Nursing Home Negligence ­ Fall From Wheelchair - $500,000

Rehabilitation Facility ­ Fall out of Wheelchair $500,000
Injuries alleged
: Death
Amount of settlement: $500,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff's decedent was a 56-year-old married father of two adult children who was a patient at a rehabilitation facility. He was in a weakened physical state and neurologically compromised due to meningitis, which had been diagnosed and treated from over a four-month period.
Five days after his transfer to the rehabilitation facility, the plaintiff's decedent fell out of his wheelchair, striking his head on the floor. He never regained consciousness after the fall, and after a gradual neurologic deterioration, the plaintiff's decedent died two months later. The death certificate indicated immediate cause of death as 'brain injury as a consequence of traumatic injury.'

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, through its employees, failed to institute proper safety restraint measures given the well-documented weakened physical condition of the patient and his lack of awareness, which led to his fall and ultimate demise.

The defendant contended that the safety restraints were proper under the circumstances and that, given the decedent's underlying cognitive and physical deficits from the meningitis, he would have been physically and cognitively impaired for the rest of his life and never would have been able to return to work.

The plaintiff secured the reports of three of the decedent's own primary care physicians, as well as a rehabilitation neurologist and neuroradiologist who all rendered opinions helpful to the plaintiffs. After significant negotiations, the case settled for $500,000.