Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court Finding That Nursing Home May Be Responsible for Choosing Not to Follow Doctor’s Order to Use Bedrails

A state appellate court had held that a nursing home’s alleged failure to prevent a nursing home resident’s injuries by raising bedrails was a triable issue of fact. The case centered on whether this choice — made by the nursing home  — was a departure from the standard of care.

Rosalia Petralia, 88, suffered from dementia. She lived at the Glengariff Health Care Center. She was a fall risk and formal fall precautions were noted in her chart. She fell out of bed and suffered serious injuries.  Later, she  sued the nursing home, and her son was substituted as the plaintiff when his mother passed away.

The lawsuit maintained that Glengariff Health Care Center was negligent and also alleged medical malpractice for the nursing home’s choosing not to have Petralia’s bedrails raised before her fall. The nursing home moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, holding that the nursing home had shown it had not departed from the acceptable nursing and professional practice standard.

However, on appeal, the New York Appellate Court found that the nursing home may be liable for choosing not to follow a doctor’s order to use bedrails. The court found that the family had raised a triable issue of fact on causation in that the family presented expert testimony that failing to elevate bedrails just before the incident was a deviation from the applicable standard of care. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed summary judgment and returned the case for further disposition.

The attorneys representing the Petralia family were Scott T. Horn and Noemi M. Taub.

Petralia v. Glenhaven Health Care Organization, 143 A.3d 962 (N.Y. App. Div.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases, nursing home negligence cases, wrongful death cases, assistant living injury cases and long-term care facility negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including Palos Heights, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, Chicago (Princeton Park, Printer’s Row, Ravenswood Manor, Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, Sauganash, Sheffield, South Chicago, University of Chicago, Wrigleyville, Jefferson Park, Jackson Park Highlands), Lisle, Lockport, Lake Forest and Park Forest, Ill.

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