Articles Posted in Nursing Home Fall Cases

Mary Ritter was a nursing home resident. She had a history of kidney disease and a left leg amputation.  During a transfer at the nursing home, she was dropped to the floor. She suffered a traumatic femur fracture.

She then developed necrotic pressure ulcers, which led to a decline in her condition and ultimately was a cause of her death. She was just 60 years old at the time and was survived by her two adult children.

The Ritter estate and family sued the nursing home and several of its providers alleging nursing home malpractice and wrongful death.  After the parties agreed to a confidential settlement, the plaintiffs filed a petition with the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund. Before trial, the parties settled for $205,200.

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Ms. Doe was a resident of an assisted living facility. She was an elderly woman who suffered from severe dementia. While residing at this facility, Ms. Doe experienced several falls.

A month after suffering fractures from one of the falls, she passed away. The family brought a lawsuit against the assisted living facility for choosing not to perform timely fall risk assessments of its residents, including Ms. Doe.

The case settled before trial for $250,000.

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Ms. Doe, 80, used a wheelchair and resided in a nursing home. While transporting Doe to her doctor’s appointment, a driver for Roe Medical Transport Co. chose not to secure her wheelchair into the van’s locking mechanism. When the driver stopped abruptly, Doe was thrown into the console.  She suffered a fractured femur.  Doe required an open reduction and internal fixation surgery.

Doe claimed that the transport company’s driver had negligently chosen not to secure the wheelchair. The defense contended that the van’s lessor was liable for its defective locking mechanism.

Before trial, the parties settled this case for $237,500.

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Mary Benton, 98, lived at the Agape Senior Assisted Living Facility. She suffered from mild dementia that required assistance with her day-to-day activities.

During her time at the assisted living facility, her condition deteriorated, and she was hospitalized for dehydration, infections and low blood pressure.  In addition, she fell on two occasions, the last of which resulted in a broken hip.

Benton was not a candidate for surgery and was later transferred to her friend’s home where she unfortunately passed away. She was survived by her son.

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Viola Sickel had a history of falls. She was admitted to The Bridges at Warwick, a skilled nursing facility.  She was then transferred to its secure memory unit. While she was standing at the sink in her bathroom, the aide who had been spotting her left her room suddenly.

Sickel then fell and struck her head, suffering severe injuries that led to her untimely death.

Sickel’s estate sued The Bridges of Warwick nursing home, alleging that it chose not to implement an effective fall prevention strategy. It also was alleged that the nursing home failed to properly supervise Sickel while she was standing at the sink in the bathroom, failed to tell Sickel that the aide was leaving and that she was being left alone.

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Ms. Doe, 56, was a nursing home resident who suffered from multiple sclerosis and used a wheelchair. When she was loaded onto a medical transport van that was parked on an incline, she was not fully secured to the wheelchair. She slid from the wheelchair and suffered bilateral leg fractures as a result of this fall. The injuries necessitated a cast and bracing.

In addition, she required hospitalization and underwent a blood transfusion and oxygen supplementation. Despite this care and treatment, her condition worsened. She died 17 days after this incident.

The lawsuit alleged wrongful death and failure to secure Ms. Doe into her wheelchair. The defendant argued that Ms. Doe had died of unrelated causes.

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Norma Jay Drye, a 65-year-old woman who suffered from dementia and other health problems, lived at Hillcrest Center Nursing Home. One morning, a nursing home assistant attempted to transfer her from a bed to a chair using a sit-to-stand Hoyer lift.

Drye dropped to the floor during the transfer and suffered bilateral femur fractures. She was transferred to a hospital where she was also diagnosed as having multiple pressure sores.

After Drye was returned to the nursing home, she remained bed bound. This led to the worsening of her pressure sores. She developed infection and gangrene, required a partial left leg amputation and died approximately one week later. She was survived by her adult daughter.

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Sarah Fortner suffered from dementia, osteoporosis, and had other health problems. She lived at the Carolina Gardens at Lexington Assisted Living Facilities. Over a 5-year period, she fell several times. She suffered various injuries including a fractured arm, a skin tear, a forehead hematoma and a fractured femur. After her last fall, she passed away.

The family and the estate of Fortner sued the facility’s licensees, owners, managers and operators, alleging negligence; negligence per se; negligent hiring, training and supervision; and breach of fiduciary duty.

The Fortner estate claimed that the defendants had chosen not to prevent Fortner’s falls or determine the root cause of these falls. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that the defendant nursing home owners, operators, managers had failed to provide supervised care and properly train its staff.

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Dethel Bell, 84, was a resident at Palm Garden of West Palm Beach Nursing Home.  While a nursing aide was performing a transfer, she was dropped to the floor suffering a broken hip that required surgery to repair it. Her injuries led to “pain and suffering and inability to trust her caregivers.”

Through her attorney-in-fact, Bell sued the nursing home, alleging negligent failure to provide appropriate services, negligent hiring, retention, and supervision. It also alleged that the nursing aide’s acts led to the liability of the nursing home by way of vicarious liability.

At arbitration, an award of $197,100 was entered, including $130,000 for Bell’s mental anguish.

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Jennie Serfass was admitted to the dementia unit at Arden Courts of Yardley. At the time, in addition to dementia, she also suffered from chronic urinary tract infections, hypertension and glaucoma. She used a cane to help her move and walk.

Several months after Serfass’s admission, she suffered two unwitnessed falls. She was hospitalized and transferred back to the nursing home where she suffered an additional fall that resulted in a femur fracture.

Serfass’s mental status declined on her readmission to the nursing home. She then developed numerous pressure sores, which caused her condition to deteriorate. She subsequently passed away.

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