Bacliff woman sues rehab hospital over broken leg and amputation

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 21, 2009, 4:40am

GALVESTON – A Bacliff woman is suing a Houston hospital in Galveston County District Court over an alleged fall last year that resulted in the amputation of one of her legs.

Lily Karber, 81, says she went to Clear Lake Rehabilitation Hospital on April 2, 2008, for treatment on an unspecified condition only to be neglected and mishandled by the staff.

"There existed an extreme degree of risk to Lily Karber at the defendant's facility," court papers say. "Despite this extreme degree of risk, the defendant consciously disregarded this risk."

The personal injury suit was filed by Houston attorney Kevin O'Malley on May 13.

According to the original petition, the plaintiff underwent a misdiagnosis and was kept at the facility longer than expected.

It adds she fell and broke her leg while under some nurses' care. The leg had to be surgically removed.

The hospital is ultimately accused of failing to provide adequate nursing care and a hazard-free environment.

It had violated the state's administrative and penal codes when Karber was mistreated and harmed, the suit says.

Karber argues her problem notwithstanding, she entered the facility without any broken bones or injuries to her leg.

"The plaintiff would show that if she was suffering from any disease or condition existing prior to the occurrence in question, such was dormant to the plaintiff and not causing her any significant pain or disability, and that the occurrence in question has incited, accelerated, and aggravated such condition to such an extent that it has now become painful and disabling," the suit says.

Karber claims the ordeal caused her a lot of embarrassment, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

She seeks an undisclosed amount of money to compensate for her medical expenses in addition to a jury trial.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0722

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