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October 2017

Gordon & Rees Pittsburgh Team Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict on Behalf of Skilled Nursing Facility in Jury Trial

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Pittsburgh Partner Jennifer M. Kirschler and Senior Counsel Lauren M. Kelly obtained a unanimous defense verdict on negligence claims for their client, a long term care facility, on October 3, 2017 after a six-day jury trial.

The plaintiff, the wife of a deceased former resident of the nursing home, alleged that her husband was improperly cared for by staff during his admission to the facility. The resident, who suffered from dementia and was non-compliant with care, and whom the facility recognized as a fall risk, continued to stand up and sit down in his wheel chair during the day and night during his admission. Despite numerous fall precautions that were put into place, and the efforts of the nursing staff, who attempted to redirect the resident, and take additional steps to watch him even more closely, the resident fell one evening, fracturing his hip. Due to many pre-existing co-morbidities, surgery could not be performed and the resident passed away a week later.

The plaintiff alleged that the facility failed to implement appropriate fall precautions, and failed to inform her, and the resident’s physician, of changes in condition that increased the resident’s risk of falling.

The jury found that the care and treatment provided to the resident, the fall precautions in place and the notification to the family and physician were appropriate and not negligent. The 12-person jury deliberated for 30 minutes after entering a unanimous defense verdict in this case.

Lauren M. Kelly
Jennifer M. Kirschler