Nursing Home Settles Case Involving Resident-on-Resident Assault

An elderly, mobile, female nursing home patient was assaulted at the facility by another resident. The patient, who was in her room at the time of the assault and injury, was able to ambulate with a walker before the fall. The resident was pushed to the floor during the assault, where she was later found by nursing home staff, lying in a pool of blood caused by a laceration to her head. The victim was also complaining of severe left hip pain which was later diagnosed as a severe left hip fracture.

Left Hip Fracture With Surgical FixationThe nursing home at which the assault occurred knew that the resident responsible for the assault was dangerous. In the year before the assault, he was documented in the nursing home’s records to have been involved in repeated aggressive, violent episodes of both actual and threatened harm to other residents, guests, and nursing home staff. Specifically, the resident was documented to have punched another resident in the nose, was noted to be “aggressive” with staff, and would frequently wander into other resident’s rooms. When staff attempted to re-direct the resident, he became angry. In addition to punching another resident in the nose, he was also noted by nursing home staff to have sexually assaulted another female nursing home resident and to have pushed other male residents.

On the date of the injury to the female victim of the assault, the aggressive resident went into the female patient’s room and pushed her. A nurse heard the female patient “screaming and yelling for help” and found her “on the floor in a puddle of blood coming from her head” with the aggressive resident standing nearby. The female victim told the nurse the aggressive male resident had pushed her. While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, the female patient “kept thrashing around saying she broke her leg.”

When rescue squad personnel arrived, they documented the female resident complaining of severe back, left hip, and head pain and had a “notable deformity” of her left hip. They also documented “noticeable blood loss” on the floor from the female patient’s head laceration.

As a result of the fall, the female patient sustained a comminuted crush fracture of the left hip, which required surgery. The female patient also required staples for her head laceration, as well as powerful narcotics for pain control. The female patient likewise sustained significant loss of function as a result of the fall, fracture, and surgery. Her family discharged her to a separate facility, where she continued to live until her death several years later from causes unrelated to the fall. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential, generous six-figure amount.

Left Hip Fracture with Surgical Fixation
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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.

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