Oliver upgrade

The former main entrance to South Okanagan General Hospital

Interior Health is being sued by a man who claims he was injured in a fall just steps from the main entrance to South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver while the facility was under renovation last fall.

Allen Charles Barker is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering, cost of care and more, according to a notice of claim filed Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton.

The lawsuit alleges Barker was injured Oct. 3, 2019, when he tripped on some bolts that were sticking out of the ground about three metres from the hospital’s main entrance.

Barker claims the fall propelled his head into a bench, resulting in facial fractures and lacerations and loss of consciousness, plus continued depression, anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Still, he was able to return to the scene the next day and found the bolts had been removed, according to the lawsuit, which describes the hardware as “possibly left from a sign that had been removed.”

“As a result of the injuries, the plaintiff has undergone and continues to undergo medical care, has suffered and continues to suffer pain and discomfort and emotional upset, and has suffered and continues to suffer loss of enjoyment of life,” the lawsuit continues.

Barker is represented by Penticton lawyer David Brooke, who didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday.

Interior Health declined comment.

South Okanagan General Hospital was in the midst of a $1.3-million renovation during the time Barker alleges he was injured.

The work, which wrapped up in January with a ribbon-cutting attended by B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, included a new waiting and triage area, a quiet room for families, a separate emergency department entrance, relocation of admitting and administration services, and exterior signage.