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$ 6.4 million Verdict - Woman blamed automatic door for fall that fractured her hip


On July 28, 2007, plaintiff Bennie Garcia, 89, fell while exiting a Corpus Christi medical offices building owned by Christus Spohn Health System. She fractured her hip. Garcia sued Christus Spohn, claiming premises liability and gross negligence. Garcia claimed she was struck by the building's automatic doors when they closed while she was in the doorway. She claimed the door closed because the doors' sensor malfunctioned and that the defendant had been previously informed by the door manufacturer in 2004 that the sensor was in need of replacement, but took no action to replace the door sensor. Christus Spohn denied that the door had malfunctioned, and argued that Garcia caused her own injury by failing to walk through the door quickly enough.

The jury found Christus Spohn negligent, but not grossly negligent and awarded Garcia 6.4 million for personal injury past and future medical cost, physical impairment, pain and suffering, and disfigurement.

This case was appealed and agreed judgment was entered on 8/15/12.

Mike Panish has testified nationally for federal and state automatic door injury and wrongful death cases and been retained by Plaintiff, Defendant, and Cross Defendants. His website posts many of his informative published articles relating to doors and door safety.