Genesis Leg Fracture Fall Lawsuit

Maarawi v. Genesis Healthcare, LLC

This is a nursing home fall medical negligence suit brought by the estate of a deceased elderly patient. The defendants are a rehabilitation facility and two physical therapists employed by the facility.

This claim was filed in the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office on January 10th, 2018. This is the 14th medical malpractice suit filed in the state of Maryland in 2018.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

An elderly patient is transferred to the defendant's in-patient rehab center. She has multiple existing health problems, including difficulty walking and muscle weakness. The hospital determines that the patient has a high fall risk. As such, she should have comprehensive assistance for activities like getting up to use the bathroom or daily hygiene. The center is also responsible for implementing fall precautions such as a gait belt (a device that assists with balance) and contact guard assistance (light physical contact from a physical therapist while walking). The day after she is admitted, the patient is helped to the bathroom by two physical therapists. Despite their presence, the patient falls and sustains a severely displaced trimalleolar left leg fracture.

Case Analysis
  • The patient is referred to as deceased in the complaint but this is not a wrongful death suit. Given the patient's implied advanced age, we can assume that her death was unrelated to the leg fracture or fall. The complaint doesn't tell us how long the patient lived with her left leg injury.

  • Muscle weakness or gait issues are among the most common causes of elderly patient falls. These issues account for 24% of all falls in nursing homes.

  • The tough thing about this case from the plaintiffs' perspective is that it is a pain and suffering case being brought by the survivors because the victim died of apparently unrelated causes. Jurors are more likely to award more to a living plaintiff in this situation that one that is deceased. We had a case like this last year where our client died of unrelated causes in the middle of a malpractice case. Juries might give an award that exceeds the damages cap in Maryland in a case like this but the damages need to be extremely compelling.

Plaintiff's Expert Witnesses

Unknown at this time.

Alleged Negligence
    genesis nursing home lawsuit
  • The defendants violated the standard of care by not providing the maximum amount of fall-prevention assistance possible.

  • The defendants were negligent in failing to use a gait belt and/or contact guard assistance with a patient who was a high fall risk.

  • Due to the negligence of the defendants, the patient sustained mental anguish, physical agony, and a permanent injury to her left leg. She required further medical care and rehab.

Defendants

A physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and Genesis Healthcare, LLC.

Jurisdiction

Montgomery County

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