Man sues MUSC after wife’s ‘fatal fall’ at hospital, lawsuit says

A man is suing a Lowcountry hospital after he says his wife died due to a bad fall at the facility.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:07 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A man is suing a Lowcountry hospital after he says his wife died due to a bad fall at the facility.

Julius McCullar says in the new lawsuit against the Medical University of South Carolina that his wife, Elizabeth, was being treated for other health complications prior to the fall.

The suit, filed in Charleston County Tuesday, states Elizabeth went to MUSC in downtown Charleston on July 12, 2021, for an ultrasound-guided thoracentesis, a procedure that looks to remove excess liquid near the lungs. Following that operation, hospital staff took Elizabeth to get an x-ray to look for the possibility of a collapsed lung, the suit states.

After the imaging, the suit states Elizabeth felt weak and fell to the floor, landing on her arm and hitting her head. The court documents claim as a result of the fall, Elizabeth was diagnosed with a left displaced humerus fracture, a shoulder injury. She was also subsequently taken off the liver transplant list due to this injury, the suit claims.

An exact cause of death isn’t listed in the suit, but it claims Elizabeth died as a result of this fall. She required “extensive care” for the injuries suffered in the incident in the time leading up to her death, according to the lawsuit.

McCullar’s husband says the hospital failed to provide reasonable care or safety rails, while also failing to recognize her risk of falling following the exam. McCullar is asking for a jury to award him, as a personal representative for the estate of his wife, compensatory and actual damages, among several other damages.

The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Jescelyn Spitz with Rikard & Protopapas, LLC, has not yet responded to a request for more detail on McCullar’s prior health problems.

Hospital officials say they can’t comment on pending litigation.