Fall in parking lot leads to suit against hospital

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 17, 2009, 3:23am

MARSHALL � Going to the hospital to check on her father's medical care, a Jefferson woman left her vehicle and was walking toward the main entrances of the Longview Regional Hospital when she stepped in a hole and fell.

Claiming that the hospital's main entrance was an unreasonable and dangerous condition, Carol Harrell filed suit against Community Health Systems Inc. and Regional Hospital of Longview LLC on Nov. 13 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Harrell states that on the last day of 2008, she stepped in a hole and was injured. She states that the hole was created from the erosion around a sprinkler head or from where runoff water drained.

The plaintiff believes that the sprinkler and drain were inadequately built and improperly maintained. In the complaint Harrell states, "Specifically, the area had eroded to the point where it was likely that a person would fall when entering or leaving a vehicle stopped in the driveway of the main entrances, which was used for that purpose.

Harrell accuses the defendants of failing to properly inspect and maintain the area, failing to give adequate or understandable warnings about the unsafe condition, and failing to discover the condition and correct the unsafe area in a reasonable amount of time.

The plaintiff states that she was show that the defendants knew of the defective condition and chose not to remedy it.

Harrell is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, medical care and expenses, mental anguish, physical impairment, pre and post judgment interest.

Tyler attorney David E. Dobbs of the law firm Dobbs and Tittle PC and Marshall attorney Melissa R. Smith of the law firm Gillam and Smith LLP are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:09cv00359

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