Suburban Philly hospital faces personal injury claim over employee slip-and-fall

By Jon Campisi | Sep 27, 2011

A woman who worked at a local hospital is suing the facility, its parent company and a landscaping firm after she slipped on snow and ice last winter.

Blue Bell, Pa. attorney Jonathan T. Warren, of the law firm Warren & McGraw LLC, filed the personal injury complaint Sept. 21 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Shannon Rice and her husband, Kenneth, of Northwest Philadelphia.

The defendants listed in the suit are Conshohocken, Pa.-based Mercy Health System, Norristown, Pa.-based Mercy Suburban Hospital and Exton, Pa.-based Brogan Landscaping Inc.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs returned to Rice’s place of employment, Mercy Suburban Hospital, on Feb. 6, 2010, between 6:30 and 7 p.m., a number of hours after snowfall ceased.

Kenneth Rice parked his vehicle near the loading dock of the hospital to allow his wife to access the employee entrance. It was at this time that Shannon Rice exited the vehicle, took a few steps forward in order to close the vehicle’s door, and suddenly fell on a “slippery, untreated surface created by a collection of ice and a small layer of snow which was allowed to gather in the area,” the lawsuit claims.

As a result of the incident, Shannon Rice sustained fractures to her left ankle and tibia, which necessitated “emergent and complicated orthopedic surgeries,” the lawsuit states.

Following her surgeries, Shannon Rice claims she had to use a walker and cane, and underwent extensive occupational and physical therapy.

Shannon Rice incurred medical bills totaling $50,000, the suit claims.

Because of her injuries, Shannon Rice has been unable to work, meaning her earnings have been affected, and she has suffered, and continues to suffer, physical and mental anguish and embarrassment, the suit claims.

Shannon Rice’s daily activities and pleasure’s have also been affected as a result of her injuries, according to the suit.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of carelessness, negligence and recklessness for failing to properly maintain and inspect the hospital parking lot, failing to warn the plaintiff and others of the hazardous condition, failing to provide adequate drainage in the parking lot, allowing an untreated and slippery surface to remain in the parking lot and improperly attempting to correct and/or remove the artificial accumulation of ice and snow, and acting in a negligence, incomplete and careless manner.

Shannon Rice demands judgment against the defendants in a sum in excess of $50,000, together with attorney’s fees and related costs.

Kenneth Rice has a loss of consortium count in the lawsuit in which he claims he has been deprived his wife’s companionship. He, too, seeks judgment in excess of $50,000 plus related fees.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110902317.

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