Personal Injury attorney Craig Hubert recently reached a settlement with a Nursing Care facility based on a claim that the facility failed to implement preventative protocols with a resident identified as having significant risk of falling. The victim was an elderly person transferred from a treatment facility to the nursing home in December of 2009. During the client’s stay at the treatment facility, staff documented falls on three separate occasions during the two week period prior to the resident’s relocation to the nursing home. According to records, the nursing home was made aware of the client’s medical history including unsteady gait and risk of falling.
Within one week of transfer, the client suffered a fall at the nursing home resulting in a fractured hip that required surgery. The client was released from the hospital three days after the surgery and returned to the nursing home. Shortly after the resident’s return, the Care Plan for the client was revised to upgrade the level of attention in order to minimize the risk of additional falls.
Two weeks after the resident’s return from the hospital, the victim suffered a second fall after being left unattended and unsecured in a wheelchair. Our elderly client was found lying on the floor and complaining of pain in the lower portion of the same leg. At the hospital it was confirmed that the client sustained a new femoral fracture which required a second surgery.
In the complaint against the nursing home, Mr. Hubert asserted, among other deficiencies, that the facility failed to meet its obligations under the “Nursing Home Bill of Rights,” which imposes a duty on nursing homes to care for its residents including an obligation to ensure that resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible.
Craig commented that this victory is not only for our clients but for all those elderly residents who will benefit from changes in policy and procedures at the facility.