A Pennsylvania nursing home negligence jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $250,000 on December 9, 2017, following a one-week trial and five hours of deliberations. The deceased resident’s family had alleged in their Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawsuit that the defendant nursing home caused fatal injuries to the 85-year-old man in February 2014. The man was the father of five adult children, some of whom attended the nursing home negligence trial.
The Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawsuit alleged that on February 5, 2014, the elderly nursing home resident was in his wheelchair by the nursing home’s dining room, waiting for dinner to be served. An RN asked another RN to push the resident’s wheelchair into the dining room.
The family’s lawsuit alleged that the second RN was reckless by pushing the resident’s wheelchair too fast without first warning the resident and without attaching the footrests to the man’s wheelchair. As a result, the man fell from his wheelchair, hit his head on the floor, and suffered a fractured neck. The lawsuit alleged that the nurses rolled over the resident after he fell, failed to immobilize the man after his fall, placed him back into his wheelchair after he fell, and then placed him in his bed without further evaluation of his condition or his injuries. The fall caused the man to suffer cervical fractures at the C1 and C2 levels, and to suffer an odontoid fracture with displacement, resulting in severe neurological harm. The man was transported to the hospital, where he died the next day.
The defense experts testified during the trial that the nurses did not breach the applicable standard of care, despite the defendant nursing home’s own policies that required that footrests be used on residents’ wheelchairs when the wheelchairs are in motion (the nursing home’s care plan for the 85-year-old resident stated that he was self-propelled in his wheelchair and that the footrests should be left off of his wheelchair).
The two RNs involved in the incident were fired after the resident died. The Pennsylvania nursing home claim jury took five hours to deliberate before finding in favor of the plaintiffs.
After the Pennsylvania jury rendered its verdict, the family’s nursing home claim lawyer stated, “It’s been a very long road for them. They were extremely happy, all crying tears of happiness because they had finally gotten justice for their father.” It took two years from the date the Pennsylvania nursing home negligence complaint was filed for the case to be tried before a jury.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home understaffing, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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