Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Pittsburgh Senior Counsel, Lauren M. Kelly and Fallon C. Stephenson, obtained a unanimous defense verdict on negligence claims for their client, a long term care facility, on September 14, 2018 after a four-day jury trial.
The plaintiff, the daughter of the injured resident of the nursing home, alleged that the staff was negligent in leaving the remote control to an electric lift chair within her mother’s reach. The resident had dementia and left sided-paralysis. The plaintiff claimed that her mother was able to access the remote and push the button, lifting the chair to the upright position and causing her to fall from the chair. The chair, which was not a medical device ordered by a physician, was purchased by the daughter from a furniture store and kept in the resident’s room for six months prior to the fall without incident. On the day in question, the resident suffered an unwitnessed fall from the chair and sustained a left leg fracture, which ultimately required surgical repair and wound treatment for ulcers that developed throughout an initial course of conservative treatment for the fracture.
The plaintiff alleged that the facility failed to appropriately assess the chair for safety. She further asserted that the staff knew her mother could access and use the remote and failed to keep it out of her reach.
The 12-person jury entered a unanimous defense verdict, finding that the staff acted appropriately and that the facility was not negligent.