Case Type: Assisted Living Fall Death
Facts of the Case
Our nursing home injury law firm filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Michigan assisted living facility due to the premature death of an 83-year-old resident. The resident was a resident of the facility. He suffered from dementia and was known to be a high risk for falls. He required the use of a walker for ambulation.
On the date of the incident, the resident was seated in the common dining room with other residents for dinner. There were two staff members responsible for supervising all of the residents and serving them their meals. It was a very busy time of day for staff members.
Our client was seated at a table near the kitchen. The facility required that all walkers and wheelchairs be left in single location away from the tables during meals. The residents were assisted to and from the tables by staff members. Our client was noted to be impulsive and would frequently attempt to stand and walk without assistance, even though he had balance issues.
After dinner was completed, our client attempted to get out of his chair and walk to his walker, which was kept approximately twenty-five feet away. In doing so, he fell over a cabinet door that was left open and blocking his path. He landed on his side and suffered a fractured pelvis, which eventually led to his death. His son and daughter hired our law firm to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.
Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered
- Fractured Pelvis
Other Types of Damages
- Pain and suffering
- Fright and shock
- Loss of society and companionship
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
Legal Issues in the Case
- Did the staff members properly supervise the resident?
- Should the resident have been left without his walker?
- Was the facility negligent for failing to close the cabinet door in the pathway?
- Did the pelvic fracture cause or contribute to the death?
- What was a fair settlement amount under the Wrongful Death Statute?
What We Did To Win The Settlement
We filed a lawsuit in circuit court where the incident occurred. The lawsuit alleged negligence by the facility and the staff members on duty at the time of the fall. We subpoenaed medical records and the state investigation report which cited the facility for neglect relating to the incident. We then took depositions of key witnesses to determine exactly what happened and how the incident could have been prevented.
After depositions were taken, the parties agreed to attend a settlement facilitation with a retired judge serving as a mediator. The parties exchanged written summaries outlining their positions in the case. We then attended the facilitation and agreed to settle the case for $290,000. The facility and its insurance company required that settlement be kept confidential which is why the names of the parties and court information were not included in this case summary.
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