We reached a settlement on behalf of a nursing home resident who suffered a hip fracture in a fall at the defendant nursing home.
The client was a retired department store sales rep who fractured her left hip in a fall at home. She was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgical repair of the fracture and was discharged to the defendant nursing home for rehabilitation. During the first few days of her admission, she refused care at times and refused to follow staff instructions and was at least twice found by the nursing staff to be up walking on her own even though she was still not fully recovered from the original hip fracture.
The night of the accident, she sounded the call light to get help to go to the bathroom. When no one responded she got out bed on her own, started walking to the bathroom and fell, fracturing the right hip. She was discovered on the floor approximately 20 minutes later by a n aide who was returning from a smoking break.
She was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgical repair of the right hip fracture. She was then transferred to another nursing home for rehabilitation. She made a good recovery from the second hip fracture and was able to walk independently to the point where she could be discharged home and she moved to California to live with her daughter. She was able to describe the distinctive jacket worn by the aide.
The theory of liability against the defendant nursing home was that a bed alarm should have been used in light of the client’s fall risk and her demonstrated noncompliance with the staff’s instructions. Further, the staff failed to timely respond to the call light. Had these been done, the second fall and hip fracture would not have occurred.
The case settled shortly after suit was filed for $185,000. (Cook County).