Hopkins Hospital to pay patient who fell out of its bed $192,500

July 30, 1998|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $192,500 to a Columbia man who fell out of his hospital bed while recovering from heart surgery, injuring his head.

The payment to Indravadan K. Desai, 69, settles a medical malpractice claim filed last year in Baltimore Circuit Court against the hospital and one of its nurses, alleging they were negligent in letting him fall from the bed.

Neither Jeff E. Messing, Desai's lawyer, nor Joseph J. Bottiglieri, an attorney for Hopkins Hospital, would comment on the case or the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement.

"The parties are not permitted to discuss the case, other than to say it's been resolved," Bottiglieri said yesterday.

According to court papers, Desai underwent heart surgery Sept. 6, 1996 and was scheduled to be discharged five days later. But around dawn on the day he was supposed to leave, Desai fell out of bed and wound up face down on the floor, suffering a hemorrhage that resulted in memory loss, speech and comprehension problems and depression, court papers say.

Desai remained in the hospital another two weeks. He later spent a total of an additional two weeks at Howard County General and Johns Hopkins hospitals, being treated for complications the fall caused, court papers say.

Desai said in the suit that his fall was the result of a failure of the hospital and an attending nurse to properly maintain the side rails of his bed -- a claim the hospital said was never proved.

Desai had sought $158,500 for economic damages and medical bills not covered by insurance, and $515,000 for pain and suffering.

Pub Date: 7/30/98

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