Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers are assisted living and nursing home wrongful death lawyers.

Falls are a leading cause of death in the elderly.

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Unfortunately, falls in older people are common.  But many falls are preventable if a nursing home is willing to spend the money to properly staff a facility.

In this article, we’ll cover nursing home fall statistics, how to investigate and prosecute a nursing home fall lawsuit, and how to find a nursing home fall lawyer.

Nursing Home Falls are Common, and Deadly

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from injuries related to falls, such as broken bones and head trauma.[i] Given that only about 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries, and only 2% to 6% cause fractures, the reality is that far too many older Americans are falling in nursing homes.

This is not limited to nursing homes, either.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found between 700,000 and 1 million hospital patients fall each year. Between 30% and 51% of those patients suffer a serious, “reportable” injury.[ii]

When a nursing home resident falls, the result can include traumatic injuries, disability, functional decline, and reduced quality of life.  What’s worse, the resident may now have a much more severe fear of falling that can cause depression, additional functional decline, a sense of helplessness, or isolation.

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Are Nursing Home Resident Falls Preventable?

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a number of things nursing homes can do to help prevent falls, such as reviewing prescribed drugs to assess their risk (some drugs can make a person dizzy, disoriented, or lose their balance), installing grab bars so the resident is able to steady their self, and better training for nursing home staff.

A resident fall can be a sign of other health problems the resident may have.  People in nursing homes are generally frailer than older adults living in the community.  They may have more chronic conditions, more difficulty walking, and need a higher level of care.  They may also have thought or memory problems, need assistance with activities of daily living (things like getting dressed, grooming, and hygiene), or need help getting around.

All of these factors are linked to an increased risk for falls.[iii]  It is a nursing home’s job to identify, assess, and respond to these risks to minimize the chance of a fall.  When a nursing home does not do its job, and as a result, the resident is injured in a fall, the nursing home should be held accountable for the harm that results.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected and reviewed research regarding nursing home resident falls, and concluded the following factors are the most common causes of nursing home falls:

  • “Muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents.”
  • “Environmental hazards in nursing homes,” including “wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs.”
  • “Medications” that “increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.”  This includes sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, which can affect the resident’s cognitive ability or balance.  It is not just taking the medications, but changing them, that can present a serious risk of falls: “Fall risk is significantly elevated during the three days following any change in these types of medications.”
  • Problems with walking or transferring, such as “difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.”
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How Can We Prevent Falls In Nursing Homes?

When it comes to preventing nursing home falls, there are three levels to consider:  fall prevention interventions implemented at the organizational, staff or patient level.

While families tend to consider only the patient level—is the nursing home providing the resident with appropriate care to prevent a fall?—there can be a breakdown at the organizational or staff level that makes providing adequate care difficult or impossible.  It doesn’t matter if the right interventions are in place if the staff caring for your parent does not get the information, training, or time needed to implement them.

I most often have cases involving that type of breakdown: the right interventions on paper, but the staff was not given the message, or the opportunity, to properly implement them.

Fall interventions include:

  • Educating and training nursing home staff to understand fall risk factors and prevention strategies.
  • Improving the nursing home environment to make it easier for residents to move safely, such as grab bars, raised toilet seats, lower-height beds, and hallway handrails.
  • Assessing prescription medications for the potential risks of falling, and ensuring minimal use to accomplish the medical goals.
  • Assessing resident fall risk thoroughly and regularly.
  • Assessing what happened and how to correct the issue after a nursing home resident fall to improve the system and the resident’s underlying medical conditions.
  • Nursing home resident exercise programs to improve balance, strength, walking ability, and physical functioning.
  • Tool such as bed and wheelchair alarms, floor mats, two-person assists with transfers and bed mobility, non-slip footwear.

Notably, routine use of restraints does not lower the risk of falls or fall injuries, and are not considered a fall prevention strategy. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains:

  • “Limiting a patient’s freedom to move around leads to muscle weakness and reduces physical function.”
  • Most nursing homes “have seen a drop in fall-related injuries” since anti-restraint regulations were implemented.
  • “Direct injury from bedrails appears to be due to outmoded design or incorrect assembly; bedrails do not appear to increase the risk of falls or fall injuries.”[iv]
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Does a Resident Fall Mean a Nursing Home was Negligent or Neglectful?

If a resident falls and is seriously injured in a nursing home, the nursing home is responsible if the fall occurred because it:

  • Failed to properly evaluate the resident’s risk of the resident falling
  • Failed to provide adequate assistance to address the risk of the resident falling
  • Dropped, pushed, rolled the resident out of bed, or abandoned the resident in a situation in which the resident should not have been left alone (such as in a chair or on the toilet when the resident has poor sitting balance)
  • Hired unqualified employees or provided insufficient training
  • Failed to develop an adequate care plan based on the resident’s condition and needs
  • Failed to regularly reassess and modify the resident’s care plan
  • Failed to provide care in accordance with the resident’s care plan

Every nursing home that accepts Medicare payments must follow the Federal Regulations regarding caring for nursing home residents, 42 CFR sec. 483 et seq.  Under these regulations—and there are Ohio nursing home counterparts—require facilities to “ensure that  . . . [t]he resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as possible; and [e]ach resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.”

Federal nursing home regulations and their Ohio counterparts also require nursing homes to provide every resident with an assessment done when they enter the facility, and regularly updated thereafter, including whenever there is a significant change in a resident’s medical condition.

This assessment must include a written plan of care (“care plan”) which describes the functional capacity of the resident and their fall risk.  The nursing home must take appropriate action to address those risks, such as supervise the resident and provide safety devices to prevent fall injuries.  That means full consideration of the resident’s health issues, including:

  • Mobility limitations
  • Loss of strength or balance
  • Medications that can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or poor reaction time
  • Dementia or other cognitive limitations, and
  • Impaired vision or dexterity.

The care plan should also include any assistive devices necessary to provide adequate care to the resident and keep them reasonably safe from falls, including:

  • walkers and other mobility aids
  • assessment of safe height for beds, chairs, and toilets
  • positioning of grab bars and rails

If the nursing home fails to comply with these or any of the myriad other regulations, and a resident is injured, the nursing home is responsible for the harm that results.

We’re lawyers who sue nursing homes for things like preventable resident falls.  If you would like to discuss your loved one’s situation, injuries, or death at a nursing home, call us at 216-777-8856.

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How Do You Prove Nursing Home Neglect or Negligence Caused a Resident Fall?

It can be difficult to prove exactly how a fall occurred without an attorney experienced in nursing home fall cases.  This is not simply a slip-and-fall case.  There are specific state and federal requirements for assessing and addressing nursing home resident fall risk.

Some of the sources of evidence I use when investigating and building the case in a nursing home fall include:

  • Physical and occupational therapy records. (How much physical or cognitive assistance did the resident need to walk, stand, transfer, brush her teeth, etc.? Was she needing more or less assistance over time?  How was this being communicated to nursing staff?)
  • Nutritionist and social worker notes.
  • Video and photographic evidence—which can require a fight to get, including visiting the scene to establish what cameras exist and what they saw.
  • Other residents’ as witnesses of the fall, the resident’s abilities and needs, nursing home staffing levels, etc.
  • Current and former nursing and physical therapy staff members.
  • The nursing home’s history of fall and other resident injury events.
  • The nursing home’s financial and staffing picture. (Was it, or the national chain parent, putting profits above patient safety?)
  • The nursing notes and nursing aide records showing who did what, when (or, at least, what they say they did).
  • Family and friend knowledge.
  • State Medicaid and Federal Medicare records, rules, and regulations.
  • Deposing the Director of Nursing and Administrator, and often corporate representatives up the chain of command that really control the purse strings and staffing levels.
  • The resident’s memory or statements, if they survived and were lucid. (I’ve seen highly suspect “statements” attributed to a resident after a deadly head trauma the resident was likely unable to make.)

Every nursing home fall case is different, but nursing homes are all too often the same: putting money into profits instead of adequate care, usually by cutting staff and staff pay (resulting in high staff burnout, turnover, stress, and mistakes).

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Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits

Suing a nursing home for a fall requires a skilled lawyer or law firm who understands the state and federal regulations that govern nursing home fall prevention.

Usually, a nursing home fall lawsuit involves a few common steps:

  • Investigating the fall: gathering records, witness statements, video footage, etc., to determine what happened and whether there was negligence;
  • Investigating the nursing home and parent company: gathering information about this facility and, if appropriate, the parent company, to verify why the fall occurred in the bigger picture–usually understaffing.
  • Preparing and filing a nursing home fall lawsuit
  • Prosecuting the  claim in court by making them answer written questions (“discovery requests”), having witnesses testify under oath (“deposition”), and trial.

The whole process can take anywhere from 6 months to a couple years or–in rare cases–longer.  Most of that time, you won’t have to be doing anything.  Your lawyers should be, though!

Nursing homes hire experienced lawsuit defense lawyers, and they have lots of money to spend.  But in the end, you have the power to make them be judged by a jury of your peers if you have a valid claim.

The vast majority of nursing home fall lawsuits–really, any lawsuit–resolves before trial by both sides agreeing to settle the case for a certain amount of money (a “settlement”).

We believe your lawyer should be working the case up like it will be tried in court, however.  That’s because if you prepare for trial, you’re much more likely to increase the value of the case.  Lazy lawyering means lower value for a case.

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What does a Comprehensive Fall Assessment and Proper Fall Protocol Look Like?

Young nurse does assessment on elderly woman

When a fall occurs at a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, there are protocols in place to make sure that the person who fell is examined and injuries are treated accordingly.

Unfortunately, if staff is not trained or the facility is understaffed, these protocols sometimes are not followed. The first step in a nursing home’s fall protocol should be completing a comprehensive assessment of the patient and completing a detailed report of the fall

In the event that they are not followed, the person who fell is at risk to dangerous complications from the fall. It is imperative that you understand the risks to your loved one if protocol is not followed.

The following is an example of a comprehensive assessment and proper protocol that should follow

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality outlines the following as proper protocol for a nursing home or care facility when a resident falls:

  1. Evaluate and monitor the resident for 72 hours after the fall.
  2. Investigate fall circumstances.
  3. Record Circumstances, resident outcome and staff response.
  4. FAX alert to primary care provider.
  5. Implement immediate intervention within first 24 hours.
  6. Complete fall assessment.
  7. Develop plan of care.
  8. Monitor staff compliance and resident response.

They also outline that steps one through three should be implemented in the first twenty-four hours, that steps five through seven should be implemented within one to seven days, and that step eight should be monitored for at least six months.

When notating the fall circumstances, the AHRQ suggests that it is critical to obtain a full written description of all external circumstances at the time of the incident. This includes environmental factors, equipment and staff activity:

  • Date
  • Day of week
  • Time
  • Location
  • Type of fall
  • Likely cause
  • Activity at time of fall
  • Staff present
  • Type of footwear
  • Aids in use
  • Restraint use
  • Side rail use
  • Alarm use 

If you believe that a loved one’s fall was not reported or documented, it is important that you discuss this with the proper healthcare provider. Not reporting an incident such as a fall could result in long term complications or serious injury that could lead to death.

Even if a fall was reported and documented, it is possible for injuries to be overlooked because of poor documentation or inaccurate data collection. Managed Health Care Connect points out that issues with understaffing and increasing time and budget constraints has led to less attention to reviews on fall risk assessments and root cause analyses.

MHCC recommends that the investigation begins immediately, at the time of the event while the working staff is still on shift. They believe that this strategy provides the most accurate way to make a comprehensive report on a resident’s fall.

They suggest that in order to reduce the number of falls at a facility requires what they describe as an organized, consistent approach with straightforward reporting of the fall, while involving the resident’s family and an interdisciplinary care team.

By involving both a team of physicians and the resident’s family, it is possible to identify trends, match fall interventions to a resident’s fall risks.

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What Tools Can Be Used to Assess and Prevent Nursing Home Falls?

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality it is important to identify factors that increase a resident’s potential risk of falling. The Morse Scale is a tool that can be used to predict the risk of future falls and use these risk factors for prevention and also to plan the resident’s care.

They recommend that this tool be used with a clinical assessment and a review of medications. Another tool that can be useful is a Mobility Algorithm tool. All of these tools can help care professionals identify risk factors that could prevent a person from falling.

The Morse Scale

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggest the use of the following test to assess a person’s risk for falling: 

Morse Scale

Registerednurse.com also highlights the importance of evaluating a patient or resident’s fall risk. They suggest that every shift nurse needs to be able to assess a resident’s fall risk and that:

“patients who are at risk include patients who have had a fall in the past 3 months, are taking medications that may increase falls such as Benzodiazepines or hypertension medication, or patients that have an unsteady gait.”

If you feel that your loved one is at risk of falling, ask the care facility if they utilize tools such as these to evaluate their potential risks. Have them explain how they assess the risk of falling as well as methods they use to prevent falls.  

It is important to identify all risk factors and speak with a healthcare professional about a plan to prevent your loved one from falling including evaluating which medications they are taking and their ability to move.

Fall Risks Associated with Medication

In addition to this, the Agency for Healthcare and Quality also states that this evaluation should be utilized in regular intervals to fully assess a resident’s risk for falling. It should also be utilized in conjunction with a medication-related risk assessment tool that would be performed by a pharmacist.

After the risk for falling has been assessed, the pharmacist should decide if medications should be changed, discontinued, or a safer alternative be considered. The following is an example of a chart that analyze medication related risks:

Medication Assessment
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Mobility Algorithm

A treating medical provider can also suggest a Mobility Algorithm test be performed. A nurse or nursing assistant can perform this test to determine fall risks in patients who were not primarily admitted to a care facility for mobility related reasons.

TheAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests that the following test be used: 

Mobility Algorithm Test

By utilizing this tool, healthcare professionals can evaluate a person’s ability to move about in order to prevent them from falling. This is another example of a tool that can be used to analyze potential fall risk factors.  

Do you feel that a nursing or care facility has failed to analyze your loved one’s risks for falling? Have they fallen and future risks been ignored? It is very important to evaluate the risks for falling in order to prevent serious injury and even death. Do not hesitate, ask the facility taking care of you or your loved one’s care today. 

How do I Hire You to be my Nursing Home Falls Lawyer?

The first thing to do is complete the contact form at the bottom of this page. That way, you can put in details that we can review before we schedule a phone call.

You can also call us at 216-777-8856 if you prefer.

You will likely not speak to us immediately, but will schedule a phone or in-person meeting. Why? Because we’re busy working on the important cases other families have entrusted to us. Just like we would not constantly take phone calls when we’re entrusted to work on your case.

You should also gather all the records and papers you have from the medical providers, go back and look for dates, names, and events that happened, and otherwise prepare to discuss the case. We’ll have a meeting and, if it seems like a case we’d be a good fit for, we’ll move into an investigation phase.

Once we’ve investigated, we’ll candidly tell you what we think about what happened, whether the medical provider is to blame, and what we think about the strength of the case.

Fair warning: we only take on clients whose cases we believe have very strong merits. We’re not lazy—the cases are still very complex, difficult, and expensive—but the risk to your family of being drawn into a difficult process with little chance of a positive outcome is not something we do.

Which means when we do take on a case, our reputation tells the other side this is a serious case we believe in.

If for whatever reason we do not take on the case, and we think there is some merit to the case, we’ll try and help you find a lawyer who might take it on.

Nursing Home Fall Articles

Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers File a Lawsuit after Resident Falls Multiple Times Leading to Her Death

Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers and the Estate of Janet Gloria Wallace have filed a lawsuit against Life Care Centers of America, Medina Operations, Forest Lee Preston, and Medina Medical Investors in the wrongful death of Ms. Wallace. (Update: Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers now has two additional lawsuits filed against the Life Care Centers of Medina. You can access those articles here and here.) Janet Wallace was a 63-year-old woman who resided at the Life Care Center of Medina in Medina, Ohio. She had a known history of dementia, muscle weakness, and seizures. She was a known fall risk and the Life Care Center of Medina should have been aware of this. Yet, she continued to fall several times until she suffered from a hip fracture. This hip fracture required surgery. According to the lawsuit, due to the poor care that Janet Wallace received and the falls, she lost 15 pounds, her health significantly declined, and she passed away on December 31, 2018. You can read the full complaint here. The defendants in this lawsuit, Life Care Centers of America and Forest L. Preston, utilize a for profit model where the primary goal of the nursing home or care facility is to make a profit. This is measured by revenues minus expenses. Their biggest revenue source is residents, and they counter the expense of care for these residents by limiting the number of care providers to these residents. They are in control of how these residents are cared for. According to the lawsuit mentioned above, this means:
As the result of this control, Defendants make decisions that affect the day- to-day care of Life Care Center of Medina residents, such as the resources available for providing nursing staff and care to residents like Janet Wallace, meaning they are responsible for the ...
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Woman Sues Saber Healthcare Group After Fall

A lawsuit has been filed by Elsbeth Bosinger against Saber Healthcare and the Seven Hills Health and Rehab Facility for leaving her in her wheelchair leading her to fall and break her leg, failing to send her to the hospital for many hours, and failing to report the incident in a timely manner. On August 14th, 2017 Elsbeth Bosinger, aged 81 and a short-term therapy resident who was recovering from a stroke, was ready for bed around 7:30pm. She was left in her wheelchair and no one ever came to help her to bed. Around 11pm, the wheelchair alarm had gone off signaling that someone had fallen. Staff arrived to find Elsbeth had fallen. According to protocol, at this time, an assessment should have been performed. They failed to find that Elsbeth had a severely broken her leg. And failed to take her to get proper medical care even though she reported excruciating pain. Twelve hours after the incident occurred, the staff at Seven Hills finally called an ambulance to take her to the hospital where she underwent surgery. Her family was not even notified until they found their mother laying in pain and in her own urine after the fall. You can read the lawsuit here. Nursing home negligence almost always creates extremely dangerous conditions for residents. Nursing home residents depend on the care of nursing home staff and when this is not properly provided people get hurt. Elsbeth was a victim of nursing home neglect and it led her suffering in excruciating pain. The lawsuit states:
The Defendants had the duty to—and chose not to—act reasonably in budgeting and providing funding to hire adequate number, training, and supervision of staff to care for and assist residents like Elsbeth Bosinger. Defendants had the duty to follow state and federal ...
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Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers Files Suit in Disturbing Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers, on behalf of the family of Mary Blody, have filed a lawsuit against Ohio's Pristine Senior Living & Post-Acute Care of Fremont (Pristine Fremont).  On November 20th, 2017, Mary died of complications related to a horrific fall. According to the lawsuit that was filed by Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers, in November 2017, Mary Body's family found her with a head injury and bleeding. Unattended to by staff at Pristine Fremont, Mary was left for six days without being hospitalized. Mary's family found her unresponsive and she was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she passed away. The lawsuit cites negligence on the part of Pristine Fremont that ultimately led to the untimely death of Mary. You can read the full lawsuit here. According to the lawsuit, Pristine Fremont failed to provide the proper care for Mary Body. Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers alleges that Pristine Fremont failed to put into place the proper precautions to prevent Mary from falling. Upon being admitted to a short term rehabilitation stay at Pristine Fremont, Mary displayed risks of falling that were ignored and not reported by staff at Pristine Fremont. They knew that she was at risk for falling and they were aware of this. Yet, they failed to prevent her for suffering from a horrific fall that ultimately led to her death. In addition to failing to prevent her from falling they failed to respond to her medical needs after she fell. They also failed to provide adequate staff to handle Mary's injuries after she fell. Further, they did not provide accurate and timely information to Mary's family. They found her when she fell, covered in blood, and they discovered her unconscious in her room. They failed to notify the family ...
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Nursing Home Penalized for Fatal Fall

HarmarVillage entry wayAccording to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, nursing home resident Delores Cerutti, 83, passed away because of fatal injuries that were a result of a fall in her bathroom at HarmarVillage. The article reports that the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office ruled that she died of head injuries from  fall. It was reported that she had a history of falling. State inspectors ruled in their report that the resident was not properly monitored given her history. The report noted:
 the death of a resident who was “a high risk for falls due to an unsteady gait, visual disturbances, seizure disorder and bladder dysfunction.” To avoid potential injury, she was supposed to be supervised by someone “in proximity to the bathroom door” when she used the toilet.
The Post-Gazette also reported that the aide responsible for Cerutti told the state inspectors that he was unaware of the resident's risk factors or an order that would prevent her from utilizing the restroom alone. In order to prevent future falls:
HarmarVillage indicated that all direct care staff would undergo new training related to fall intervention and a new data system would be used to keep employees aware of all residents’ level of fall risk.
Registerednurse.com also highlights the importance of evaluating a patient or resident’s fall risk. They suggest that every shift nurse needs to be able to assess a resident’s fall risk and that:
Patients who are at risk include patients who have had a fall in the past 3 months, are taking medications that may increase falls such as Benzodiazepines or hypertension medication, or patients that have an unsteady gait.
According to the article, such precautions were in place but the aide was unaware of the risk factors. This patient had an unsteady gait, a history of falling, and was potentially on medications for ...
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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Fatal Fall

 long corridor with a walkerA resident of the the Asbury Garden facility died at age 86 on February 18, 2016 according to the Beacon News. According to the article, Elizabeth Theis died from a fatal fall at the North Aurora facility. In situations such as this, nursing home staff at the facility should have been aware of the resident's high risk for falls. According to the article, the facility failed to provide the high level of care that the resident required. The article reports that her injuries included: nasal and orbital fractures as well as a laceration on her forehead which required several stitches, and an overall decline in her physical and mental state. Many times there are less visible symptoms of injury that can be just as serious. These can include functional decline, reduced quality of life, helplessness, and isolation. It is important to watch for these signs and ask your loved one if anything out of the ordinary has occurred.  Family members of the victim want to see that the nursing home is being held responsible. The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The article reports:
"The complaint alleges Asbury breached its duty to Theis in many ways, including by failing to ensure nursing personnel evaluated her to ensure she received adequate supervision and assistance to prevent falls; failing to oversee a comprehensive assessment of Theis' needs to determine fall risk; and failing to make an appropriate care plan to prevent falls.The complaint also states Asbury failed to appropriately train staff and follow its own policies and procedures for supervising residents."
The nursing home or care facility's job is to make these assessments, train their staff, and execute the necessary high level of care when a resident requires a high level of care.  Examples of this would be: installing grab bars, reviewing prescriptions, ...
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Akron Family Sues Wyant Woods Care Center for Mother’s Death

Death from falls and systemic neglect. That's what a lawsuit filed by Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers claims. On August 4, 2017 Myrtle Brooks fell and broke her hip at Wyant Woods Care Center. She died a week later. The Summit County Medical Examiner, Lisa Kohler, M.D., concluded that her death was caused by the fall and broken hip. According to the lawsuit, this was not the first time Myrtle Brooks fell at Wyant Woods. Rather, she fell dozens of times due to understaffing and neglect. Myrtle suffered dementia. Dementia is a condition that affects memory and cognition in older adults. Several million older Americans have some form of dementia. Dementia can cause people to fall because they don't understand their limitations and sometimes will attempt to do things--like walk--that are not safe for them. It is critical that nursing homes that accept dementia patients have the staff needed to supervise residents and prevent injuries. You can read the lawsuit here. Nursing homes receive money from Medicare. As a result, "Wyant Woods is required to report significant amounts of data to the federal agency that oversees operations of nursing homes receiving federal or state funding, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or 'Medicare.' " The lawsuit alleges that:
Defendants failed to ensure, through their operational, budgetary, consultation and managerial decisions and actions, that Wyant Woods was sufficiently staffed to meet the individual needs of Myrtle Brooks. Defendants engaged in a systemic practice to understaff its nursing home facility to maximize its profits at the expense of its residents’ care. This lack of sufficient staff directly resulted in Myrtle Brooks not receiving basic and necessary services to prevent, among other things, neglect leading to repeated falls between June 2016 and August 2017, including the last fall on August 4, 2017 that ...
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Nursing Home Fails to Prevent Fatal Falls

The State of Minnesota is investigating a Northfield nursing home for two fatal falls within five months of each other. Often times, falls such as these can be prevented. The care facility is responsible for  make sure that it's residents are safe.  A nurse’s aide at the Three Links Care Center is accused of not following proper protocol according to an article in the Star Tribune. The aide did not use a transfer belt, resulting in the resident falling and hitting her head in the bathroom. A transfer belt is used for safe transfer of residents to and from various positions. The nurses aide failed to follow the recommended safety protocol. The resident suffered from bleeding on her brain and a few days after the fall she passed away. The state declared the aide to be at fault because the aide did not get the necessary safety equipment in another resident’s room:
The aide explained that she didn’t use the belt because she had failed to retrieve it from another resident’s room. Three Links put the aide on leave for five days as her discipline. She and other staff also were re-trained on the importance of using a gait belt as facility policy requires.
The second incidence at the Three Links Care Center occurred approximately five months later. Staff at the center put a resident into a faulty mechanical lift that was known to be malfunctioning. The staff at the facility knew the machine to be unsafe.   The investigative report found that maintenance was not performed on the lift to stay within accordance with recommendations for safe use of the lift. The article states that:
 In the death in October, state investigators disclosed: A resident was placed into a mechanical lift and fell to the floor when ...
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Jury Finds Nursing Home Responsible for Resident’s Death

Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers are nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers. A jury in Cumberland County determined that Sarah A. Todd Nursing Home caused the death of one of its residents. According to the lawsuit and trial testimony,
On Feb. 5, 2014, Dove was in his wheelchair, waiting, near the entryway to the dining room, for dinner to be served. A supervising registered nurse asked another registered nurse to push him into the room. But the second nurse pushed his wheelchair fast and recklessly down the hall toward the dining room without giving Dove warning or attaching footrests - a violation of safety standards. This motion flung Dove from his wheelchair. He hit his head on the floor and broke his neck. The nurses rolled him over -- failing to immobilize him -- placed him back in his wheelchair and then moved him into his bed. Dove suffered cervical spine fractures of the C1 and C2 and an odontoid fracture with displacement, as well as neurological damage. He was transferred to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he died the following day.
You can read more about the lawsuit here. The two nurses involved in dropping the resident had been fired by the time of trial. After 5 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the resident's family. The jury found that the nursing home was responsible for the resident's death. Yes. About 36% of all preventable emergency room visits are for elderly residents who fall or are dropped in nursing homes. Nursing home falls often go unreported. This means that the data about nursing home falls is not as accurate as it should be. Even still, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), gets between 100 and 200 reports of nursing home falls each year. Nursing home falls are dangerous. Nursing home falls frequently cause reduced ...
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[i] “Falls in Nursing Homes,” Centers for Disease Control, available at http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/nursing.html

[ii] http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/fallpxtoolkit/index.html

[iii] Ejaz FK, Jones JA, Rose MS. Falls among nursing home residents: an examination of incident reports before and after restraint reduction programs. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1994;42(9):960–4.

[iv] http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/nursing.html

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Nursing Homes are corporations: they speak the language of money.  Corporations, even non-profit corporations, are not real people; they do not have hearts, minds, or souls.

In our experience, holding a medical corporation responsible and accountable for carelessly injuring patients through a money verdict at trial, or a settlement motivated by their fear of trial, is the best way to make sure there is change.

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Money damages available in a nursing home lawsuit can involve economic costs (medical bills, etc.), emotional harms like pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and, if the injuries cause death, the mental anguish and loss of family members for wrongful death.

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