Articles Posted in Nursing Home Fall Cases

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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Fannie Dillard lived at Springfield Residences, an assisted living facility.  After she fell, she developed sepsis and a Stage IV decubitus ulcer on her sacrum, which led to her unfortunate death more than a year later.

She was survived by her daughter.  Dillard’s daughter sued the facility, alleging claims of wrongful death and a survival claim.

Before trial, the Dillard family and assisted living facility reached a confidential settlement for an undisclosed amount.

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A nursing home resident, Concetta DeMarco, was seated in a wheelchair in a transport vehicle driven by an agent of Lifeline Medical Services Inc.

During the trip, the van suddenly stopped, causing the wheelchair to flip over backward. DeMarco, 68, hit her head and suffered bilateral subdural hematomas, which required surgery.

DeMarco subsequently developed a seizure disorder, which complicated her recovery. Unfortunately, she died approximately one year after this incident. She was survived by her two children.

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Pura Figueroa, 93, suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia and lived at the Muskego Nursing Home. While she was in the nursing home’s activity room with approximately eleven other residents, she fell, suffering a subdural hematoma and a facial laceration.

Figueroa died a few days later.  She was survived by her adult daughter.

Figueroa’s daughter, on behalf of her estate, sued the nursing home alleging that it chose not to properly monitor her mother, failed to adequately train employees, and failed to provide adequate staff.

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A nursing home resident, Verna Kelley, suffered from dementia and other medical issues including incontinence. She required special care and was living at Edgewood Convalescent Home. While a nurse’s aide was taking care of her and while the nursing aide placed a pad underneath Kelley, the aide went around to the other side of the bed, where the bed rails were left opened. The aide grabbed the pad, which had become stuck, and this caused Kelley to roll out of bed.

Kelley suffered a broken right femur and underwent surgery.  She then suffered a stroke, which led to her death just two weeks later. She was survived by her six adult children.

The Kelley family sued the nursing home, alleging negligent hiring of the aide, who, the Kelley family claimed, had been fired from a previous job for performing an unsafe Hoyer lift.

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The Illinois Appellate Court reversed an order that dismissed the complaint of Itadil Zayed that was filed against Clark Manor Convalescent Center by the independent administrator of the estate of Said Mohammad Zayed.

Said Zayed was a resident of Clark Manor and was disabled due to dementia. He fell out of his bed and fractured his hip in March 2014, allegedly as a result of the nursing home’s negligence. Zayed died in September 2015 and the lawsuit was filed in July 2017.

Responding to Clark Manor’s motion to dismiss the complaint as too late under the two-year statute of limitations on a negligence claim, Itadil Zayed relied on Illinois Code of Civil Procedure Section 13-211, which says someone who is legally disabled, as was Zayed, when he is injured, is allowed two years to sue, running from the date the disability is removed and Section 13-209(a)(1).

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Joe Gutierrez was admitted to Mira Vista Court Nursing Home. At the time of his admission, he required help with daily living activities, and the facility allegedly represented to his daughter that it could meet his needs.

During Gutierrez’s stay at the Mira Vista Court Nursing Home, he suffered multiple falls, including a traumatic fall that necessitated transfer to a hospital where he was diagnosed as having broken three facial bones. This led to facial swelling, and it necessitated intubation and mechanical ventilation.

Gutierrez’s daughter, on his behalf, sued the nursing home’s owners and managers alleging improper staffing and supervision and choosing not to provide medical and nursing care in an appropriate and needed fashion.

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Rae Hemingway was admitted to the Crestview Center Nursing Home. At the time of the admission, Hemingway’s risk factors were falling, which were documented; they included her history of falls, contractures, decreased circulatory function, and use of assisted ambulatory devices. She was considered a fall risk. By order she was not permitted to walk or remain unattended as a resident of this nursing home because of her fall risks.

Nonetheless, Hemingway was allowed to walk from the facility’s lobby down a hallway. She fell and struck her head and face resulting in a traumatic subarachnoid hematoma and multiple fractures to her face and arms.

Hemingway died several weeks later from complications of her injuries. She was survived by her adult son and daughter.

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Louise Reese, 100, lived at Harbison Hall Assisted Living. While an employee of the facility was helping her get up from the commode, she dropped her to the floor. Reese suffered bilateral femur fractures.  Without further examination, the employee of the facility put her back in her bed and covered her up with bed sheets and blankets.

When a hospice aide arrived to see Reese, she found her moaning in pain. The aide also discovered severe swelling and bruising around Reese’s knees and lower thighs. X-rays revealed the femur fractures in both legs. Although Reese was transported to a hospital for care and treatment, she unfortunately died the next day.

Reese’s estate sued Harbison Hall alleging that its employee chose not to protect the patient while moving her from the commode to a wheelchair. It was also alleged that the employee failed to call for help when she dropped Reese and failed to evaluate her. There was also an allegation that the assisted living facility and its employees decided not to report the fall to Reese’s family. The lawsuit also alleged inadequate staff training. It may be obvious, but it seems likely that the nursing aide or employee elected to hide her condition under the bed clothes after she dropped Reese to the floor and elected not to tell anyone about the fall, which undoubtedly severely injured the fragile 100-year-old woman.

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Christine Mitchell, 70, was a resident of Grace Healthcare of Tucker where she required assistance with all activities of daily living.

One morning, a nursing home assistant attempted to change Mitchell’s bed linens while she remained in the bed.

While the bed linen change was ongoing, the nursing assistant rolled Mitchell off the bed. She suffered a large bruise on the right side of her forehead and was later diagnosed as having a subdural hematoma — bleeding within the brain.

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