Plaintiff brought a claim for premises liability, alleging that he was injured after striking his forehead on a partially lowered security gate in the cafeteria at Mercy Medical Center Redding. The gate, which comes down from the ceiling, was apparently lowered such that the bottom was resting at approximately the level of plaintiff's forehead. He claimed that he did not see the gate because he was focused on a tray of food he was carrying to the cashier. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of hitting the gate, he recoiled backwards in such a way as to injure his lower back, severely enough to require surgery to attempt to alleviate severe back pain. Mercy demonstrated that plaintiff's striking of the gate was insufficient to cause any observable injury, as documented by nurses in the Emergency Department, where he was taken to be checked out; a Polaroid photograph of plaintiff's forehead, taken at the time, showed no injury or bruising. Plaintiff also had inconsistent accounts of the incident. Medical experts, including a biomechanist, established that plaintiff could not have injured his lower back as a result of the incident, and that he was not a candidate for surgery in any event. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Mercy Medical Center Redding.
Kelly Snowden tried the case on behalf of Mercy Medical Center Redding.