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D.C. Metro Verdicts

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Patient: Hospital staff were negligent in allowing him to fall

Amount:

$500,000

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

District of Columbia

Venue:

District of Columbia

Court:

District of Columbia, Superior Court

Injury Type(s):

leg-fracture (fracture, femur); other-hardware implanted; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type:

Slips, Trips & Falls; Medical Malpractice - Hospital, Emergency Room, Failure to Monitor, Negligent Treatment

Case Name:

Ricardo W. Alexander v. Providence Hospital and Laura G. Fox, M.D., No. 2014 CA 000928 M

Date:

March 23, 2016

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Ricardo W. Alexander (Male, 35 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Archie L. Rich II; The Rich Firm, P.C.; Washington, DC, for Ricardo W. Alexander

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Mila Tecala; MSW, ACSW, LICSW; Psychology/Counseling; Washington, DC called by: Archie L. Rich II ■ Eugene Saltzberg; M.D.; Emergency Medicine; Highland Park, IL called by: Archie L. Rich II ■ Dorothea Fuller; RN; Nursing; Santa Rosa, CA called by: Archie L. Rich II

Defendant(s):

Laura G. Fox, M.D., 

Providence Hospital

Defense Attorney(s):

Hubert W. Farrell; Farrell & Gunderson; Columbia, MD, for Providence Hospital ■ None reported; for Laura G. Fox, M.D.

Defendant Expert(s):

Roy Langley; Internal Medicine; Vienna, VA called by: Hubert W. Farrell ■ Susan Owens; Emergency Medicine; Ellicott City, MD called by: Hubert W. Farrell ■ Danielle Wilson; Nursing; Riva, MD called by: Hubert W. Farrell

Facts:

On March 26, 2012, plaintiff Ricardo W. Alexander, 35, presented to Providence Hospital's emergency room, where he was evaluated by emergency physician Laura G. Fox, M.D. Alexander, who had symptoms that included dizziness, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, was treated for diabetes-related gastroparesis. Alexander, who also suffered from pre-existing peripheral neuropathy and other diabetes-related conditions, was hospitalized for three days with high blood pressure, high blood glucose and generalized weakness. While at the hospital, he underwent an X-ray, for which he stood. He fell during the X-ray and suffered a femoral fracture, which required repair with hardware implanted to stabilize the fracture. Alexander filed suit against Providence Hospital and Dr. Fox, alleging negligence. Fox was dismissed prior to trial and the case proceeded against the hospital only. Alexander alleged that the hospital staff was negligent in failing to perform a fall risk assessment prior to requiring him to stand for the X-ray, thereby violating its own procedures. Alexander asserted that attendants were initially standing nearby, but walked away and left him standing alone with no support. The hospital contended that its staff provided standard of care treatment. The defense also argued that Alexander was contributorily negligent and assumed the risk when he agreed to the X-ray.

Injury:

Alexander sustained a femoral fracture, which required open reduction with internal fixation and hardware implantation. Alexander claimed he suffered a complicated recovery caused by a problem with the implanted hardware, which left him with an ongoing gait disorder. The defense contended that Alexander's ongoing gait disorder was the result of his pre-existing conditions and not the femur fracture.

Result:

The jury found for Alexander and determined that his damages totaled $500,000.

Ricardo W. Alexander: $500,000 Personal Injury: damages

Trial Information:

Judge:

Ronna L. Beck

Trial Length:

10  days

Trial Deliberations:

3  hours

Jury Composition:

7 jurors

Post Trial:

There was no appeal and this case is closed.

Editor's Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to a request for comment.