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Hull v. Jefferson Parish Hospital District # 1

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

April 26, 2017

CORDELL HULL, SR.
v.
JEFFERSON PARISH HOSPITAL DISTRICT # 1 D/B/A WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 710-214, DIVISION "B" HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CORDELL HULL, SR. Michael J. Begoun Mark R. Wolfe T. Daniel Pick Nancy S. Silbert.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, REHAB CARE GROUP MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC. Jon A. Van Steenis Paul R. Trapani, III.

          Panel composed of Robert M. Murphy, Stephen J. Windhorst, and Hans J. Liljeberg.

         AFFIRMED.

         SJW

         RMM

         HJL

          STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE.

         Appellant, Cordell Hull, seeks review of the trial court's judgment granting appellee, RehabCare Group Management Services, Inc.'s ("RehabCare"), exception of prescription. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         On February 3, 2011, appellant was receiving physical therapy treatment at WJMC for injuries sustained from an automobile accident in 2010. While under the supervision of his physical therapist, appellant was instructed to get on a hand cycle after it was adjusted by the physical therapist. The hand cycle collapsed and appellant sustained injuries.

         On January 12, 2012, appellant filed a petition for damages against WJMC contending that the physical therapist did not properly adjust the hand cycle and, as a result, the hand cycle collapsed and he sustained injuries. Appellant claimed that WJMC was liable for its own negligence pursuant to La. C.C. art. 2315 and was strictly liable pursuant to La. C.C. art. 2317 for the hand cycle in its custody and control. WJMC filed motion for summary judgment arguing that appellant could not show that WJMC had actual or constructive notice of the defect in the hand cycle; that it failed to take corrective action within a reasonable amount of time pursuant to La. R.S. 9:2800; and that the physical therapist was employed by RehabCare, not WJMC. On February 2, 2016, the trial court granted WJMC's motion for summary judgment and dismissed appellant's claims against WJMC. [1]

         On June 1, 2015, appellant filed a first supplemental and amending petition naming RehabCare as an additional defendant. Appellant contended that RehabCare, who was an independent contractor providing physical therapy services in a space it leased from WJMC, was the employer of the physical therapist, Terese Joseph. Appellant claimed that RehabCare was liable for its own negligence pursuant to La. C.C. ...


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