Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 17, 2020

Anderson Hospital denies negligence in patient's ER fall; Says decedent was under influence of alcohol

By Ann Maher | Jul 11, 2016

General court 09

Anderson Hospital is denying negligence in a Madison County wrongful death lawsuit arguing that it was the decedent's use of alcohol or his intoxication that caused the injuries leading to his death.


The Maryville hospital, along with Uptown Emergency Physicians, were sued in March by Lora Rasmussen individually as well as special administrator of the estate of David Tab Rasmussen. While waiting to be treated for a right shoulder injury, David Rasmussen fell and sustained severe injuries to his head which led to his death five months later.

Represented by Rodney Sharp and Olivia Watters of Sandberg Phoenix and von Gontard in St. Louis, Anderson Hospital denied allegations and asserted affirmative defenses on June 20.

Uptown Emergency Physicians, represented by Terese Drew of Hinshaw Culbertson of St. Louis, also has denied negligence.

Circuit Judge William Mudge, who presides, has set a status conference for Sept. 28.

According to the complaint, David Rasmussen sought treatment at Anderson emergency room on March 6, 2014. While there, Rasmussen, "who was in a neurologically impaired state," was allegedly left unattended and fell. He struck his head on the floor, resulting in a subdural hematoma, a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a left occipital bone fracture, and eventual death on Aug. 7, 2014, according to the complaint.

The suit brings six counts against the defendants, including wrongful death and survival action.

According to the complaint, the defendants negligently and carelessly failed to properly evaluate the deceased's condition, failed to recognize that he was in a neurologically impaired state, failed to monitor the deceased while under their care and failed to assure the quality and appropriateness of care provided to the defendant.

As a result, the deceased incurred pain and suffering and eventual death. The plaintiff has sustained pecuniary injury including loss of society, grief, sorrow and mental suffering in that the acts of alleged negligence caused the death of the deceased.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against all defendants for all counts in an amount in excess of $50,000 for the damages sustained plus court costs. She is represented by Thomas J. Lech of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli PC in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-297

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