Marks v. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, No. 07-0783 (Tex. Aug. 28, 2009)(Medina)
(Is a hospital bed a medical device for purposes of health care liability or premises liability?)
IRVING W. MARKS v. ST. LUKE'S EPISCOPAL HOSPITAL; from Harris County;
1st district (01-04-00228-CV, 229 SW3d 396, 05-03-07)
The Court affirms in part and reverses in part the court of appeals' judgment and remands the case to
the trial court.
Justice Medina delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice O'Neill, Justice
Brister, and Justice Green joined. [pdf]
Chief Justice Jefferson delivered a concurring opinion. [pdf]
Justice Hecht delivered a dissenting opinion. [pdf]
Justice Wainwright delivered a dissenting opinion. [pdf]
Justice Johnson delivered a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Hecht, Justice Wainwright, and Justice
Willett joined. [pdf]
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Marks v. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (Tex. 2009)
Argued September 11, 2008
Justice Medina delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice O’Neill, Justice
Brister, and Justice Green joined.
Chief Justice Jefferson filed a concurring opinion.
Justice Hecht filed a dissenting opinion.
Justice Wainwright filed a dissenting opinion.
Justice Johnson filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Hecht, Justice Wainwright, and Justice
In this case we must decide whether a hospital patient’s fall, allegedly caused by a negligently
maintained hospital bed, is a health care liability claim under article 4590i of the Revised Civil Statutes.1
Article 4590i, also known as the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act, provides that health
care liability claims, not accompanied by an expert report, may be dismissed with prejudice 180 days
after filing, although a grace period is available under limited circumstances. The trial court concluded
that the hospital bed claim here was a health care liability claim, which it then dismissed because of the
patient’s failure to file a timely expert report. The trial court also denied the patient’s request for a grace
period. The court of appeals initially disagreed with the trial court, concluding that the patient’s claim was
not a health care liability claim. See Marks v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hosp., 177 S.W.3d 255, 260 (Tex. App.
–Houston [1st Dist.] 2005), vacated, 193 S.W.3d 575 (Tex. 2006). Following our remand of the case,
however, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment. 229 S.W.3d 396. One justice dissented, arguing
that the hospital bed claim was in the nature of a premises liability claim rather than a health care liability
claim. Id. at 403 (Jennings, J., dissenting in part). We agree with the dissenting justice and accordingly
reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and remand the case to the trial court.