An elderly female was, at the time of admission to the assisted living facility, a high fall risk. She required stand-by assistance when bathing, dressing, using a walker, and when toileting. She also suffered from impaired balance and an unsteady gait.
The patient was allowed to fall at the assisted living facility while being supervised by facility staff. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a spiral distal left femur fracture will displacement, angulation, and significant comminution. The patient received open reduction and internal fixation surgery for the femur fracture, remained at the hospital for one week, and was transferred to a nearby nursing home.
At the time of the fall, the patient was taken to the bathroom by an aide to be changed. After she was toileted, the aide assisted the patient to her feet and improperly permitted the patient to support herself on a towel bar behind the bathroom door. Unfortunately, the bathroom door was left open, thereby obscuring most of the towel bar and permitting only a fraction of the bar to be used by the patient for support. The patient was also wearing only socks on her feet in a bathroom with a tiled floor.
The assisted living facility settled the case well before trial for a confidential amount in the mid-six figures.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.