Serpe Jones Obtains Defense Verdict in Zoom Bench Trial

Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender, & Bell, PLLC is proud to announce that following a three-day bench trial conducted exclusively on Zoom, the 215th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Judge Elaine Palmer presiding, rendered a defense verdict in favor of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. The
trial team was led by Maggie Layrisson and Adam Pollock.

The case involved a visitor’s slip and fall inside a patient room. The plaintiff
claimed The Woman’s Hospital of Texas created an unreasonable condition by mopping the floor and failed to properly warn her of the condition. As a result, the plaintiff claims she suffered soft tissue injuries as well as injuries to her cervical spine, which required surgery. Plaintiff sought six-figure damages at trial.


Mrs. Layrisson and Mr. Pollock, however, showed that the housekeeper properly warned the plaintiff, the wet floor sign was properly placed, and the act of mopping is not an unreasonable risk of harm. Moreover, Mrs. Layrisson and Mr. Pollock demonstrated that the plaintiff suffered a longstanding and pre-existing cervical spine injury. Most notably, the treating surgeon testified at trial that the surgery he performed after the fall was not related to the fall at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.

Ultimately, Judge Palmer ruled in favor of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. In particular, Judge Palmer held that plaintiff failed to prove there was an unreasonable risk of harm, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas did not have knowledge of an unreasonable risk of harm, plaintiff did not have knowledge that the housekeeper was mopping, and plaintiff’s various injuries were proximately caused by the fall. Accordingly, plaintiff was not entitled to recover any damages.


Terry Hopkins v. CHCA Woman’s Hospital, L.P. d/b/a The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Cause No. 2017-39068, in the 215th Judicial District Court of Harris County.

Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender, & Bell is a full-service civil litigation law firm. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients and their industries, we provide novel and effective legal solutions. We remain dedicated to providing excellent results for our clients.

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