The Pittsburgh Tribune Review had an article about the recent jury trial against a nursing home in a wrongful death lawsuit in which the family of a woman claims the nursing home was negligent in her care and caused her death.  The family of Olive Shaffer contends she received inadequate care during her stay at Harmon House in Mt. Pleasant.   Shaffer fell several times while living in the nursing home and died July 22, 2003, from injuries she sustained in her falls.

Jurors were given evidence that workers at the nursing home falsified records, violated internal policies which make up the standard of care, and were negligent in supervising Shaffer.   The Shaffer family contends that Shaffer fell several times in the nursing home in June, and the staff made insufficient efforts to prevent her from taking more tumbles.

The nursing home had a management company (Grane Healthcare Co) that was responsible for implementing policies and procedures and training staff on fall prevention. In the lawsuit, the family said Shaffer fell twice on July 15, 2003, and she suffered catastrophic injuries, including brain swelling. She died from her injuries a week later, according to the suit.

The nursing home’s defense is 1) Old people fall  2)  Falls happen and 3) Falls are not preventable. The only way to prevent it is to tie them up.

I hope the jury listens to the evidence and the defense’s frivolous and misleading arguments and awards substantial damages.


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