TT&H Attorneys Tom McGinnis and Sam Dunlop Win Another Nursing Home Negligence Action, This Time in Beaver County
March 20, 2023
Hot on the heels of their victory in Allegheny County earlier this year (see https://www.tthlaw.com/tth-attorneys-tom-mcginnis-and-sam-dunlop-win-allegheny-county-nursing-home-negligence-case/), TT&H Attorneys Tom McGinnis and Sam Dunlop recently won a defense verdict following a jury trial held from March 3–9 in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The Plaintiff’s Decedent was deemed a high fall risk and suffered from dementia when she was admitted to the Defendant’s skilled nursing facility in December of 2019. In order to mitigate her fall risk, she was to wear a clip alarm at all times and was permitted to sleep in reclining chairs within the facility’s common areas, so that she could be monitored more frequently. In the months following her admission to Defendant’s facility, Plaintiff’s Decedent’s cognitive deficits increased, and she became progressively more combative with care. On July 2, 2020, she was prescribed Seroquel and Ativan, as needed. These were administered as ordered, in addition to Depakote and melatonin, in the evening of July 3, 2020. That night, Plaintiff’s Decedent was observed sleeping in a recliner at 10:40 p.m. She was next observed at 10:55 p.m., sitting on the floor in front of the recliner. It was ultimately determined that she had sustained a left hip fracture, which led to surgery involving a partial replacement of her left hip. She was then discharged to a rehabilitation facility, where she remained until the time of her death in November of 2020, due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant facility failed to adequately supervise the Decedent, and that it was under a heightened duty to do so in light of the fact that she slept in a recliner and had been administered new medications only a few hours prior to the fall at issue. In response, the Defendant produced expert testimony that it satisfied the standard of care applicable to supervision of the Decedent, as she was observed no more than fifteen minutes prior to the fall. The jury, evidently persuaded by Defendant’s expert, found that the Defendant facility was not liable for the Decedent’s injury.
Questions about this case can be directed to Sam Dunlop at (412) 926-1432 or email@example.com.