Chair collapse in hospital waiting room leads to personal injury claim

By Jon Campisi | Sep 20, 2011

A Lansdale, Pa. woman who alleges she sustained bodily injuries after the row of chairs on which she was seated in the waiting room of a city hospital collapsed has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the medical facility.

Skippack, Pa. attorney Gerald J. Mullaney, Jr., of the law firm Mullaney & Mullaney, filed the civil claim Sept. 16 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Regina Sykes, and her husband, Michael Sykes.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Pennsylvania Hospital, The Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

According to the lawsuit, Regina Sykes had accompanied her mother to Pennsylvania Hospital on Sept. 17, 2009, while Sykes’ father underwent surgery, when, while in a fourth floor waiting room, Sykes became injured after the chairs on which she was seated collapsed onto the ground.

Following the accident, it was discovered that the four chairs, which were propped in an upright position against the wall, were not properly “assembled, installed, constructed, attached and/or secured, which permitted the subject accident to occur,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence and carelessness for failing to maintain a safe premises, failing to conduct periodic inspections of the premises, permitting and allowing the existence of a dangerous condition, failing to properly install, assemble, secure, construct, fix, repair or take correction action of the chairs involved in the accident, and failing to provide the plaintiff and others with safe seating in the waiting area.

As a result of the accident, the suit states, Regina Sykes suffered a host of physical injuries, including, but not limited to, severe chronic regional pain syndrome; brachial plexus traction injury of the left upper extremity primarily upper trunk, lateral cord and lower trunk; cervical radiculopathy; torn meniscus and/or synovitis of the knee; and headaches.

Sykes also reportedly suffered depression, sleep disorders, cognitive disorders, loss of memory and possible aggravation of other pre-existing conditions, all of which have caused her severe pain and suffering, and may continue to do so into the future, the suit states.

Regina Sykes has had to spend various sums of money on medical attention as a result of her injuries, and she has been unable to attend to her regular duties and obligations. Her earnings have also been affected because of her inability to work, the lawsuit claims.

Sykes has also experienced great pain, suffering, discomfort, disfigurement, humiliation, loss of self-esteem, embarrassment, anguish, emotional distress, depression, anxiety and a loss of enjoyment of life’s pleasures.

Michael Sykes has a loss of consortium count in the lawsuit against the defendants in which he alleges he has been deprived of his wife’s services and companionship as a result of her injuries.

Each plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants, in a sum in excess of $50,000, together with interest, court costs and delay damages.

No jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110901630.

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