There is an old adage that says, "Don't kick a man when he's down." Evidently, the phrase does not apply to non-profit hospitals.
Christus Health Southeast Texas was hit on Aug. 30 with a $700,000 verdict for failing to paint a yellow hazard stripe on a parking garage step. Then on Sept. 5, Christus announced it would be laying off 100 employees from its hospitals in Beaumont and Port Arthur. And Christus is also in the midst of a medical malpractice trial currently taking place in the Jefferson County 172nd District Court.
Two weeks ago, a jury ordered Christus to pay Flo Wilson, who had missed her step and broke her hip while in the St. Elizabeth parking garage, more than $700,000 in damages. Wilson was represented by attorney Tim Ferguson.
Ferguson is now representing another client claiming to have tripped over an unmarked parking garage curb while visiting a patient at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
On behalf of Charles English, Ferguson filed the suit against Christus and Allco, Inc. with the Jefferson County District Court on Sept. 6. Allco built the hospital's parking garage.
According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Oct. 3, 2006, English went to St. Elizabeth to visit a patient. While in the parking garage, "English was severely injured when he fell on an unmarked curb."
The suit faults the defendants with failing to paint a yellow caution stripe on the step, failing to provide adequate parking garage lighting and failing to follow city and state "uneven steps" regulations.
English is suing for exemplary damages, plus past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and impairment.
Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, will preside over the case.
Case No. A179-969