A pending wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia, claims that a nursing homes poor care resulted in the development of pressure ulcers. It is alleged that the pressure sores eventually became so infected that they necessitated the amputation of the woman’s leg and eventually caused her death.
Like many families, the deceased woman’s daughter brought her mother to Rockmart Nursing and Rehabilitation Center from a different nursing home in order to bring her closer to her home. Unfortunately, her admission to Rockmart quickly brought about a variety of health problems during her three month admission.
According to news reports of the pending trial, while the nursing home denies any responsibility in the matter, the woman’s daughter has presented several key pieces of evidence that question the quality of care that the nursing home was providing.
Jurors heard testimony from:
- An EMT, who witnessed the deceased woman sitting in urine-soaked bed sheets and with a broken oxygen machine when they arrived to transport her from the nursing home
- Director of nursing, who acknowledged inaccuracies in the patients medical chart related to care provided at nutrition reports
- Falsified charting demonstrating that care was provided when the patient was not in the nursing home and when employee time card records demonstrate such care was impossible
After the plaintiff (deceased woman’s daughter) has finished presenting evidence in this matter, the defendant nursing home will have an opportunity to do so. While we will have to see the defense plan, I assume much of the defense will focus on both the inevitability of the wounds and on the daughter’s responsibility for not intervening as the wounds progressed.
As a nursing home lawyer, I am increasingly seeing these defenses raised by nursing homes as they attempt to deflect some of main focus in these cases— their poor care. In the case of family responsibility, I have seen this defense effectively raised as many jurors firmly believe that the family is in the best position to guide their loved ones care and should act accordingly when they notice a change in their loved ones physical condition.
We will see if these defenses are indeed raised as this Georgia nursing home case progresses to jury deliberation.
Local woman sues a Rockmart nursing home The Rockmart Standard, May 12, 2011 by Melody Dareing