Nursing Home Death Leads to Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Texas after a nursing home resident fell from her bed and suffered severe and eventually fatal neurological injuries.

The facts are awful. A woman was found on the floor, next to her bed, yelling for help. She was neurologically alert and coherent, but bleeding from head trauma, and in severe pain. According to the lawsuit, the woman was placed back in bed, where she was later discovered nonresponsive, taken to the hospital, and died from her injuries.

Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges that contrary to the doctor’s orders, the woman’s bed was not in a low position, and floor mats and a bed alarm were not being used. Though she was a high fall risk resident, a care plan and nursing interventions (to prevent a fall) weren’t followed. The lawsuit further claims that the nursing home’s nurses were not adequately trained or apprised of the resident’s care plan.

If the article I read is to be believed (reporters do screw these things up, sometimes), the discovery battle is beyond odd. The doctors have refused to produce the decedent’s health care medical chart, on the basis that its lawyer had the chart… and they refuse to provide the lawyer’s identity and contact information. As a result, the plaintiffs’ malpractice lawyers have had to ask for a temporary restraining order against the center, preventing them from destroying or altering the chart. A hearing is scheduled for this week on the restraining order.

I would love to see the doctors’ motions in that case. What could they possibly argue?