Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Inc. v. Scott

300 N.E.2d 50 (1973)

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Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Inc. v. Scott

Indiana Supreme Court
300 N.E.2d 50 (1973)

Facts

Richard Scott (plaintiff) was a patient at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Inc. (Memorial) (defendant). Scott suffered from multiple sclerosis, which caused symptoms such as lack of muscle coordination, vision difficulty, weak grip, weak arms, weak legs, difficulty walking, difficulty distinguishing shapes, hand trembles, involuntary eye movements, and difficulty maintaining balance. One morning, while staying at the hospital, Scott was given a Thorazine injection, which was known to cause headaches. Sometime after the injection, Scott had to use the bathroom. The toilet had a bed-pan flusher at shoulder level that dispensed water heated to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In an attempt to flush the toilet, Scott triggered the bed-pan flusher and was severely burned by the hot water. Scott brought suit against Memorial for negligence. The trial court found for Scott, determining that Scott was not contributorily negligent due to the extent of his medical condition and his lack of knowledge or awareness of the bed-pan flusher or its dangers. Memorial appealed. The appeals court reversed, stating that the trial court did not apply the ordinary-reasonable-man test. Scott appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hunter, J.)

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