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W.Va. hospital equipment results in fatal accident

When a person goes to a hospital for treatment, they usually expect that the hospital's doctors and staff will do all that they can to help the patient regain their health. Sometimes, the patient's medical condition deteriorates, despite the doctors' best efforts. Other times, however, the hospital staff makes medical mistakes and the patient's health worsens.

Hospital negligence can come in many different forms. Recently, a West Virginia hospital replaced three hundred lift chairs after a fatal accident. One patient died after he accidentally activated the lift chair and he slipped and fell. In addition, another patient suffered injuries from a lift chair in the same hospital.

The president of the hospital blamed both incidents on the chair's design flaws. However, the hospital also has a duty to keep patients safe from unreasonably dangerous hazards on the premises. Dangers like slippery floors or faulty beds and chairs are especially dangerous in hospitals where patients' conditions may make them even more susceptible to injury.

When a hospital is negligent and someone dies, the family members can file a wrongful death action against the hospital. While nothing can ever bring back the loss of a loved one, it can be helpful for family members to receive some compensation to help them get on with their own lives.

The hospital in this case has taken corrective action to make sure that no other patients suffer injuries or death from the lift chairs in question. However, this does not absolve the hospital from its own possible liability for the incidents.

Anyone who is injured because of the negligence of another person or group should look into all of their available legal options to recover damages.

Source: The State Journal, "Bridgeport hospital replacing lift chairs due to death," July 5, 2013

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