If the ramp was slippery, why didn’t he complain sooner?

By The Record | Sep 11, 2018

A married couple’s world revolved around their first child. They marveled at each new stage of development. The baby crept, crawled, stood up – and fell right back down. 

First a few steps, then walking and running, riding a trike, riding a bike with training wheels, riding a bike without them.

But the child never talked. That first word was never heard, nor any others.

They went to doctors. They read books on language development and speech pathology. Nothing helped. Eventually, they gave up and accepted the reality that the child might never speak.

Then, one day, at the age of seven, sitting at the breakfast table, the child suddenly blurted out: “This toast is burnt.”

How the parents rejoiced! They hugged their child. They hugged each other. They called relatives and friends to tell them the good news.

Not until they had exhausted their exultations did they finally think to ask why it took so long to speak.

The explanation was simple: “Up until now, everything’s been fine.”

That’s kind of how it was with delivery man Bryon Jordan.

For ten years, Jordan delivered bottled water to Texas Children’s Hospital, walking up and down the same wooden ramp multiple times, and not once did the hospital staff hear a peep out of him.

Then, one day, on Feb. 12, 2014, he slipped and fell on that ramp while making his “second or third trip” up and down it, and that triggered his filing a lawsuit against the hospital for their negligence in failing to de-slipperize the ramp.

He filed two years after the alleged fall, just before the statute of limitations expired. He lost his case, appealed, and lost again two weeks ago when the 14th Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling granting summary judgment to the hospital.

The court concluded that “the surface condition of the ramp was a pre-existing condition,” one Jordan was aware of.

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