Wisconsin Nursing Home Fall Cases

Nursing Fall CasesTime and again, one of the most common-if not the most common-source of injury in nursing homes is falls. They’re so frequent because they can arise at any time or at any place: beds, chairs, toilets, and a million others.

Yet, despite their commonality, fall accidents in nursing homes come at a high price. They create bodily injuries, medical bills, and long-term disabilities. Below we summarize some Wisconsin nursing home cases that deal with fall incidents:

$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This dispute arose after a woman was found prone and helpless on the floor of her bathroom. Reports were unclear about whether or not she called for assistance prior to attempting to use the facilities or how many times she rang for help.

However, what was crystal clear was that while trying to help herself, she fell over and was injured. Staff at the facility swiftly moved into action. They worked with emergency personnel to have her transferred to the hospital for examination and treatment.

Her physicians saw her not long after she was admitted. They diagnosed her with a broken knee as well as various broken bones in her hand. She stayed in the emergency room for a few days and then was transferred back to the same nursing home indefinitely.

Not long after that, she filed suit against the nursing home. Her allegations concluded that it was responsible for the incident and that it should pay for the damages that arose including medical bill, pain, and long-term discomfort.

The nursing home replied in brief that it sufficed all relevant levels of care and that it in no way was the cause of her injuries or financial losses. Despite these protestations, they still settled with her and gave her $100,000 in compensation.

Here are some notes about the value of this nursing home settlement in Wisconsin:

  • It was almost five times her direct, financial expenses; but
  • It was still very much dwarfed by the average Wisconsin nursing home settlement.

$500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

The resident in the middle of this controversy was eighty-one. She was sleeping in the middle of the night and rolled over out of bed. Staff at the care facility were alerted to her status when they heard her cries for help. They found her alone and injured.

Hurriedly, they got her up and put her in a wheelchair. They then were able to get her to an ER so that she could be seen by a doctor. Physicians performed various diagnostic testing. Those tests confirmed that the elderly woman sustained a head contusion in addition to other serious injuries.

When she finally recovered, she was dismissed from the hospital but sent to another nursing home. Lawyers for the woman did a bit of investigation. T

hey found that the original home did not install bed rails or complete a thorough and proper check for safety prior to placing the woman in the room. In the complaint filed in court, her representatives claimed that these and other failures combined to create the circumstances that led to the accident.

Therefore, in their estimation, they were legally culpable for all costs and damages that resulted. The defendant nursing home disagreed. It replied that this event was beyond its powers and that it did everything it could to avoid it from happening. Yet, with the odds stacked against them, they chose to settle.

Here are some of the stronger points that the plaintiff-nursing home resident had going for her:

  • The failure to use bed rails broke accepted custom;
  • The state issued a violation; and
  • The woman suffered long-term injuries and pain.

$250,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

The plaintiff in this cause of action was a man in his seventies. He was a veteran. Prior to the events which led to this case, he was injured in an unrelated accident. That incident left him handicapped and confined to a walker or wheelchair for most of his movement.

Despite the obvious sign of need, the nursing home staff took little to no action in order to prevent him from falling over and injuring himself. They did not assign any special supervision, employ a fall-prevention plan, or take other adequate measures to avoid an incident.

As a result, the man did indeed fall down and get hurt. He aggravated his past injuries and suffered new ones. Specifically, he fractured bones in his leg, hip, and other parts of his body. After multiple surgeries and significant rehabilitation, he was finally cleared to leave the hospital.

However, the accident left him with substantial long-term pain and discomfort. To recover for this damage and all of the expenses that attended the affair, he sued the nursing home and treating physician responsible for his care.

He argued that their combined failures were the contributing factor to the incident. They shot back that he himself was negligent and should be barred from recovery. But this argument did not last long and neither did the litigation.

They settled the matter out of court for $250,000.

Here’s how much they each contributed:

  • The nursing home offered $150,000;
  • The physician offered $50,000; and
  • The physician’s contracting company offered $50,000.

$150,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This lawsuit dragged on longer than one would have imagined judging by the facts and circumstances of the incident. The victim was a female nursing home resident.

On one particular evening, staff were helping her move from the dining room back to her room. Things did not go smoothly however. Along the way, she fell down and was injured.

She broke various bones, lacerated her skin, and suffered a head contusion. Emergency medical providers rushed her to the hospital where she remained for a considerable amount of time after the event. If you think that her case would have been cut and dry after this simple incident, then you would have been mistaken.

The confusion arose over the true source of misconduct. The lawyers for the woman determined that the exact personnel helping her around the facility were actually third-party workers employed through another company and contracted by the nursing home.

Therefore, they chose to bring suit against both companies. The complaint centered on the allegation that they each were negligent and combined to cause the woman’s loss and pain. The suit asked for economic and non-economic damages from the two defendants. T

he defendants each replied that the other was at fault and denied that they had to pay anything. The matter even got into the start of trial and middle of discovery before they eventually came to their senses and offered a settlement.

Here’s what each of them paid:

  • The nursing home contributed $100,000; and
  • The consulting company contributed $50,000.

$300,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This case kicked off after a man rolled out of his bed while getting dressed. He was being supervised by nursing home staff but they had stepped out of the room at the precise moment that this incident occurred.

Once they got back in, they realized what happened and sprung to action. They got him back on his feet and arranged for him to be taken to the emergency room so that he could be screened by a doctor. The doctors identified that he had disrupted a prior surgery to repair his hip.

After conferring with him, they elected to complete another procedure in order to repair the damage that was done. He stayed in the hospital for that surgery and then for recovery in order to rehabilitate properly. After his dismissal from the medical center, he sought the advice of counsel regarding his rights and opportunities.

Eventually, he decided to sue the nursing home where the accident happened. He claimed that its negligence hiring, training, supervision, and care caused the event. Consequently, he reasoned that it should be liable to him in court for damages related to his pain, expenses, and intangible harms.

They refused each of these points. They offered that this incident was beyond its control and that if anyone was to blame it was him.

Yet, faced with the prospect of an unfriendly jury, it settled on a number that the man would accept: $300,000.

Here are some of the most important cards that the man had to play in this lawsuit:

  • The bed did not have any bed rails;
  • The nursing home had recently been sued for something similar; and
  • The man was experiencing pain on a regular basis after the incident and would for the indefinite future.

$1,000,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This story had a tragic ending for a relatively young woman. She was a quadriplegic in her early sixties. She had been living with that condition for a significant amount of years and well before she arrived at the nursing home in question.

However, it appears that the facility did not take sufficient steps to protect against a fall or otherwise secure her safety. She fell on one particular night and needed to be taken to the hospital for emergency medical care. I

n the doctors’ room, her condition deteriorated seriously and despite their before efforts she passed away the next day. Doctors determined that complications from the fall pushed her down a downward spiral and took her life.

Her family did not take the news lightly. She was survived by several siblings and other immediate family members. Collectively, they brought a wrongful death and negligence action against the nursing home for the incredible loss her death caused them. They pled for damages that resulted from the economic and non-economic losses.

The defendant nursing home denied all charges but settlement negotiations commenced soon after the filing of the complaint.

The family received $1,000,000 which makes sense when you consider the following facts:

  • It is close to the average for this brand of cases-just ten percent off;
  • The nursing home did not have a strong justification or excuse for why the fall took place; and
  • The woman was survived by a lot of family members and most of them recovered under the finalized agreement.

$1,500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This case was striking in its egregiousness. The resident at the center of the legal storm was seventy-nine. At the time of the events which gave rise to this lawsuit, she had several children, grandchildren, husband, and other relatives alive and well.

Therefore, her eventual passing was felt by many people and that made it all the more tragic. Some of the facts are still in dispute but the central thrust of the event is not. She was deemed a high risk for falls by her doctors and the nursing home staff itself due to her limited mobility.

However, the facility took no action after she fell twice and eventually had to transfer her to the local hospital. Doctors worked as hard and as fast as they could but they could not save her. She died not long after being admitted to the ER. An exhaustive medical review of the circumstances which led to her rapid passing concluded that despite her significant pre-existing conditions the falls were a main contributor.

The family used this point as the basis for their lawsuit against the nursing home. They charged it with negligence and wrongful death and asked for compensation to cover the loss, pain, and expense that the whole ordeal caused them and the decedent.

In pre-trial motions and its reply, the defendant nursing home took great pains to paint her prior problems as the real cause.

However, fearing that they weren’t getting any traction with this defense and afraid of a sympathetic jury, they decided to settle and the family received $1,500,000.

$1,250,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

This incident had a fair amount of controversy and question because the event occurred while the particular nursing home resident was being transferred. What is for certain is that there was some miscommunication between the facility where she was staying, the transportation tasked with moving her, and the hospital where she was supposed to end up.

She was supposed to be transferred to emergency room because she was experiencing complications related to her heart and other areas of the body. The nursing home staff phoned the ER and alerted them that she was on her way but she never made it.

What happened was that she was sent to another facility. Adding insult to injury, the EMT personnel dropped her when they brought her to the wrong place. She sustained critical injuries and when she finally got to the emergency room there was nothing that the doctors could do. She died hours later.

She was survived by several family members. They sued all three companies. They charged them each with wrongful death and negligence. Their lawsuit asked for compensation to cover the cost of the funeral and expenses as well as for the pain and suffering they experienced due to the death.

They received $1,250,000 in settlement and here is what each defendant contributed:

  • The nursing home contributed $500,000;
  • The hospital contributed $500,000; and
  • The EMT company contributed $250,000.

$700,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

The victim in this cause of action was eighty-two. At the time of the fall, he was suffering from dementia as well as many other physical and mental ailments. His doctors and other treating medical professionals instructed the nursing home to put him on strict 24-7 watch.

Despite these warnings, on several occasions he was able to leave the nursing facility and walk about the local community by himself and unsupervised. On the last time, he fell down and fractured several bones in his body. He also sustained a concussion. Passersby found him and helped him get to the emergency room where he received care and rehabilitated.

However, long after the incident, he experienced pain and disability because of the fall and the injuries sustained. His walking was impaired and he felt head pain indefinitely. To account for these expenses and harms, he sued the nursing home.

His lawsuit contended that the nursing home should have employed better procedures, personnel, and other protections in order to prevent this from happening. It went to claim that the home was responsible for his damages because it did not.

The nursing home denied this and refused to settle.

After an exhaustive hearing on the merits, a jury returned a $700,000 verdict for the following damages:

  • $200,000 for economic damages;
  • $300,000 for non-economic damages; and
  • The rest for expenses and fees.

$150,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home fall case.

The woman involved in this accident was just recently admitted to the care facility before the events which gave rise to this lawsuit took place. On one early morning, she went down the stairs that led to an unguarded door and existed the home. No camera watched the exit. Thus, there was no footage of her escape.

However, just a few hours later, witnesses called the nursing home to inform them that the woman had fallen down and was injured. The home sent a van to pick her up but once they realized she was so badly harmed they brought her to the emergency room. It was there that she spent the next few days and weeks recovering.

In the fall, she had suffered various bodily injuries and needed to be examined by several medical professionals. Once she was finally allowed to leave, she entered a different nursing home. Then, she sued the home that did not catch her exit or prevent her injuries.

Her suit claimed that it owed her a duty of care and that it failed to live up to that standard. The defendant nursing home rejoined that the woman was comparatively negligent and should be barred from recovery. However, these differences of legal opinion did not stop both sides from finding an agreement.

They settled just before the start of trial for $150,000.

Here is how that money was divided:

  • A small portion of the funds went to pay the state for medical services rendered;
  • A small portion of the funds went to cover the cost of court and other expenses and fees; and
  • The woman retained the rest for her tangible and intangible injuries.

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME FALL CASE TAKEAWAYS

After reviewing these Wisconsin nursing home cases, there are some important takeaways that you should be aware of including the following:

  1. If the state came in and conducted an investigation or issued a citation, the plaintiff recoveries generally skyrocketed.
  2. Plaintiffs had the most success when the nursing home didn’t create or implement a fall prevention plan.
  3. If the fall led to or precipitated the resident’s death, then plaintiffs normally combined a negligence cause of action with a wrongful death cause of action and received two or three times the compensation on average.
  4. The most falls came from ordinary situations like sleeping or using the washroom.
  5. Recoveries normally doubled or tripled when the fall necessitated surgery or created a long-term impairment.

DID YOUR LOVED ONE FALL IN A WISCONSIN NURSING HOME?

If your loved one fell down and sustained injuries while staying at a Wisconsin nursing home, then the team at Nursing Home Law News can help you. We will begin by investigating the circumstances of your accident. Then, we assemble your case to make sure you get all of the recovery possible under the law.

Also, we work on contingency which means you don’t pay if you’re not happy. It’s that simple.

Call us today and we will begin working immediately!

If you would like to learn more about nursing home cases in Wisconsin, please read the following pages:

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME ABUSE CASES
WISCONSIN NURSING HOME BED SORE CASES

For information on Wisconsin laws and regulations applicable to nursing homes, look here.

If you are looking for information on a facility in a specific city or a local attorney, please visit the pages below.

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jonathan Rosenfeld

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric