Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.
Donna Fudge and Ben Broadwater are pleased to announce another full Defense Arbitration Award in an in-house acquired Pressure Ulcer/Wrongful Death case in Florida.
Daughter, represented by one of Florida’s largest personal injury law firms, brought suit against a Florida nursing home operated by a large national chain, personally naming the facility Administrator as well, following her mother’s death after a multi-year residency at the facility. Initial allegations included Wrongful Death and Negligence Survival stemming from three in-house acquired pressure ulcers the decedent developed during the final 51 days of her life. The Wrongful Death claim, as well as all of the claims against the facility Administrator, were voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiff at the end of the first day of the Arbitration. The remaining claims were arbitrated over the next two days.
Upon initial detection and documentation of their existence, two of the pressure ulcers were described as already “Unstageable” with an Eschar/Necrotic wound bed. Plaintiff argued that there was a delay in detection, and treatment, of these pressure ulcers. Plaintiff also argued that the failure to obtain a low air loss mattress until after the decedent had already developed two unstageable pressure ulcers on her hips was too-little-too-late. Plaintiff’s Medical Causation expert testified that, because one of the pressure ulcers healed in the final two weeks of the decedent’s life, such healing proved that her skin and body were not failing and thus the development of the ulcers was “Avoidable”.
The Defense argued that the applicable standard of care had been fulfilled and that the decedent’s end-of-life pressure ulcers were caused by her terminal End-Stage Dementia, and not the result of any negligent care. The Defense presented testimony from a Nursing Home Standard of Care expert that the wounds were ‘Unavoidable’ according to the Federal Government’s guidelines on pressure ulcers. The expert also opined that adequate interventions had been in place to attempt the prevention of ulcer formation. The Defense presented evidence showing that the Care Team had taken the appropriate interventions after the in-house acquired pressure ulcers were detected. Moreover, the Defense proved that its alleged lack of documentation was, in fact, not lacking, but rather was more than acceptable to defend the Nursing Home’s actions. The Defense stated the obvious: Documentation, in and of itself, never triggered the formation of any pressure ulcer, and it never healed one either. The Defense also demonstrated how the resident’s right to refuse cares had been a contributing factor in expediting her irreversible, progressive decline from her terminal Dementia disease.
Following a three (3) day Arbitration, the single Arbitrator entered a complete Defense Award. The Arbitrator did not agree with Plaintiff’s claim that proof of healing was proof the sores were Avoidable. The Arbitrator stated that “the Defendants convincingly demonstrated that they met the applicable standards of care, and further, that [the resident’s] late appearing pressure ulcers were not the result of any substandard or negligent care; … Rather, the pressure ulcers were Unavoidable in the face of her end stage disease process.”
Fudge Broadwater, P.A.’s Donna Fudge and Ben Broadwater are pleased to announce another VICTORY in a Wrongful Death/Nursing Home case involving an overdose of Fentanyl, an Opioid.
Venue: Estherville, Iowa
Main Injuries: Wrongful Death of a 57 year old man, 8 days after receiving a Fentanyl, an Opioid, Overdose.
Verdict: The Jury, after deliberating just under 4 hours, issued a unanimous Verdict overwhelmingly in favor of the Nursing Home. The Nursing Home was found only 5% at fault, while the Co-Defendants, treating doctor, Dr. Anthony Cook and the Pharmacy, (both of whom had settled-out prior to conclusion of trial 1) were assigned 95% of the fault. The Net Judgment against the Nursing Home was only $2,500.
Trial: 8 Person Jury listened to 12 days of Trial Testimony. The case involved over 20,000 pages of medical records, live testimony from over 13 Fact and Expert witnesses, as well as testimony submitted via videotaped deposition from 3 Experts.
Trial Team: Donna Fudge and Ben Broadwater of Fudge Broadwater, P.A. were the Defense counsel for the Nursing Home, with the excellent assistance of their Paralegals.
$5 Million: Punitive Damages
$500,000: Pre-death pain and suffering of decedent
$500,000: Pre-death loss of full mind and body of decedent
$500,000: Loss of consortium experienced by decedent’s surviving child
$30,000: Medical Expenses
Damages Awarded: The Jury only awarded a Grand Total of $50,000 in economic + non-economic damages. No Punitive Damages were awarded.
Complaint: The Complaint, filed on September 14, 2016, alleged Wrongful Death “in failing to provide the requisite care and treatment in accordance with the standards of practice of each defendant health care provider in the prescribing, dispensing and administration of a controlled substance [Fentanyl] to decedent.”
Parties + Attorneys: Slater & Norris, P.L.C. of Des Moines, Iowa, represented the Estate of Steven Anthony Mason, in a lawsuit against the Nursing Home (defended by Fudge Broadwater, P.A.), along with Co-Defendants Estherville Drug Co. (defended by Doug Phillips, Esq.), and Anthony Cook, M.D., Avera Holy Family, and Estherville Medical Clinic (defended by Joseph Fitzgibbons, Esq.)
Fudge Broadwater P.A.: Fudge Broadwater, P.A. was hired just 4 months before the Jury Trial started. At the time Fudge Broadwater was brought on board, no Experts had yet been deposed.
Fudge Broadwater, P.A.’s Donna Fudge and Benjamin Broadwater are pleased to announce Victories in two recent Stage IV Pressure Ulcer/Nursing Home cases in Florida.
- Defense Jury Verdict: Morgan & Morgan, P.A. represented the Estate of Willie F. Coley, in a lawsuit against TR & SNF, Inc., d/b/a The Nursing Center at University Village, and BVM Management, Inc. in relation to Mr. Coley’s 12+ year residency at University Village’s skilled nursing facility. The Complaint alleged negligence for the development of a Stage IV sacral/coccyx pressure ulcer. Mr. Coley passed away 15 months after leaving University Village and continued to have this pressure ulcer until the time of his death. A graphic photograph of the Stage IV ulcer was shown to the Jury. This case focused on the final three months of Mr. Coley’s 12+ year residency at University Village. Plaintiff alleged that University Village failed to implement appropriate interventions after re-admission from a hospital stay, and failed to revise any interventions after Mr. Coley developed his sacral/coccyx ulcer, in violation of the Federal Regulation for pressure ulcers, F-Tag 314. Plaintiff also alleged that the caregivers failed to follow the Facility’s own Policies and Procedures by failing to monitor/track the wound, and by failing to provide adequate pressure relief every 2 hours. As a result, Plaintiff alleged that University Village failed to prevent the development, and worsening, of Mr. Coley’s pressure ulcer. Lastly, Plaintiff alleged that the University Village caregivers failed to properly assess and treat Mr. Coley for Pain allegedly associated with his wound.
- Jury Verdict: Following the 5 day jury trial, the jury returned a defense jury verdict in favor of both Defendants.
- Trial Team: Donna Fudge and W. Benjamin Broadwater of Fudge Broadwater, P.A. were lead trial counsel. Caitlin Kramer, Esq., and Paralegals Amy Bozarth and Julie Christ of Fudge Broadwater, P.A. assisted in the trial.
- Defense Award Arbitration: Granddaughter brought suit against the nursing home stemming from her grandmother’s multi-year residency at the facility. The allegations focused on a Stage IV pressure ulcer on the resident’s left hip which persisted in excess of 400 days, and required dozens of debridements, up until her death.
- Arbitration Award: Following a two (2) day Arbitration, the Panel entered an Arbitration Award in favor of the Defendant, finding that there was no breach of a duty owed to the resident.
- Arbitration Team: Donna Fudge and W. Benjamin Broadwater of Fudge Broadwater, P.A. were lead Defense counsel. Caitlin Kramer, Esq. and Julie Christ of Fudge Broadwater, P.A. assisted in the arbitration.