The widow of a man who was seriously injured in a North Carolina hospital is facing difficulty regarding her medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the hospital that cared for her late husband. This month, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina dismissed the NC med mal appeal saying that the woman did not have the appropriate medical expert witness needed to move forward with the case.

Marcella Deal is representing her late husband, Jerry Deal, regarding a stay at Frye Regional Medical Center in 2000. Jerry Deal was suffering from a number of health problems when he was taken to the emergency room with complaints of chest pains. Deal was diagnosed with a heart attack, renal issues, and heart problems that required him to remain in the hospital for treatment in the Critical Care Unit.

Over the next five days, Deal underwent a number of tests and was put on a number of medications in order to stabilize his health. He suffered from seizures and hallucinations in addition to having trouble walking and using the bathroom.

While nurses noted on his chart that he tended to try to get out of bed without help, they did not administer a Fall Risk Screen Assessment (FRSA) or implement a fall risk safety policy. Four days after being admitted to the hospital, the man fell out of bed and broke his hip, which required surgery and rehabilitation. The broken hip may have also caused his other health problems to worsen.