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.