Typically, we think of hospitals as places where people go to get better—not to receive injuries. Unfortunately, a seventy-year-old woman from Malibu claims that she broke her hip while visiting a friend at Marina del Rey Hospital. According to her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that she was struck by a door that caused her to fall onto a hard surface, where her hip was injured. As of late fall in 2019, the two parties reached a settlement and the case was officially resolved.
The Circumstances of the Incident
The lawsuit describes how the plaintiff, Stephanie Tanous, was visiting a friend who was in critical condition on June 13,2017. Tanous was also serving as a patient advocate for her friend, and as she was exiting the hospital, she claims that the automatic sliding door suddenly slammed shut. The tremendous force of this slamming door struck Tanous on her shoulder and threw her down onto the pavement outside the hospital. According to Tanous, she knew immediately that she had suffered a serious injury, and she remained on the ground, immobile, until hospital staff members moved her onto a gurney. She was eventually transferred to California Rehabilitation Institute, where she underwent treatment for her broken hip.
Filing the Lawsuit
Tanous and her attorneys stated that not only was she seeking compensation to cover the medical costs her injuries incurred, but she was also in need of compensation for her lost earning potential. Prior to the accident, Tanous operated a catering business, serving several prestigious clients throughout the Los Angeles area. She asserted that her injuries made it impossible to run her company, therefore losing out on a significant amount of income. The suit, filed in August of 2017, alleged negligence, premises liability, and strict products liability claims, though the specific amount of damages she requested is not stated.
Reaching a Settlement
Before the settlement was reached, defense attorneys for the Marina del Rey Hospital fought back by claiming that the plaintiff had preexisting health conditions, such as severe arthritis, that already prevented her from running her catering company. They pointed out that Tanous admitted to distancing herself from the company in 2005, when her mom fell ill. Ultimately, the two parties were able to negotiate a settlement, the terms of which have not been divulged.