Medical Malpractice

Editor:
R. Max Humphreys, Esquire
Dangerous condition of property which waives government hospital's sovereign immunity does not arise where hospital employee inappropriately touched a female patient in an exam room that had a lock on the door. Rodgers v. City of North Kansas City, et al., No. 72328 (Mo. App. W.D., March 8, 2011), Howard, J.
Plaintiff went to the emergency room at the North Kansas City Hospital and was placed in an examination room with a door that had a lock on the inside. She was seen by a registered nurse and the ER physician who ordered and performed a spinal tap. In preparation for the spinal tap, the patient was given several medications which were sedatives and a urinalysis was ordered, which the nurse was to perform by catheterization. The ER physician and patient's husband both left the examination room and the male nurse closed and locked the door. Afterwards, the patient claims that the male nurse inappropriately touched her and rubbed against her.
The suit was against the hospital, the Vice President of Human Resources, the Director of Critical Care and the Nurse Manager of the Emergency Room. Since none of the persons rendered any medical care to Defendant, they were found by the court of appeals to be protected by official immunity.
The court also found that having a lock on the door was not a dangerous condition in this situation and upheld a grant of summary judgment to all Defendants.
Note: See also summary under "Local Government," supra.

The Missouri Bar Courts Bulletin, 11-Apr