James DeGeorge, 84, was hospitalized for the placement of a pacemaker. He was labeled a high fall risk due to his unsteady gait and forgetfulness. A nurse gave him Ambien one evening as he reported he could not sleep. He was placed in a chair without an alarm.
An hour later, he was trying to get out of the chair but fell and hit his head. He suffered a subdural hematoma as a result of that blunt force. He died three weeks later and was survived by his wife and three adult children.
DeGeorge’s family and estate filed a lawsuit against the hospital for his wrongful death. The DeGeorge family asserted that the hospital chose not to take the necessary fall precautions and properly monitor his movements.