Untimely bathroom break leads to suit against LIT

David Yates Mar. 3, 2008, 5:27am

While having some dental work done at the Lamar Institute of Technology, Marilyn Stern-Duhon tripped over an electrical-injunction box when she dismounted from a dental chair. She has filed suit against the college, claiming a Lamar dental technician forced her to exit the chair from the wrong side.

Stern-Duhon left the dental chair during an examination in order to go to the restroom. She alleges LIT negligently caused her injuries by painting the electrical box with a color that resembled the floor's color.

Stern-Duhon suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 28.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on March 20, 2006, Stern-Duhon was injured after receiving dental services at the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont.

The clinic offers dental services at a discounted price to students and the general public. It is operated as part of the Associate of Applied Science-Dental Hygiene program. Services are provided by dental hygiene program students under the supervision of a dentist and dental hygienists.

"As Plaintiff was exiting the room where the dental services had been performed, she tripped over an electrical junction box directly in front of the dental chair which was in the path of egress from the room," the suit said.

"The technician who had performed dental work on Plaintiff had positioned herself to the right side of the dental chair while performing dental work. Upon completion, and while waiting for a supervisor to come and check the technicians' work, Plaintiff asked to go to the restroom. Rather than raise the back of the chair from the reclined to upright position, the technician instructed Plaintiff to get up from the reclined position, and told her to 'hurry up.'

"Further, rather than moving her chair and work table from the right side of the chair, which would have allowed Plaintiff a clear path of egress from the room, the technician remained where she was, thereby forcing Plaintiff to dismount the chair on the left side, from where her path of egress brought her into contact with the electrical injunction box."

Stern-Duhon also alleges LIT was negligent for failing to maintain and inspect its premises for hazards.

She further claims she has suffered permanent injuries to her knee and lumbar spine.

Stern-Duhon is suing for actual and special damages, plus all court costs.

She is represented by The Hudgins Law Firm of Houston.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-362

More News