Patient sues Gateway and nurse for falling in bathroom

Kelly Holleran Dec. 31, 2008, 7:53am

Sharon and Charles Daniele have filed suit against Gateway Regional Medical Center and one of its nurses, alleging Sharon Daniele fell after the nurse left her alone in the bathroom.

Sharon Daniele was a patient at Gateway Regional when she had to use the bathroom, according to the complaint filed Dec. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court.

She was assisted to the bathroom by one of the hospital's nurses, Ruth K. Droste, who then left Sharon Daniele alone, the suit states.

When Sharon Daniele was done using the restroom, she claims she repeatedly called for Droste to assist her back to her hospital bed.

However, after no response for a "lengthy period of time," Sharon Daniele attempted to leave the restroom and fell, according to the complaint.

She had been admitted to the hospital on Dec. 26, 2006, for treatment of dizziness and vertigo symptoms, the suit states.

Because of her fall, Sharon Daniele claims she sustained severe, painful and disabling injuries to her left arm and wrist and incurred medical expenses.

She also experienced pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, disability, an increased risk of future harm and lost wages, according to the complaint.

Her husband, Charles Daniele, has suffered a loss of Sharon Daniele's society, consortium, companionship, love, affection and support, the suit states.

Droste and Gateway Regional were negligent by failing to properly assist Sharon Daniele on her return to her bed, by failing to properly monitor her while she used the restroom, by failing to properly attend to her while she used the restroom, by failing to properly assist her while she used the restroom and by failing to have sufficient staff who were properly trained to attend to Sharon Daniele while she used the restroom, the suit states.

"That in the normal course of events, the injury to Plaintiff Sharon Daniele would not have occurred if Defendant Gateway Regional, its agents and employees, actual and or apparent, had used a reasonable standard of professional care while providing medical treatment to Plaintiff Sharon Daniele," the suit states.

In the six-count suit, Sharon and Charles Daniele are seeking a judgment in excess of $300,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Stephen B. Evans of Evans Partnership in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1218.

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