Woman's fall results in suit against hospital, therapist

By Lawrence Smith | May 26, 2009

RIPLEY - For one Jackson county woman, what hoped to be a day of healing ended in one of alleged injury.

In a lawsuit filed in Jackson Circuit Court on May 8, Sandra Kennedy alleges she was injured while undergoing physical therapy. The injury, records show, was a result of faulty equipment maintained by both her therapist and facility where the therapy was taking place, Jackson General Hospital.

According to her complaint, Kennedy, 62, of Ripley, was receiving physical therapy at JGH for "a certain medical condition." That condition is not stated in court records.

However, Kennedy was assigned to Kelly Fluty. Records show, Fluty, 33, is a employee of JGH working in its physical therapy department.

During her visit on May 10, 2007, Kennedy alleges that Fluty had her sit on a high/low table. Upon doing so, "the table began to suddenly and without warning elevate thus causing [her] to be thrown to the floor."

According to court records, the apparent reason for the sudden rise in the table was due to the placement of the foot pedal that controls the table's movement being under one of the table's legs. Because of this, Kennedy alleges JGH and Fluty breached their duty to ensure "reasonable precautions in preventing physical and/or other injuries to their patients and others," were taken.

Though the extent of her injuries are not stated in court records, Kennedy alleges as a result of JGH's and Fluty's "negligence, carelessness and recklessness," she suffered "emotional and physical pain, humiliation, embarrassment, degradation, emotional distress, mental anguish, fear, shock, horror, annoyance and inconvenience, loss of ability to enjoy life [and] financial and economic losses."

Also, the suit alleges that Kennedy's husband, James, 64, "sustained great and irreparable loss, sorrow and anguish" due to Sandra's injuries "in that he has been and will be deprived of [her] society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly office and advice." James is a co-plaintiff in the suit.

The Kennedys are seeking unspecified damages, court costs and attorneys fees.

Charleston attorney J. Miles Morgan assisted the Kennedys in filing the suit.

The case has been assigned to Judge Thomas C. Evans III

Jackson Circuit Court, Case No. 09-C-55

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