Christus Southeast Texas Hospital chose to reach a settlement, rather than take its chances at trial, in the case of a man who suffered personal injuries after tripping in the hospital’s parking garage. The suit was the second of its kind filed against the hospital within the past few years.
A jury in Jefferson County, Texas had already heard the case of Charles English vs. Christus once, but that trial ended in mistrial on November 24.
A second trial was scheduled to begin on March 23, once again in the court of Judge Bob Wortham, with a new jury panel being asked to determine whether or not the non-profit hospital endangered English by leaving a curb in the garage unpainted. However, courthouse personnel say that the two parties settled the following day.
The settlement’s terms were not disclosed, but in a similar trial in August 2007, Christus was ordered to pay more than $700,000 to Flo Wilson, who had missed a step and broken her hip while in the Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital parking garage.
In that case, presided by Judge Gary Sanderson, the jury found the hospital to be negligent for failure to paint a yellow hazard stripe on the step.
Two weeks after Wilson’s case ended, her attorney filed a similar suit on English’s behalf. He claims that he fell over the same step in the parking garage, causing him to suffer a broken leg.
Allco Inc., the construction company that built the garage, was also named as a defendant in English’s suit, which was filed on September 6, 2007. Allco settled out of court.
The suit says that English was at St. Elizabeth to visit a patient on October 3, 2006. He fell over an unmarked curb in the parking garage, causing him severe injuries, according to the suit.
The suit alleged negligence on the part of the defendants for failure to paint a yellow caution stripe on the step, failure to provide adequate lighting in the garage, and failure to follow city and state regulations for “uneven steps.”