Patient Shatters Ankle in Fall from Bed; Roanoke Area Nursing Home Settles
We settled earlier today a case involving a 73-year old patient of a Roanoke area nursing home who was involved in an unwitnessed fall after she left her bed and attempted to walk to her wheelchair. The fall resulted in an open comminuted trimalleolar fracture of the left ankle that required open reduction internal fixation surgery. The patient's family claimed the nursing home should have identified their mother as a fall risk on admission and should have provided her with a low bed, a fall mat, and a bed alarm that would have prevented the fall and minimized her injuries. The facility claimed it provided her with a low bed, a fall mat, and a bed alarm, all as reflected by the nursing home's medical records and the testimony of nurses and aides on the floor.
The patient, who was admitted to the nursing home only three days before the fall, had been diagnosed years earlier with dementia, schizophrenia, and a personality disorder. According to the patient's treating physician, she only had two weeks to live when she was admitted to the nursing home. The patient died two weeks after the fall from causes unrelated to the ankle fracture.
The case settled for mid six figures. The precise terms of settlement are 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.
Posted on Thu, May 1, 2008
by Robert Carter