Everything listed under: virginia nursing home attorney

  • Patient’s C.Diff Not Timely Diagnosed or Treated; Nursing Home Settles

    A female patient was admitted to the nursing home for short term rehabilitation. While at the nursing home, the patient began experiencing loose stools and diarrhea daily. She also experienced confusion, drowsiness, nausea, light headedness, low blood pressure, weakness, fever, lethargy, and incontinence. Despite daily diarrhea and decline in her medical condition, the nursing home did not test the patient for Clostridium difficile (C.diff) toxins in her bowel. After two weeks of daily diarrhea, the nursing home finally obtained a stool specimen from the patient and transmitted it for C.diff testing. Delays occurred in obtaining and transmitting the stool specimen for testing, during which time the patient’s condition continued to deteriorate. The patient began experiencing large malodorous green mucous stools. C.diff test results revealed the presence of C.diff toxins in the patient’s stool. The patient was prescribed Flagyl to treat the C.diff. The antibiotic was prescribed far too late in the course of the patient’s C.diff illness and the patient was transferred to the hospital in septic shock.

    At the hospital, the patient was diagnosed with severe C.diff colitis and required removal of her colon. Despite colon removal and placement of a colostomy, the patient continued to deteriorate and was diagnosed with multi-system organ failure and peritonitis. The patient died after being hospitalized for several weeks. The patient’s family sued the nursing home for failing to recognize the patient’s C.diff, timely confirm the C.diff with diagnostic testing, and timely treat the C.diff with antibiotics, all of which would have prevented her lengthy disease, hospitalization, septic shock, and death. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential amount in the seven figures.

  • 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 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 Patient Elopes, Falls, Sustains Fractures, and Dies; Nursing Home Settles

    Traumatic Head InjuriesAn elderly, female nursing home patient with dementia and a history of exit-seeking behavior was admitted to a nursing home’s secure/locked unit to protect her from falls, wandering, and elopement. After a short period on the secure/locked unit, the nursing home moved the patient to a portion of the facility that was not locked. On the unlocked unit, the patient was noted to be “going down to the back doors trying to get out” and to have “went out the front doors,” without supervision. Nursing home staff later watched the patient push “open the door at the end of the hall” in an effort to exit the building without supervision. The patient later actually exited the building and was found in the parking lot without any staff nearby for supervision. Despite attempted and successful exit-seeking by the patient, the nursing home never provided the patient with an alarm (e.g. Wanderguard) to prevent wandering/elopement.

    Within one week of the last of these episodes, a visitor entered the nursing home and shouted the patient was “out in the parking lot.” The patient had again been permitted to exit the building without supervision and rolled down a steep hill in the parking lot toward the road. The patient was found lying in a graveled area near the bottom of the parking lot, conscious but bleeding from her head. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained numerous, severe facial fractures and subarachnoid hemorrhages. The patient was transferred to a local hospital, where she remained in the intensive care unit until her condition stabilized. She was transferred to a transition unit at the hospital for rehabilitation thereafter. After discharge from the hospital’s rehabilitation unit, the patient’s family returned her home for further supportive care. The patient and the patient’s family later sued the nursing home based on the facility’s failure to supervise to prevent wandering, elopement, and other exit-seeking behavior and failure to provide the patient with exit alarms that would notify staff before the patient exited the building. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential amount in the high-six figures.


    Traumatic Head Injuries
  • 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