Following a trial and appeal, the family of Alice Limbrick has reached a settlement with the assisted-living facility where she was a resident. In the lawsuit (Roy Limbrick et al v. Mariner Health Care, Inc.), the deceased woman’s family claimed both the assisted living facility where she was a resident and a hospital where she underwent medical treatment, were negligent in allowing her to developed pressure sores that ultimately led to the amputation of her legs.
Following the fall and resulting hip fracture at Green Acres Parkdale, Limbrick was admitted to Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas where she underwent medical treatment for her hip fracture. It was during admission to the hospital, Limbrick developed pressure ulcers and blisters on her heels and left leg.
Despite the pressure ulcers, Limbrick was discharged from the hospital and sent back to Green Acres for rehabilitation of her hip. At Green Acres, the pressure ulcers on Limbrick’s heels worsened, necessitating a re-admission to Baptist Hospital with a diagnosis of gangrene on both heels. As a result of complications related to the pressure ulcers, both of Limbrick’s legs were amputated below the knee.
At trial the assisted living facility argued the family was partially responsible for their mothers medical condition because they did not sent her to an acute facility. Additionally, the facility claimed the amputations were unpreventable as Limbrick suffered from a variety of debilitating medical conditions such as: a weakened immune system, diabetes, poor circulation, Alzheimer’s and general old age.
Despite the assisted living facilities arguments, a jury recognized the the facilities negligence in failing to properly treat the pressure ulcers and awarded the family $80,000 for past mental anguish, $20,00 for past medical expenses and $300,000 for past disfigurement and impairment damages. It is unknown what the actual settlement between the parties entered into during the appeal process. The case against the hospital was resolved prior to trial.
Cases involving elder neglect and abuse commonly involve multiple parties. When proceeding in a claim against multiple parties it is important to put together a time-line to differentiate what facility was rendered care to the individual at the particular time. It is also helpful to consult with an expert, such as doctor or nurse, to determine what the individuals condition was both at the time of admission and the time of discharge from the facility.
Read more about this lawsuit involving a Texas nursing home here.