Elderly Hospital Falls: Malpractice Cases

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Of all age groups, the elderly are at greatest risk for falling. This is true about elderly hospital falls in Orlando and throughout the U.S. This vulnerable demographic does not always receive the kind of hospital care necessary to prevent falls that lead to injury or death. As outlined in previous posts, elderly hospital falls are accompanied by clear risk factors and are preventable. Some of those falls are the result of malpractice, and in this post we take a look at some specific cases in which Florida malpractice attorneys obtained favorable verdicts or settlements for their clients.

“Hospitals know that fall events are closely monitored as a measure of quality,” says Orlando attorney Jeff Badgley of Badgley Law Group. “They have an absolute duty to protect elderly patients from unnecessary injury in the hospital environment.”

Louis Indeck and Janice Indeck v. Healthsouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital

80-year-old Louis Indeck was admitted to Healthsouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital in Sunrise, Florida, to recover from burst compression fracture that he sustained from a fall at home. While hospitalized at the facility, he fell from his bed twice. In August of 2010, a jury agreed that hospital staff failed to properly assess him for risk of falling and that his falls worsened his pre-existing lumbar burst compression fracture. Precautions to prevent fall, such as such as a bed alarm or a sitter in his room, should have been implemented. That’s why the jury awarded him almost 1.4 million.

Verdict: $1,364,528.00

Linda Carlos Bailli, Representative for Estate of Joseph Douglas Carlos v. Santa Rosa Medical Center

Joseph Carlos was recovering at Santa Rosa Medical Center in Santa Rosa County, Florida, after his right hip was surgically repaired for a fracture. 18 hours later, while still at the medical center, he fell out of bed and fractured his left hip. The fracture of the left hip ultimately caused his death. Linda Carlos Bailli sued on behalf of his estate.

Settlement: $527,861.95

Edith Hunter v. Plantation Gardens Rehab & Nursing Center & American Medical Assoc., Inc.

Edith Hunter was staying at Plantation Gardens Rehab & Nursing Center in Ocoee, Florida, where she was undergoing rehabilitation. While she was there, she complained multiple times about another resident entering her room. Finally, she suffered hip fracture while walking to her bed after complaining to the nursing staff again about the resident. Unfortunately, x-rays were not taken right away, and Hunter went undiagnosed for seven days. Ignoring the reality of their patient’s condition, the nursing staff continued with the rehabilitation she had begun prior to her fall, which including rotating the newly injured hip. Hunter eventually had to have a hip replacement, which may not have been necessary had the medical staff x-rayed her hip after the fall.

Settlement: $4,000,000.00

“Some lawyers think that elderly hospital falls aren’t worth much money. I strongly disagree, and these examples illustrate that the cases have value. My law firm takes these cases very seriously. We demand full compensation for the negligence of staff members who allow their elderly patients to get injured with unnecessary falls,” says Badgley.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a hospital fall, contact Orlando medical malpractice attorney Jeff Badgley today at 407-781-0420.

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