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Eamon Merrigan Successfully Defends Hospital / Rehab Facility In Malpractice Action

Eamon Merrigan successfully defended a hospital/rehab facility in a malpractice action.  The plaintiff alleged that due to the facility’s alleged negligence, the 79-year-old plaintiff, who was known to be a high fall risk, fell and suffered a severe fracture to her ankle requiring surgical repair with permanent hardware.  Plaintiff claimed that a nurse advised her to transfer from her wheelchair to her bed despite the fact that the nurse knew she was a high fall risk and required assistance with all transfers.  The plaintiff further claimed that the nurse then intentionally neglected to note how the fall occurred in her subsequent chart note and event report.  The nurse testified that the she was outside of the plaintiff’s room when she noticed the plaintiff attempting to transfer on her own.  Upon making the observation, the nurse ran into the room in an attempt to assist, but did not arrive in time to prevent the fall.  Mr. Merrigan argued that the nurse’s testimony was consistent with the nurse’s minimal description of the event in her chart note and event report, and that no evidence other than the plaintiff’s own self-serving testimony supported her description of the fall.  Ultimately, the jury concluded that the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proving that the standard of care was breached and entered a defense verdict.  The plaintiff’s pre-trial settlement demand was $350,000.