Fall Case Settled Against Alabama Nursing Home
Enterprise, AL, November 11, 2017 -- Sawyer Law Firm, LLC has settled a wrongful death case against a Montgomery, Alabama nursing home. The lawsuit was on behalf of a woman who fell the day after being admitted to the facility for rehabilitation. Less than 24 hours after being admitted to the facility, the woman was found on the floor in her room by the nursing staff. She had a skin tear on her left elbow and complained of pain in her right hip. Initial portable x-rays of her hip did not indicate a fracture, but the radiologist indicated that it should be correlated clinically if the pain persisted. The woman continued to experience pain in the hip over the next few days. Finally, the nursing home transferred the woman to a local hospital where she was diagnosed with a left hip fracture.
“The nursing home tried to blame the resident for getting up ‘unassisted,’ but she was able to tell her family that she tried to call for help, but no one would answer her call light,” said attorney J.P. Sawyer. “This is another example of how understaffing affects resident care.”
After a surgical procedure to repair the fractured hip, the woman was immobile and bed-bound. The immobility triggered a down-hill decline, which resulted in depression, placement of a catheter, urinary tract infections and, ultimately, a bedsore. “A hip fracture in an elderly person often starts a ‘snow ball’ effect of associated medical problems due to the immobility,” Sawyer said. “Unfortunately, this sweet lady was not able to overcome the stress of the injuries.” The case was settled for a confidential amount at mediation.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that over 300,000 elderly people are hospitalized every year as a result of hip fractures. “These falls can be prevented in nursing homes if there is enough nursing staff to care for the residents,” Sawyer says.