In 2007, 77-year-old Thomas Doster was found on the floor of his hospital room after a fall. A review of his medical records and a state investigation revealed that he was supposed to be in restraints at the time of the fall because he was such a high fall risk.
Today, a jury of 11 women and one man found Noland Hospital, Dothan, breached the standard of care by leaving the restraints off of Mr. Doster and the breach caused Mr. Doster’s death less than 12 hours after his fall. The jury awarded Mr. Doster’s daughter $4,000,000 in punitive damages.
Noland Hospital defended the case by claiming that the records were wrong and that Mr. Doster never actually fell, or that “fall” has a separate definition in the medical context, and that his death was a mere coincidence in time.
This case was tried on behalf of Mr. Doster’s daughter by MRB attorneys Rip Andrews and Ben Ford. According to Rip, “This case is another example of a large institution refusing to take responsibility for their actions”.
Rip said, “One of the things I believe was most infuriating to the jury was how the hospital treated its employees and put them in the position of having to say that their own records did not mean what was written on the page”.