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My husband and I have a baby in the NICU at a Nashville, TN…

My husband and I have...
My husband and I have a baby in the NICU at a Nashville, TN hospital and Friday while I was visiting my baby doing the skin-to-skin care, a nurse practitioner that I had never met before came behind my personal screens and hit me on the top of the head because she thought I had fallen asleep. I wasn’t asleep and when I told her that she insisted that I was and she threatens to put my baby back in her isolate if I “couldn’t stay awake.” I told the charge nurse after I finished my baby’s care and asked who the woman was. The staff was attentive to my concern and over the course of an hour, the nursing staff finally tracked down the woman based on my description, as she was not a regular on that particular floor. Since, the hospital administrators have certainly been notified and there will be a meeting with the woman herself along with her superiors on Tuesday of this week. My question is, what is my legal recourse in this situation?
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Answered in 6 hours by:
3/12/2018
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,597
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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I am terribly sorry to hear this; when a person is physically assaulted there are both civil and criminal options.

First pursuant to Peanl code 39-13- et seq the offender may be charged with assault and battery. If the court determines it was intentional it is a Class C offense which carries up to 15 years prison.

Second from a civil perspective the individual that assaults another can be sued for negligence or intentional infliction of bodily harm. This may include any medical expenses, plus pain and suffering and even punitive damages designed to punish the defendant. It is possible, under certain circumstances, to also name the employer under the respondeant superior legal theory, which exposes the employer to liability if the employee, during the course of their employment and while exercising their job duties, commits a wrongdoing. The court may look to see if the employer knew or should have known of the risk before imposing liability along with the corrective measures the employer took to deal with the issue.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you! What would the appropriate steps be for me to pursue this legally?

From a criminal perspective a police report would be filed; then the police will investigate (ie interview witnesses, etc) and the prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute. From a civil perspective, one would need to file a civil complaint; these types of complaints are custom drafted so it is best to hire an attorney to assist. For personal injury cases many attorneys will take them on contingency fee basis.

Usually it is helpful to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that the evidence can be used to help establish a case.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That makes sense. So physically I wasn’t injured from the incident, but I did have a physical rush of fight or flight at the time, which emotionally has been very difficult to deal with since. I’m sure emotional damages are much harder to legally deal with compared to physical, but are there steps I need to consider regarding emotional damage?

Yes, you are correct emotional damages are more difficult to prove; however if a plaintiff is able to prove via testimony from a therapist, an affidavit etc, that will help.

Also there is what is called the Vosburg rule meaning the defendant takes the plaintiff as they are -so if the plaintiff has a preexisting condition that is exacerbated by defendant's tortious conduct defendant can still be liable under that theory.

legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Wonderful information thank you so much!
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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