Geraldine Cruze was struck by large pieces of the ceiling in her apartment. She then rushed to the Jacobi Hospital Emergency Room reporting abdominal pain. After seven hours, the hospital released Cruze. She returned home and rested. However, the hospital failed to detect that Cruze had suffered four broken ribs, a lacerated renal vein and other internal injuries. Despite the pain and difficulty of breathing, Cruze herself did not notice these serious internal injuries, and she believed that she was recovering. Cruze was in fact bleeding internally. Over the next three days, she bled to death. Cruze’s attorney sued the hospital for medical malpractice and the landlord for negligence.
From The Hospital’s Perspective
The potential liability for the hospital is the neglect of the plaintiff’s internal injuries. The hospital is ...view middle of the document...
It would be very difficult for the hospital to defense from these two aspects. In order to minimize the liability, the hospital could argue that it did not breach the duty because the plaintiff only reported abdominal pain. It performed effective treatment regarding abdominal pain. The death of the plaintiff did not result from the abdominal pain. The hospital had no reason to check the patient’s ribs and renal vein in an abdominal pain case. The hospital could also state that there might be other reasons, which finally cause the death of the plaintiff. It might be that the plaintiff’s improper lifestyle worsened her internal injuries. The plaintiff also ignored her pain and difficulty of breathing. She is responsible for not return to the hospital for further physical examination.
From The Landlord’s Perspective
The potential liability for the landlord is the neglect of the defective ceiling, which is the direct cause of the injuries of the plaintiff. The landlord has the responsibility to provide a safe and livable environment to all his/her tenants. The plaintiff’s attorney would argue that the defect of the ceiling resulted in the injuries of the plaintiff. A negligent party who harms another is responsible for all consequences of the injuries, even later malpractice during treatment.
Among the four elements of negligence, owe a duty of care and injury to another are two elements showed very obvious in this case. It would be very difficult for the landlord to defense from these two aspects. In order to minimize the liability, the landlord could argue that it did not breach the duty because it has no reason to check tenant’s ceiling on a daily basis. The tenants have the responsibility to report any defects noticed in the apartment to the landlord. The landlord could also state that defective ceiling did not directly cause the death of the plaintiff. The hospital and plaintiff herself were both responsible for the death.