Couple claim they were injured by hospital's faulty emergency room doors

By Lawrence Smith | Sep 11, 2008

PARKERSBURG – While most people go to a hospital emergency room seeking treatment for injuries, one couple alleges a Wood County hospital's emergency room injured them.

On Aug. 19, Georgia and Larry Atkinson filed a lawsuit against Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Wood Circuit Court. In their complaint and suit, filed with the assistance of J. C. Powell, with the Charleston law firm of Powell and Majestro, the Atkinson's allege while visiting Camden-Clark on Jan. 12, 2007, they each in some way were injured by the automatic doors leading to the ER.

"As Georgia Atkinson went through a set of defective automatic doors located at or near the emergency room, Georgia Atkinson was knocked down to the floor by the automatic doors," the suit alleges. Though she was not admitted to the hospital following the accident, Atkinson was "promptly treated for hours" and later returned home.

According to court records, Atkinson returned to Camden-Clark three days later for an evaluation. The evaluation showed she had "head, neck, back and leg problems."

Likewise, the suit alleges Atkinson "has had extensive medical treatment as a result of being knocked down by the defective doors."

As a result of her injuries, Larry alleges a loss of consortium with Georgia.

"Evidently realizing the risk with these doors," the suit alleges, "the Defendant subsequently replaced the defective doors."

Camden-Clark is negligent for the Atkinson's injuries from not only their failure to properly maintain, inspect and repair the doors, but also to place warning signs in a prominent place.

As a result of their injuries, the Atkinsons "have and will suffer present and future" physical and mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, medical and drug expenses, pain and suffering, humiliation, inconvenience and "other general damages."

As compensation, the Atkinsons are asking for "exemplary and punitive damages in an amount sufficient so that an example will be made of the Defendant in order to promote a safe environment for patients, employees and users of the physical premises."

Though not specified now, "Georgia may seek leave of the Court to amend the complaint to insert the true amount thereof when ascertained."

Along with the complaint, records show Powell filed a request for admissions and a first set of interrogatories.

The case has been assigned to Judge Jeffrey B. Reed.

Wood Circuit Court, Case No. 08-C-493

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