Everything listed under: Nursing home fall

  • Patient Falls, Dies From Injuries, Nursing Home Settles At Six-Figures

    A 69-year-old female patient was admitted to a hospital on a stretcher. The patient fell from the stretcher to the ground. While the patient was on the stretcher, medical transport staff permitted the stretcher to roll downhill, hit a sidewalk, and overturn. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a right clavicle fracture.

    Weeks later, the patient sustained another fall, this time at the nursing home to which she was admitted after her hospitalization. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a mandible fracture. The patient had to be transferred to another hospital for consultation concerning the mandible fracture. 

    The consulting hospital recommended non-operative treatment, and the patient was returned to the nursing home, where, on return, the fall team recommended and put into place a low bed with fall mats and a concave mattress.

    Shortly thereafter, the patient fell while being transferred by nursing home staff, which was not using a hoyer (mechanical) lift as they were required to do. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a fracture of her left femur with 80 degrees angulation. The left leg fracture was caused by the fall. The patient died just three weeks later. The death certificate identified the fall and leg fracture as the patient’s immediate cause of death.

    The patient’s family hired us to pursue claims against the medical transport and nursing home for failing to provide the patient with proper fall prevention. We were able to obtain a generous six-figure settlement for the family, the amount of which is confidential at the nursing home’s request.

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    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.


  • High Risk Patient Falls In Room Alone Causing Fracture, Nursing Home Settles


    A 72-year-old female was admitted as a patient to a nursing home. On admission, the patient was a high fall risk. Within months of admission, the nursing home permitted the patient to fall in the bathroom, where she had been left by an aide without proper supervision.

    As a result of the fall, the patient sustained an impacted left hip fracture. The patient required hospitalization and surgical fixation of the fracture.

    The patient’s family hired us to prosecute claims against the nursing home for failing to prevent the patient’s fall, fracture, and resulting disability. We were able to obtain a generous six-figure settlement for the patient.

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    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.



  • Fall Causes Fracture, Surgery, Infection, and Immobility; Nursing Home Settles

    An elderly female patient who was a known fall risk was admitted to Avante at Lynchburg, a nursing home in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Just days into her stay, the nursing home permitted her to fall from her wheelchair while being assisted by a CNA.  After the fall, the patient was taken to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with an oblique left femoral fracture with significant displacement.   

    The fracture required open reduction and  intramedullary fixation surgery.  She remained at the hospital for  10 days.  She returned to the hospital shortly thereafter when  the wound at the surgical incision site appeared to be infected. 

    The resident was treated at the hospital and was  returned  to a rehabilitation center.  The patient suffered significant pain  and immobility as a result of the fracture. The case was tried to a Lynchburg jury, which awarded a substantial six-figure verdict plus interest.  

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    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.




  • Fall Results in Largest Verdict Against Nursing Home in Virginia History

    TimelineVirginia Crouse, 84 years old, was admitted to Stanleytown Health Care Center in January 2009. On admission, she was known by the defendants to be a high fall risk due to a prior stroke, dementia, weakness, poor safety awareness, balance issues, the need for extensive assistance during transfers, prior hip fracture with surgery, impaired memory loss, and disorientation, among other medical conditions and limitations.

    Hip Fracture

    Within two weeks of her admission to the facility, the patient sustained a left hip fracture and a left shoulder fracture when she was permitted to fall while using the bathroom at night. The nursing home’s staff did not hear the patient’s attempt to get outof bed because the facility had not provided her with a bed alarm. The fracture to the left hip required surgical fixation and the patient required significant pain medication following the fall.

    MFA Virginia NetworkA lawsuit was filed against Medical Facilities of America, Inc. and Stanleytown Health & Rehabilitation Center. Medical Facilities of America owns 40 facilities throughout Virginia and North Carolina and its corporate headquarters are located in nearby Roanoke, Virginia. [map will be included as exhibit]

    On the patient’s behalf, we claimed the facility failed to protect the patient from falls by failing to follow its own care plan that required nursing home staff to assist Crouse with toileting, check frequently on her safety, provide her with a bed alarm when she was in bed, and provide her with a chair alarm when she was in a chair. We also proved at trial that in the years before the patient’s fall, the defendants trained and instructed their staff NOT to use bed alarms with patients who needed them because they created too much work for nursing home staff. The defendants’ self-serving policies prompted the jury to punish the defendants with a punitive damages award of $5,000,000.

    Left FractureIn addition to the large punitive damages award, the jury awarded the patient $1,500,000 in compensatory damages. The patient incurred $72,998 in injury-related medical bills.

    After a four-day jury trial, the nursing home filed post-trial motions, all of which were denied by the judge.

    Our office attributes the jury verdict to the wonderful family we represented, a great trial judge, and a great jury that understood the many complex and important issues presented at trial. To read the opinion, CLICK HERE

     


    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
    Timeline Left Hip Fracture MFA Network Left Shoulder Fracture
  • Nursing Home Patient Dies After Permitted to Fall From Shower Chair; Nursing Home Settles

    Pain MedicationAn elderly female nursing home resident who required assistance bathing was permitted to fall forward from a shower chair to the floor while being showered at the facility. The aide providing shower care to the resident failed properly to supervise and assist the resident at the time of the fall.

    Right Femur FractureAs a result of the fall, the patient sustained a right hip fracture which required open reduction and internal fixation surgery.  The patient required narcotic pain medication after the fall. Following surgery, the surgical site became infected and required an additional surgery to remove the infection. The surgical wound was then treated with a wound vacuum.

     

    TimelineIn addition, the patient had to undergo multiple surgeries following the incident due to bowel complications that arose after the fall. As with the hip surgery, the wound created by the bowel surgery deteriorated and required a wound vac. Less than two months after the fall, the patient was diagnosed with MRSA infection of the surgical wounds at the right hip and abdomen. The patient died 49 days after the fall from sepsis and respiratory compromise. The patient’s descent from the fall until death is reflected on a timeline that summarizes her injuries and treatment.

    The case against the nursing home was settled, but the settlement amount is confidential at the nursing home’s request.

     


    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 
    Pain Medication Right Femur Fracture Timeline
  • Nursing Home Settles Case After Allowing Patient to Fall and Sustain Hip Fracture

    An elderly nursing home patient diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia was admitted to a nursing home for rehabilitation following a hip fracture in May 2008. On admission to the facility, the patient was noted to be a high fall risk. While at the facility, the patient was permitted to fall more than 10 times. In February of 2010, the patient, who required extensive assistance for all ADL’s, fell while unattended in the restroom. The facility’s records indicate that the fall occurred before 9:00 a.m., however, the patient was not sent to the hospital until 12:45 that afternoon.

    Right Femur Fracture with Fixation SurgeryAs a result of the fall, the patient sustained a right hip fracture which required internal fixation surgery. After the fall, the patient required powerful narcotics for pain management. The patient then returned back to the facility where the fall occurred. The patient's surgical wound later became infected and required antibiotic treatment. One month after the fall, the patient’s orthopedist noted that the fracture had little new bone formation. Three months after the fall, the patient developed a urinary Pain Medication Exhibittract infection and required hospitalization because the treatment at the nursing home had been ineffective. Following treatment for the infection, the patient was placed on hospice care. The patient passed away shortly thereafter.

    The nursing home settled the case for a confidential, generous six-figure amount.

     

     


    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.


    Pain Medication Exhibit
  • Nursing Home Patient Falls During Transfer; Nursing Home Settles

    An 83-year-old nursing home patient was permitted to fall during a transfer from chair to bed. On admission toLeft Knee Injuries the nursing home, the patient was noted to have dementia, required total assistance for all ADLs, and required a mechanical Hoyer lift for transfers. Prior to the fall, the patient was known to be unable to attempt balance tests without physical help. The patient also had a limited range of motion in all extremities, her cognitive skills were compromised, she required cues and supervision for decision-making, and she was unable to feed herself.

    As a result of the fall, the patient sustained multiple fractures of the left leg and ligament tears of the left knee. After the fall, the patient was noted to scream in pain when her left leg was touched and when she was repositioned. The patient required powerful narcotics after the fall for pain management. The patient was a poor surgical candidate, so she received a knee immobilizer to stabilize the left leg fractures and other injuries. The patient’s orthopedist noted that the fractures had healed within two and one-half months after the fall, but the patient continued to experience decreased mobility. The patient died for reasons unrelated to the fall approximately one year later.

    We were able to obtain a generous six-figure settlement for the patient’s family shortly after a lawsuit was filed and before any significant time or expense was incurred during the case. The exact settlement amount is confidential at the nursing home’s request.


    Left Knee Inuries
  • Nursing Home Patient Allowed to Fall When Exiting Shower; Nursing Home Settles

    Right Wrist FractureAn elderly female nursing home patient who was ambulatory, but required assistance with bathing and toileting, was allowed by the supervising nursing home aide to fall when exiting the shower. The aide did not provide the patient with proper supervision or safety measures for exiting the shower. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a comminuted fracture of the right wrist and an intertrochanteric fracture of the right hip. The right hip fracture required open reduction and internal fixation surgery. Four days later, the patient required open Right Hip Fracturereduction and internal fixation surgery for the right wrist. The patient recovered without complications and returned to her pre-fall status within several months after the fall.

    The nursing home settled the case for a six figure amount. The exact amount of the settlement is confidential at the nursing home’s request.


    Right Wrist Fracture wtih Surgical Fixation Rigth Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation
  • Nursing Home Permits Patient to Fall and Sustain Hip Fracture; Nursing Home Settles

    An elderly nursing home patient was admitted to a nursing home as a high fall risk. The patient was initially provided with a bed alarm, but the bed alarm was withdrawn by the nursing home shortly after the patient arrived at the facility without any notice to the patient’s family. The patient’s family noticed during a later visit, the patient did not have either a fall alarm in his wheelchair or in his bed. That patient’s family advised the nursing home the patient needed a fall alarm at all times in bed and chair. The nursing home assured the patient’s family a fall alarm would be provided.

    The next day, after the visit by the patient’s family at which the nursing home advised a fall alarm would be provided immediately, the patient fell in his room. The patient had not been provided with a fall alarm. After the fall, the patient complained of severe pain in his hip. X-rays and an MRI were obtained and revealed the patient sustained a hip fracture as a result of the fall. The patient developed breathing difficulties, an increased temperature, and pneumonia. His condition deteriorated and he died at the hospital seven days after the fall. The patient’s family sued the nursing home for failing to take proper fall prevention measures, including its failure to provide the patient with fall alarms in his bed and chair. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential amount.

  • Nursing Home Patient Without Alarm, Falls and Sustains Hip Fracture; Nursing Home Settles

    Right Hip Fracture with Surgical FixationAn elderly nursing home patient, known by the facility to be at high risk for falls, fell three times within a seven-hour period just days after admission to the nursing home. As a result of the third of the three falls, which occurred when the patient was left unsupervised in his wheelchair without a chair fall alarm, the patient sustained a displaced left hip fracture. The hip fracture required open reduction internal fixation surgery. The patient remained hospitalized following surgery and was later admitted to a different nursing home for skilled care. At the new nursing home, the patient became lethargic and unresponsive.

    A little over one month after the fall, the patient was transferred back to the hospital, where he was observed to have an altered mental status, was diagnosed with sepsis, and died. The patient’s family sued the nursing home at which the fall and hip fracture occurred for failing to take proper fall prevention measures. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential amount.


    Right Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation-Nursing Home Neglect Injury
  • Nursing Home Allows Patient to Fall During Care & Sustain Fractures; Nursing Home Settles

    An elderly, immobile nursing home patient was allowed to fall from her bed to the floor while being repositioned during incontinence care. The nursing home aide responsible for the fall turned the patient away from her to the opposite side of the bed, left the patient on her left side, and required the patient, who had sustained a stroke with right-sided compromise, to use her right hand to hold onto the repositioning bar/rail of the bed for safety. The aide then turned away from the patient, and the patient fell from her bed to the floor.

    After the fall, the patient complained of pain to her right arm and right leg. When ambulance attendants arrived at the nursing home after the fall, the patient told the ambulance staff that she did not want to return to the nursing home because the facility did not take care of her. The patient was transferred to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with a right shoulder fracture and a right femur fracture. The patient was not a surgical candidate, so the fracture was treated conservatively. The patient’s right arm was placed in a sling and her right leg was placed in a leg immobilizer.

    The immobilizer, which was required to stabilize the fracture, caused pressure around the lower leg and caused Right Arm and Leg Fracturesa Stage IV pressure ulcer to develop several weeks after the fall and fractures. The pressure ulcer (bed sore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) was documented to be unstageable with purulent green foul smelling drainage. Within a couple of weeks thereafter, the pressure ulcer (bed sore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) was noted to involve exposed tendon and bone in the right leg. The pressure ulcer (bed sore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) required sharp debridement and was the source of significant pain. The patient later developed sepsis and bacteremia from infection of the right lower leg pressure ulcer (bed sore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer). The patient died a little over three months after the fall. The patient’s family sued the nursing home for failing to provide proper fall prevention. The nursing home settled for a confidential amount of money in the mid-six figures.

  • Patient Fractures Shoulder in Fall from Hoyer Lift; Nursing Home Settles

    An elderly female nursing home patient was totally dependent upon staff for transfers. The patient was transferred using a hoyer lift, which is a full mechanical lift that suspends the patient in a sling as the patient is transferred from one seating surface to another. During a transfer with a hoyer lift, the nursing home allowed the patient to fall and sustain an impacted fracture of her left shoulder. The nursing home also failed to provide the patient with adequate meals and fluid intake to prevent weight loss and dehydration. Specifically, the patient was allowed to lose seven percent of her body weight over a 180 day period, and she continued to lose weight thereafter. The patient ultimately developed a urinary tract infection with sepsis, was admitted to a local hospital, and died there several weeks after admission.

    The nursing home settled the case for a generous amount before trial. The nursing home requested confidentiality concerning the amount of the settlement.



    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
  • Nursing Home Permits Patient to Fall from Bed; Jury Sides with Patient’s Family

    An elderly female nursing home patient was permitted to fall from her bed to the floor. The nursing home claimed it was changing the patient’s bed sheets while the patient remained in bed. The patient was turned away from the aide who was making the bed and positioned on her side at the edge of the bed. The aide was looking down, the patient began to fall, the aide did not respond to stop the fall, and the patient fell to the floor.

    As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a left knee fracture and left ankle sprain. The patient’s injuries required physical therapy and occupational therapy but no surgery. The left knee fracture was treated conservatively using a knee immobilizer, and the left ankle sprain was treated with an air cast. The patient’s orthopedic injuries lasted for several months andSylvia Coleman Pain Medication After Fall healed without complication.

    As a result of injuries sustained in the fall, the patient experienced significant pain, which in turn required increased narcotic pain medications and resulted in periodic lethargy/over sedation. Despite attempts to control the patient’s fracture-related pain, break through pain often occurred, limiting the patient’s ability to participate in activities of daily living and progress in therapy and restorative activities. The patient’s injuries also caused her to be less mobile, require additional assistance from staff for activities of daily living, and put the patient at risk of skin break down.

    The patient’s leg immobilizer, which she was required to wear because of the fracture, caused a significant open pressure ulcer (also known as pressure sore, bed sore, and decubitus ulcer) to her left lower leg with drainage, inflammation, and sloughs that impeded wound healing. The leg wound required extensive wound care. The patient also experienced an increased fear of falling.

    The lawsuit was filed by the family Sylvia Coleman v. Medical Facilities of America, Inc. and its affiliated business entities, which included the limited partnership that owned Lynchburg Health & Rehabilitation Center, where the fall occurred.

    We claim the nursing home did not use proper fall prevention measures. Specifically, we claim the aide who turned the patient to her side on the opposite edge of the bed should have rolled the patient toward, not away, from her. In addition, the aide should have more closely supervised the patient for safety to prevent falls. Of course, the nursing home also failed simply to place the patient in a chair for safety while changing the bed sheets. The nursing home denied liability. The patient incurred medical expenses of approximately $14,000.00. After a several-day jury trial in the City of Lynchburg Circuit Court, the jury concluded that the nursing home was negligent and awarded damages in the total amount of $364,500.00. After the jury verdict, the nursing home attempted to appeal the verdict, but later dropped the appeal voluntarily.



    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. Pain Medication Increase After Fall Sylvia Coleman Pain Medication After Fall
  • Nursing Home Patient Left Alone, Falls and Fractures Hip; Nursing Home Settles

    A female nursing home patient was permitted to fall when she was left alone in her bathroom without any supervision. As an immediate result of the fall, she sustained pain during transfer from floor to wheelchair and from wheelchair to bed, facial grimacing on movement, and external rotation of the left hip and leg. The patient was later diagnosed at a local hospital with a comminuted fracture of the left femur with angulation. She was also noted to have moderate to severe pain, which required multiple administrations of morphine. She was transferred to another hospital for more aggressive orthopaedic care.

    Left Hip Fracture with Surgical FixationAt the second hospital, the patient was noted to have “leg pain whenever she moves” and the site of the fracture was painful. The hospital described her as experiencing “marked pain with any attempt at mobilization.” The patient received closed reduction and intramedullary internal fixation of the left hip in a surgical procedure performed at the second hospital. Following surgery, she was transfused with multiple units of packed red blood cells due to post-operative blood loss anemia. Unfortunately, the transfused donor blood was contaminated with bacteria that caused the patient to experience post-operative fever in a “transfusion like reaction,” which itself required the patient to receive IV antibiotics.

    The patient was discharged from the second hospital to a separate nursing home. While at the separate nursing home, the patient continued to experience severe pain as a result of the fracture. Due to fracture-related pain, the patient was noted by nursing home staff to be in tears when staff attempted to assist her physically with activities of daily living. She continued to experience pain daily thereafter, especially over the site of the fracture.

    Within one month after the fall and fracture, the patient was placed on comfort care by her family. While on comfort care, the patient began to experience cognitive decline and dementia that was complicated by the left hip fracture. She became increasingly dehydrated, disinterested in eating, and relayed to her family that she was “very tired and exhausted” and “ready to die and go to heaven.” The patient died several months later.

    The nursing home settled before trial for a confidential amount in the mid-six figures.


    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. Left Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation Left Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation

 

PLEASE NOTE: THE RESULTS OBTAINED IN SPECIFIC CASES DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.  PAST CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN FUTURE CASES.  THE RESULTS DESCRIBED IN THIS WEBSITE ARE FROM VIRGINIA CASES HANDLED DIRECTLY BY OUR OFFICE.