Local News

Trial Continues In Case Of Woman Disabled By Fall During Mammogram

Posted December 6, 2004

— Cindy Taylor was a teacher for the mentally disabled at Westover High School. Now, the 50-year-old is disabled and her family says Cape Fear Valley Health System is negligent.

It may be unusual to find a mammography machine outside a medical office. But for a trial, there is now one in a Cumberland County courtroom, where Cindy Taylor's husband is suing the health care provider.

The lawsuit was filed after her mammography went terribly wrong.

"She came in as a walk-in went out as a rollout and that's the way she'll be," said Randy Gregory, family attorney.

Taylor was in good health before November 2000, when she fainted during a mammogram and hit the floor.

"No mat, no nothing, just a hard concrete floor for which she struck her head causing massive head injuries," Gregory said.

Taylor is paralyzed on one side after the head injury led to a stroke. She had been just shy of receiving her second master's degree, but Taylor now requires around-the-clock care because of a significant brain injury.

Taylor's husband says there should have been mats or carpet over the concrete floor.

He also believes the staffer who present at the mammography could have broken the fall.

The health systems' attorney says no one is at fault and that it was just an accident.

"We believe if she could have caught her, she would have caught her," said Charles George, the hospital's attorney. "There's no reason to let her hit the ground."

The family is seeking up to $15 million to pay for Taylor's care for the rest of her life. Her husband is also suing for damages.

"If every time a nice person got hurt, somebody had to pay, the system would be a lot different," George said. "But I certainly empathize for the family."

Attorneys for Cape Fear Valley will start putting witnesses on the stand Tuesday.

The case is expected to go to the jury by the middle of the week.

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