Tricky rug trips up employee, lawsuit filed against hospital

David Yates Jun. 3, 2008, 10:40am

A Christus St. Elizabeth employee is suing the hospital for punitive damages, claiming the healthcare provider never trained her how to walk across a rug without falling.

Diane Kelly also claims Christus failed to warn her about the rug's "dangerous condition." Her suit was filed June 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

On Nov. 17, 2007, Kelly was working for Christus St. Elizabeth when she tripped on a rug in the scrub room, causing her to fall and injure herself, according to the suit.

"As a result of the incident, Plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries to her body in general. These injuries were negligently caused by the Defendant," the suit says.

"Defendant is a non-subscriber under the Texas Workers Compensation laws; thus Plaintiff is filing this state court action against the defendant for its negligence and gross negligence."

In her suit, Kelly goes on to accuse Christus of negligently failing to train, supervise, warn and protect her.

In addition to punitive damages, Kelly is suing for past and future pain, mental anguish, impairment, disfigurement, lost earnings and medical expenses, plus attorneys' fees.

She is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Matthew Matheny.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B181-850

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