Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Man hurt at local hospital sues Prairie Mountain Health

In this May photo, panes of tempered glass form a security barrier from the second floor overlooking the main atrium at the Brandon Regional Health Centre. A patient who was hit and injured by a man who leaped to his death in the Brandon hospital atrium in July 2011 is suing the Prairie Mountain Health region.

FILE PHOTO Enlarge Image

In this May photo, panes of tempered glass form a security barrier from the second floor overlooking the main atrium at the Brandon Regional Health Centre. A patient who was hit and injured by a man who leaped to his death in the Brandon hospital atrium in July 2011 is suing the Prairie Mountain Health region.

A patient who was hit and injured by a man who leaped to his death in the Brandon hospital atrium is suing the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The health region should have known there was a danger, the man argues in his statement of claim — a woman had fallen to her death in the atrium less than a year before.

"The plaintiff claims that the potential danger to the members of the public present in the atrium was completely forseeable," Rodney James McKnight argues in his lawsuit.

McKnight, a Brandon resident employed at Assiniboine Community College, filed his lawsuit in Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.

He seeks unspecified damages from Prairie Mountain Health, which runs the Brandon Regional Health Centre.

At the time of the incident, however, the hospital was run by the Brandon Regional Health Authority, which later merged with the Parkland and Assiniboine RHAs to form the Prairie Mountain Health region.

As previously reported in the Brandon Sun, the event in question happened on July 8, 2011, when a man leaped from the fourth-floor balcony that overlooks the hospital atrium.

The man who jumped fell onto a hospital patient who was seated in a wheelchair on the ground floor of the atrium.

The 31-year-old man who jumped had been a psychiatric patient at some point, but wasn’t a hospital patient at the time. He died of his injuries four days later.

The patient in the wheelchair, who is identified in the lawsuit as McKnight, was injured.

According to his statement of claim, he suffered physical and mental injuries, and damage and loss to his personal property.

Specifically, he claims to have suffered a fractured leg, pressure sores and significant pain in the shoulders, back and right arm. He says he also suffered mental trauma.

"As a result of these injuries, the plaintiff required medical treatment and medication and suffered significant pain, inconvenience and anxiety, all of which affected the plaintiff’s ability to enjoy his normal lifestyle," the lawsuit states.

McKnight claims it also left him unable to perform his regular work duties.

In addition, he says that he had to pay costs associated with his medication, for medical trips to specialists and for wheelchair repair.

The regional health authority should have forseen the danger, the lawsuit argues. It points out that a woman had also fallen to her death from a balcony of the same atrium less than a year before.

As previously reported, on Dec. 31, 2010, a 51-year-old woman fell from the fourth floor to the atrium floor and died.

She was a patient at the Centre for Adult Psychiatry nearby and was on leave from the centre at the time.

It appears that she’d also jumped, as at the time police said no foul play was involved but it wasn’t an accident.

McKnight argues that, as of the time of the second incident, the RHA should have ensured that proper structural protective measures were in place to prevent people from jumping or falling from any of the balconies that overlook the atrium. It also should have properly monitored the balconies, warned the public of the possibility of people or objects falling from the balconies into the atrium and prevented the public from accessing the balconies.

Prairie Mountain Health CEO Penny Gilson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Following the second incident, then Brandon Regional Health Authority CEO Brian Schoonbaert told the Brandon Sun that the first death was deemed an isolated incident, so initially structural changes to the hospital weren’t considered necessary.

However, since the incident that involved McKnight, glass barriers have been installed above the railings on the third, fourth, and fifth floor balconies that overlook the atrium.

As of Tuesday, no statement of defence had been filed by the health authority.

Once served with the lawsuit, the health authority has 20 days to file its statement of defence with the court.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 19, 2012

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

A patient who was hit and injured by a man who leaped to his death in the Brandon hospital atrium is suing the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The health region should have known there was a danger, the man argues in his statement of claim — a woman had fallen to her death in the atrium less than a year before.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

A patient who was hit and injured by a man who leaped to his death in the Brandon hospital atrium is suing the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The health region should have known there was a danger, the man argues in his statement of claim — a woman had fallen to her death in the atrium less than a year before.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media