In a truly disgusting and alarming story out of DC, a former employee of a local DC hospital has received a jury verdict for $237,000 for the emotional distress she suffered when she was bitten by a rat while working with cadavers. According to a report by the Huffington Post, the woman was working at Providence Hospital in Washington DC when the events took place.
Evidently, the woman was working as a contract employee with the hospital and was responsible for working with cadavers in some capacity. While employed at the hospital, she recalls seeing rats chew through body bags and enter bodies through the anus and vagina.
At some point during her employment, she was preparing a cadaver when she thought she saw a feminine product in one of the bodies. As she tried to remove it, it became evident that it was actually a rat. The rat, startled from having its tail pulled, bit the woman, sending her to the hospital. The woman claims that these conditions have been going on for years but had been effectively covered up by hospital administration.
The hospital vehemently disputed all allegations, but a jury sided with the woman, awarding her $237,000 in damages. Despite the hospital’s denial of the allegations, records show that the hospital gift shop was shut down earlier this year because inspectors found rodent droppings on the floor and a bag of food that had been chewed by some kind of rodent.
Poor Conditions in Hospitals
Whether you are a patient or an employee, these kinds of conditions are disgusting and are not appropriate for anyone to deal with. In the case of the employee, the hospital had a duty to ensure a safe working environment, which they failed to live up to by allowing rats to infest the working area. This kind of environment, especially if it can be shown that the hospital knew about it, can certainly lead to liability when an injury like this occurs.
Moreover, the hospital certainly was not fit for patients who come to the hospital to get well. These kinds of conditions can result in any number of epidemics breaking out due to the diseases carried by the rodents. The hospital should have shut down operations as soon as it became aware that there was a problem, rather than try and cover it up.
Have You Been Injured While in a Hospital?
If you have been injured while in the hospital, regardless if you were an employee, patient, or visitor, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Property owners all owe a duty of care to those whom they invite onto their premises. In the case of hospitals, there is a heightened duty for employees and patients to ensure a safe environment. When a hospital fails to live up to its duty, and injuries are suffered as a result, that victim of the hospital’s negligence can bring a lawsuit against the hospital seeking compensation for his or her damages. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated DC personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
DC Court of Appeals Determines Hospital Is Liable for Conduct of Temporary Nurse, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, July 31, 2014
Staffer to US Senator Dies as a Result of a Hit and Run Accident, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, June 26, 2014
Widow Sues Healthcare Company After Her Husband Dies Due to Malfunctioning Medical Equipment, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, July 17, 2014