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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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i was assaulted by a guard while i was being watched for signing

Customer Question

i was assaulted by a guard while i was being watched for signing myself into the hospital for depressed ideology, can the hospital be held liable for his actions? i read that it has to be in the scope of w.e but that a hospital is also held to a different standard. also i was put in restraints because i was yelling for help. the people working closed the curtain, left me there( a doctor attended to my eye first) i know when you are restrained you are supposed to be continuously watched because you can puke, kill yourself ect.. i managed to slip my hand free and call my mom because they would not contact anyone for me. im suffering from anxiety and im scared to ever go back in the hospital.. Do i have a case for a lawsuit against the hospital and the guard..thank you..
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 2 years ago.

TexLawyer :

What were the circumstances surrounding the guard assaulting you

TexLawyer :

?

Customer :

he kept taunting me to get out of my bed and we where busting balls and im assuming he thought i was going to fight back, when i sat up he lunged at me, held me down and punched me about 5 times and i just took it and yelled for help..

Customer :

another patient witnessed it and also the nurses said they had not seen me fighting, struggling, or trying to escape. not really sure what this mans logic was..

TexLawyer :

OK. First off, you are right, the hospital can be liable for the actions of their employee under a legal theory called vicarious liability. The employee does have to be acting within the scope of his employment, but if he was overseeing you as part of his duties as a security guard, a court would likely find he was within the scope of his employment.

TexLawyer :

In most situations, you would want to sue both the security guard and the hospital at the same time, and they would both be liable for your damages.

Customer :

that is what i thought and the other lawyer had said the hospital would not be held liable so it would not be worth the cost to file a law suit, also what kind of damages can i sue for because i was strapped down because i was assaulted, they would not call my mom, a cop, or any other family member.. i was also left alone causing me to be able to get my right hand out and its a violation of my patient rights too leave me alone while strapped down.. im having increased anxiety and im worried if i feel like that again im going to hesitate to seek help, being tied down is horrible especially after being attacked

TexLawyer :

As far as your other claims regarding the restraint, a court would look to the industry standard. In other words, they would look at was is considered acceptable and reasonable within the industry and what other hospitals do in similar situations.

TexLawyer :

If the judge finds that the hospital's actions were outside the industry standard, and their failure to adhere to reasonable practices caused you damages, you could recover. However, keep in mind that emotional damages, like anxiety, are difficult and sometimes expensive to prove, so that may be a more difficult claim to pursue.

Customer :

alright well i appreciate it, i was just curious if the hospital could be held liable because just filing a lawsuit against him would cost me more money than what i could recover, i went to my psychiatrist today and had to get my medication adjusted because of it and i am still anxious, also my friend told me they like to settle because it cant be brought up if something like that happens again in the hospital, and i have contacts in the media that would love a story of a depressed young man seeking help, gets attacked by guard than is strapped down to a bed, left alone ect.. im guessing i should see what happens with everything before i go that route?

TexLawyer :

Yes. Before you file any lawsuit, you need to wait for the results of the criminal and health department investigations. If they make findings that the hospital was wrong, you will have a very easy road to win your lawsuit.

TexLawyer :

Can I help you with anything else?

Customer :

nope, thank you.

TexLawyer :

Glad to help. If I've answerd your questions, please click the ACCEPT button. Good luck.

TexLawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

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