Excessive Force In A Personal Injury Claim

Date: May 19, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law

            Eddy Dogood, 75, stopped at the Wellness Hospital for a brief visit with his doctor on June 1, 2006. Eddy had received a total right hip replacement about one year before.   A security guard employed by the hospital pulled Eddy from an elevator because the guard thought Eddy had parked his church van in a pick-up and drop-off area.  Eddy attempted to explain to the guard that if the guard didn\’t like where the van was parked, he, the guard, could have it ticketed or towed. The security guard refused to let Eddy return to the elevator and put his arms around Eddy and pulled him off the elevator. Both the guard and Eddy fell to the ground. This caused Eddy to reinjure his hip and require another surgery.

            After the second surgery, Eddy did not have such a good result. He had to endure injections and take medications to manage his pain. Eddy was a church deacon and was active in community service helping both youths and the infirm. He could no longer continue doing those services after the second hip operation. Eddy was also now confined to a wheelchair.

QUESTION:  Does Eddy have a valid lawsuit against the hospital or its security guard?

ANSWER:     Yes. Eddy would have a cause of action. The security guard exercised far too much force under the circumstances presented. Eddy\’s case would actually go to trial and result in a substantial verdict in his favor.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.