The plaintiff was a medical records assistant who required a knee replacement. After hospitalization for her knee replacement surgery, the plaintiff required skilled nursing home care for rehabilitation. Upon admission to the nursing home, the plaintiff was left on the side of her bed and asked to sign some admissions papers. Immediately prior to nursing home admission, the plaintiff was medicated with Percocet, a narcotic which can effect balance, judgment and aggravate a nervous disorder. The hospital medical records also noted that the plaintiff had a tendency to be impulsive.
The nursing home care giver left the patient unattended and the patient attempted to secure her cell phone to make a call to a family member. The plaintiff was not secured within the bed with bed rails pulled up. The plaintiff's personal belongings were not placed in proximity to the patient. The plaintiff attempted to retrieve her cell phone placed on a dresser within her room. In doing so, the plaintiff fell and sustained a displaced distal radius fracture requiring hardware.
Our office hired three experts. These experts included a toxicologist, an RN and an LPN. Both the RN and LPN testified that a risk assessment for falling had not been completed by facility prior to leaving the patient's room and that the patient's belongings were not placed in such a way that the plaintiff would have had access to secure those belongings. The toxicologist opined that the Percocet that the plaintiff was on would have influenced the plaintiff's ability to maintain proper balance and exercise good judgement.
The case was mediated and resolved by the parties with the skills of Honorable Judge Salvatore Agati. The case was filed in the Waterbury Superior Court. The mediation took place at the Complex Civil Litigation Court House in Waterbury.
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