at trial. At the conclusion of the Plaintiff’s case, the Plaintiff dismissed her wantonness and battery claims. In closing, Plaintiff requested $3-$5 million in damages related to the negligence claim, however the jury was not influenced by the request and a defense verdict was rendered after less than 45 minutes of deliberation.