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McGraw v. St. Joseph’s Hospital

West Virginia Supreme Court
488 S.E.2d 389 (1997)


Facts

Robert McGraw (plaintiff) entered the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital (St. Joseph’s) (defendant), complaining of shortness of breath. Eventually, McGraw was admitted to the hospital as an inpatient. The following morning, four female hospital personnel attempted to assist McGraw, who was quite heavy, into bed. However, the ladies dropped McGraw onto the floor. Several days later, McGraw was discovered on the floor near his bed. Again, four female nurses and aides dropped McGraw why trying to place him into bed. On each fall, McGraw suffered injuries. McGraw filed suit against St. Joseph’s alleging that hospital personnel were negligent in dropping or permitting him to fall on two occasions. After discovery, St. Joseph’s moved for summary judgment premised on McGraw’s failure to produce expert medical testimony demonstrating how the hospital deviated from the appropriate standard of care. The trial court granted St. Joseph’s motion and dismissed the complaint. The trial court concluded that a state law required a plaintiff to establish a violation of the standard of care by a health care provider through expert testimony. McGraw appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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