Claire Neiger Secures Philadelphia Jury Trial Defense Verdict in Nursing Malpractice Action

Claire Neiger secured a defense verdict for a large, Philadelphia hospital and healthcare system in a nursing malpractice action.  Plaintiff alleged Defendant hospital negligently failed to properly assess Plaintiff as a fall risk and appropriately monitor him.  As a result of the negligence, Plaintiff alleged that he fell and sustained a left intraarticular, comminuted femoral fracture.  Plaintiff underwent an open reduction and internal fixation of Plaintiff’s left femoral fracture and a subsequent procedure to remove loosened screws from the first surgery. 

Before the fall, Plaintiff was admitted to the ICU with rib fractures and a possible sacral fracture.  Plaintiff remained in the ICU until he progressed to the point where he transferred to a recovery unit.  While on the recovery unit, Plaintiff took an unassisted walk around the floor of the hospital.  As he reentered his room, Plaintiff’s shoes skidded on the floor and Plaintiff fell to the ground sustaining the injuries at issue.  Plaintiff argued that he was in a weakened state and was a high risk for inpatient falls.  To prove his case, Plaintiff presented expert testimony from a nurse expert opining on the standard of care and Defendants’ alleged breach.  Plaintiff also called an expert orthopedic surgeon to testify regarding the left femoral fracture and plaintiff’s ongoing complaints of pain. 

Defendants countered by arguing that Plaintiff was appropriately assessed during his initial fall risk evaluation and proper and that the hospital utilized adequate interventions.   Additionally, Defendants presented a nursing expert who opined that Defendant hospital acted in accordance with the applicable standard of care.  The expert contended that the hospital properly assessed Plaintiff as a fall risk and used interventions such as a call bell and bed alarm.  Defendants also presented an orthopedic expert who concluded that Plaintiff’s residuals were less than Plaintiff claimed. 

The Philadelphia Jury agreed with the Defense and found that Defendant hospital did not breach the applicable standard of care. Accordingly, Judge Lisa Rau entered a defense verdict for the defendants.