Appeals court agrees Memorial Hermann not to blame in slip-and-fall accident

By Carrie Salls | Jan 1, 2019

HOUSTON – The Court of Appeals for the 1st District of Texas agreed with an order entering a judgment in favor of Memorial Hermann Health System in a personal injury lawsuit filed against it by Cynthia Holland, according to a Dec. 18 opinion.

"We hold that Memorial Hermann's summary-judgment evidence conclusively established that it did not control the roadway where Holland fell or create the dangerous condition that caused her injuries," Justice Terry Jennings wrote.

Holland alleged that the 165th District Court of Harris County erred when it granted a judgment in Memorial Hermann's favor.

In her lawsuit, the Appeals Court said Holland “alleged that she tripped and fell on uneven and cracked pavement while walking on Memorial Hermann’s easement of ingress and egress at its Memorial City facility in Houston.”

Justice Terry Jennings  

Holland claimed that “she sustained serious, permanent injuries” in the fall, the opinion states. She alleged that Memorial Hermann was responsible for her injuries because the hospital allegedly did not properly inspect and maintain the area on which she fell and did not warn pedestrians of the danger.

In response, the Appeals Court opinion said the defendant argued that “it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because it did not own, possess or control the roadway where Holland fell, negating an essential element of her cause of action for negligence based on her theory of premises liability.”

Memorial Hermann said it leased that walkway in question and it was up to the company’s landlord to make sure the area was safe and warn pedestrians of any potential hazards.

Holland said in her response to Memorial Hermann’s request for summary judgment that the defendant “had failed to meet its burden to establish that it lacked control over the premises where she fell. Specifically, she argued that because the roadway on which she fell was potentially constructed by Memorial Hermann and used by its delivery trucks, it could have been within Memorial Hermann’s maintenance purview under the various lease agreements,” the opinion states.

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