One Aggressive Patient Attacks Another and Causes Hip Fracture; Facility Settles

A Central Virginia assisted living facility operated a locked dementia unit as a “safe secure environment" for patients with serious cognitive impairments due to a primary psychiatric diagnosis of dementia who could not recognize danger or protect their own safety and welfare.  

A female patient (Patient No. 1) of the assisted living facility's locked dementia unit was assaulted in her room by another patient (Patient No. 2), who kicked Patient No. 1 to the ground.  Before the assault, the assisted living facility knew Patient No. 2 had a long history of aggressive and violent behavior, the following of which are examples:

“Resident extremely agitated hitting, kicking, pulling two other residents by arms.  Almost caused other two residents to fall on two occasions.  Staff members attempting to get her to move away from others were kicked, hit, punched, and nearly knocked down on floor . . . Continues very agitated and putting other two residents at risk for injury”;

"Resident extremely agitated hitting, kicking, pulling two other residents by arms.  Almost caused other two  residents to fall on two occasions.  Staff members attempting to get her to move away from others were kicked, hit, punched, and nearly knocked down on floor . . . Continues very agitated and putting other two residents at risk for injury”;

“Resident hit her roommate with lamp . . . . . . . Resident moving and throwing furniture, spitting at aide, hitting resident”; 

"Resident at suppertime threw juice in other resident’s face and then stabbed her in the right hand.” 

Patient No. 1's family contended the assisted living facility was negligent Right Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation because it failed to discharge Patient No. 2 long before her assault on Patient No. 1, failed to supervise Patient No. 1 and Patient No. 2 before and at the time of the assault, and failed to staff the unit appropriately at the time of the assault.  As a result of the assault, Patient No. 1 sustained a hip fracture that required surgery and rehabilitation.  After her discharge from the hospital, Patient No. 1 required nursing home care until her death two years later.  Patient No. 1 died for reasons unrelated to the assault and hip fracture.

We were able to obtain a generous settlement, the amount of which is confidential at the facility'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.

Right Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation

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