November 16, 2021
Texas Man’s Family Sues Major Hospital for His Death after Alleged Assault by Unnamed Nurse
According to complaint filed in San Antonio state court, Comal County resident Bobby Garner was recovering from neck surgery last May and about to be discharged from St. Luke’s Hospital when he was thrown onto a bed by a male nurse shouting, “I’m the boss!” The suit alleges assault broke Mr. Garner’s neck and left him a quadriplegic, and that he died shortly thereafter from his injuries. St. Luke’s Hospital, part of Baptist Health System, continues to conceal nurse’s identity
CANYON LAKE, TEX. (November 16, 2021) – The estate of Comal County resident Bobby Garner has filed suit in state court in San Antonio against a local hospital and its statewide health network, alleging battery and gross negligence in the death of Bobby Garner, a patient who the complaint alleges was left a quadriplegic after an assault by a male nurse.
Samantha Garner, Mr. Garner’s niece and the executrix of his estate, sued St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital and Baptist Health System, and their owner, VHS San Antonio Partners, of Nashville, Tenn. She seeks damages in the death of her Uncle Bobby, 65, who died on July 11 as the result of injuries which the complaint alleges he suffered six weeks earlier on the day he was to be released from the hospital.
Despite requests from his family, St. Luke’s has refused to reveal the name of the nurse who is only identified as “the assaulting nurse” in the complaint.
Mr. Garner was admitted to St. Luke’s on May 19, 2021 for recurrent neck pain following a fall in the summer of 2020. According to the complaint:
- Imaging identified a cancerous mass on his spinal column and surgeons at St. Luke’s operated, fusing several vertebrae together;
- After the surgery, doctors told Mr. Garner he was recovering well from surgery and authorized his release on May 29, with follow-up cancer treatments scheduled, and Mr. Garner was at this point fully ambulatory and in good spirits;
- On the morning of discharge May 29, the unidentified nurse grew frustrated at how long Mr. Garner was taking in the bathroom, and in contravention of all professional standards regarding treatment of a patient recovering from surgery, the nurse yanked Mr. Garner from the bathroom and threw him onto the bed, shouting, “I’m the boss!”;
- Garner immediately felt a buzzing and tingling throughout his body, and within a short time was unable to move from the neck down, and that images taken at St. Luke’s after the alleged assault revealed new breaks in his neck;
- Doctors performed emergency surgery the following day, but Mr. Garner remained paralyzed. He was given a tracheotomy in order to breathe.
The complaint further alleges that Mr. Garner developed infections from the tracheotomy as well as from his catheter and intravenous sites, and that his doctors told him that he was now too weak to undergo cancer treatments. The pain and complete disability made Mr. Garner despondent. The complaint states that he was also terrified that the nurse would return and “finish the job.” Mr. Garner died a few weeks after being released from St. Luke’s.
The lawsuit is a survivorship action, brought on behalf of Mr. Garner’s estate to seek compensation for the pain and suffering he endured before he died. Causes of action include battery, negligent hiring and supervision, gross negligence, and medical malpractice in the alternative.
Law firm Berg & Androphy, which has offices in Houston and New York, brought the action on behalf of Mr. Garner’s estate.
Samantha Garner, Bobby’s niece, said, “My uncle was a wonderful, kind person and the loss is gut-wrenching.”
Berg & Androphy partner Jenny Kim, who represents Mr. Garner’s estate adds: “We got to meet Bobby in late May and in those final days watched him and his family suffer. We will do all we can to bring them justice—and some measure of peace.”
The complaint can be found here: http://www.bafirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Garner-Petition-for-Damages-File-Copy.pdf.
For more information about Berg & Androphy, please visit www.bafirm.com.