North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for GE Healthcare

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of General Electric in a case involving an injury to a hospital patient. The plaintiff was injured when an electric operating table uncontrollably folded upward during her surgery, causing severe and permanent injuries. The plaintiff filed suit against the hospital and General Electric, claiming that General Electric’s maintenance of the surgical table pursuant to its contract with the hospital contributed to the table’s malfunction during the surgery. The hospital also filed suit against General Electric, seeking indemnity for its alleged liability to the plaintiff. All parties retained multiple expert witnesses, and fifty-five depositions were taken in the case. After the close of discovery, General Electric obtained summary judgment in the trial court on both the plaintiff’s and the hospital’s claims. Both the plaintiff and the hospital appealed. On appeal, the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed in a lengthy opinion. The court adopted the positions advanced by General Electric, finding that no conduct on the part of General Electric proximately caused the injury. The court also affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that General Electric did not owe the hospital indemnity and that the hospital’s attempt to amend its complaint after years of litigation to assert new indemnity theories came too late. General Electric was represented by Lightfoot lawyers Chris King, Brooke Malcom, and David Rich, and Jon Berkelhammer of the Ellis and Winters firm in North Carolina.

Practice areas mentioned:
Product Liability