On October 30, 2020, a Tennessee nursing home claim arbitrator awarded $225,000 for the pain and suffering sustained by an 88-year-old nursing home resident who suffered a brain injury and died five days later as a result of a fall in her nursing home room, as well as awarding $1,117.32 for funeral expenses. The nursing home arbitrator also awarded $300,000 for the loss of consortium claims of the resident’s three adult children.
The nursing home negligence claim alleged that in late January 2019, the resident, who suffered from dementia and was confined to a wheelchair, was alone in her locked room when she was found lying on the floor several hours after she was last checked by nursing home staff, despite the staff being required to check on her every two hours. The resident had been lying on the floor for at least one hour before she was found, and the nursing home records revealed that she had not been checked on for five-and-a-half hours. A motion sensor alarm in the resident’s room had been disabled and therefore did not warn of the fall.
The arbitrator reportedly noted in his written decision that during the investigation into the resident’s fall, the caregiver at the time provided vastly conflicting statements and staff at the nursing home refused to sign the investigative reports because they thought the statements were fabricated or contained false information. Furthermore, the nursing home failed to advise the resident’s family as to what actually occurred.
The arbitrator reportedly stated in his written arbitration decision, “The fall was predictable, foreseeable and preventable.” Although the arbitrator did not award punitive damages, finding that there was no clear and convincing evidence that the nursing home had acted intentionally, fraudulently, maliciously or recklessly, he reportedly did state in his written opinion, “The undersigned would be remiss, however in not addressing the plaintiff’s claim that the defendant ‘just does not get it. There is merit to that statement. The credible proof in this case is that serious mistakes were made and not acknowledged. There was plenty of testimony indicating a coverup and retaliation against those who voiced their complaints of a coverup. Hickory Hills could have said at the time that this should not have happened on its watch – a perfectly legitimate statement. Yet, the facility took another path which led to where we are today.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Tennessee or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, a nursing home fall, or nursing home understaffing, you should promptly contact a nursing home claim attorney in Tennessee or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers (nursing home claim lawyers) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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