A Maryland critical care physician who worked in a hospital intensive care unit received a verdict in the amount of nearly $4.4 million on June 24, 2015, after a six-day trial, that includes $560,956 for past lost wages, $3,744,820 for future lost wages, $39,410.92 for past medical expenses, and $33,000 for non-economic losses.
The Maryland physician claimed that he fractured his right wrist as a result of a fall on a freshly waxed floor in an unoccupied intensive care unit patient room that had no warning sign, which left him with the inability to perform the surgical procedures that he needed to be able to perform to do his job.
The plaintiff claimed in his lawsuit filed against the hospital and a separate company that was responsible to train and supervise hospital employees that on November 12, 2010, the plaintiff entered the unoccupied patient room in the intensive care unit of the hospital in order to make a telephone call. There was no sign warning that the floor of the room had just been waxed that caused the floor to be slippery. As a result, the physician slipped, fell, and fractured his wrist.
The hospital had settled the plaintiff’s claims against it before trial, leaving the company as the only remaining defendant, which the jury found to have been negligent by failing to warn of the risk of falling on a recently waxed floor.
The plaintiff called several experts to testify on his behalf during trial, including a facilities management expert regarding safety procedures when waxing floors, an orthopedic surgeon regarding the plaintiff’s wrist fracture and medical treatment, a rehabilitation physician to testify as to the plaintiff’s necessary rehabilitative therapies, and a vocational expert and an economist to establish the financial losses leading to the jury’s award of damages for future lost wages due to the plaintiff’s professional limitations resulting from fracturing his wrist.
The defense argued that the plaintiff was responsible for his fall and his injury, alleged that the plaintiff’s injury was not permanent, and told the jury that the medical procedures that the plaintiff could no longer perform were not necessary for him to continue to work in the intensive care unit. The defense experts included an orthopedic surgeon and a pulmonologist who worked in critical care medicine.
It took nearly two years for the lawsuit to come to trial after it was filed in court. The jury took only four hours to find the defendant company at fault and to award compensatory damages to the plaintiff.
The defendant has not indicated whether it intends to file an appeal.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury (or worse) while in a Maryland hospital as a result of medical negligence or from some other negligent act or omission, you should promptly find a hospital claim lawyer in Maryland who may investigate your Maryland hospital claim for you and represent you in a claim against a Maryland hospital, if appropriate.
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