March 8, 2010
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 123
ORLANDO, Fla. ─ Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorneys, Robin N. Khanal and Steve E. Baker, obtained an arbitration defense verdict on behalf of their client, a skilled nursing facility. The plaintiff was a 68-year-old retiree who was admitted to the hospital after suffering a fall at home resulting in a right subtrochanteric fracture. The plaintiff underwent an open reduction and internal fixation with hardware. He was subsequently discharged to the skilled nursing facility for nursing care and rehabilitation. The plaintiff was ordered to remain toe touch weight bearing only and he was assessed as requiring maximum assistance with transfers at the time of his admission.
Plaintiff alleged, as a result of negligent and inadequate care, assistance and supervision, that he fell while being transferred by facility staff. Plaintiff also alleged a failure, by facility staff, to timely respond to complaints of pain and a delay in providing nursing and medical care for injuries sustained during the fall.
After a subsequent right intertrochanteric fracture was confirmed, the plaintiff was transferred to the hospital where he underwent a second open reduction and internal fixation surgery. In addition, he was diagnosed with a right knee meniscus tear, which required arthroscopic surgery. Both injuries required the plaintiff to undergo extensive rehabilitation with noted leg shortening and atrophy.
Plaintiff’s expert, a full professor at UNC – Chapel Hill, Division of Physical Therapy, opined that the facility staff failed to provide adequate assistance with transfers and that, but for the omissions of the facility staff, plaintiff would not have fallen and suffered further injuries. Plaintiff’s expert also opined the facility staffed failed to follow their own policies and procedures by not utilizing a gait belt for the transfer of the Plaintiff.
Defense counsel argued that the facility staff did not breach the standard of care, as the plaintiff attempted to transfer on his own and a facility staffer acted reasonably when he attempted to place a wheelchair behind the resident.
In closing, plaintiff’s counsel asked for several hundred thousand dollars to compensate the plaintiff and his wife for the injuries and damages suffered as a result of the fall at the skill nursing facility. The arbitration panel, which consisted of three experienced litigators, deliberated for several hours and returned a complete defense verdict for the skilled nursing facility.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a full-service business law firm with more than 100 attorneys collaborating across major practice areas in seven offices located throughout Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. QPWB provides comprehensive legal services to individuals and organizations of all sizes in local, state, national and international matters.