CALL THE FIRM 914.478.7777 914.478.7777

Fall Down Wet Floor in Nursing Home Nurse Responding to Patient Call Fractured Wrist – Settlement: $180,000 [2001-10-29]

John Hadler [New York Jury Verdict Reporter]
The New York Jury Verdict Reporter

Volume XIX, Issue 19

BRONX SUPREME

SETTLEMENTS

XIX/19-34

SETTLEMENT: Karleen Moncrieffe v. C. G. Limited; Kingsbridge Nursing Home; Health Service Group, Inc.; et al. 14053/98 Date of Settlement 9/4/01 Bronx Supreme

Pltf. Atty: Peter DeFilippis of Peter DeFilippis & Associates, P. C. Manhattan

Deft Atty: Edward J. Barbour of McCormick & Turpin, Pearl River, for Healthcare Services Group, Steven M. Silverman of Peltz & Walker, Manhattan, for C. G. Ltd. and Kingsbridge

This case settled while a motion for summary judgment by Deft. was pending for $180,000. On 9/9/96, Plf., a 43-year-old nurse’s aide, was on duty at the Kingsbridge Heights Nursing Home. Pltf. claimed that at approximately12:50 AM a patient rang the call bell for assistance. At that same time, workers were stripping the tile floor without leaving a walkway for nurses to get to the patients. Pltf. tried to walk on the floor, but slipped and fell when she let go of the handrail. Plf.’s counsel subpoenaed records that showed that Pltf. was annually evaluated and graded to insure that she always answered call bells ASAP when summoned by patients. Kingsbridge’s own accident report suggested stripping the floor in halves, leaving a dry section to walk on. Pltf. contended that the report went on to state that the corrective action of stripping the floor in halves would be necessary to avoid and prevent such accidents in the future. Plf.’s safety expert would have testified that the proper way to strip the floor was in sections, not the entire width at once.

Defts. contended that Pltf. was well aware of the floor stripping and was told not to walk on the floor. Pltf. argued that the hallway was the only means available to reach the patient.

Injuries: fractured right (dominant) wrist. Pltf. was taken to Our Lady of Mercy Hospital and diagnosed with a possible fractured scaphoid. She was casted for 6 weeks and received physical therapy for 3 months. The Workers’ Compensation Board awarded her $15,860 with a finding of a 16.5% permanent loss of use of her dominant hand. Plf.’s medical expert would have testified that the radial styloid located next to the scaphoid was actually the bone that was fractured and that she had diminished grip strength stemming from the accident. Defts. would have argued that hospital X-rays did not demonstrate a fracture, and that this was merely a sprain which resolved after a few months. Deft. also contended that there was prior bilateral carpel tunnel surgeries, and that the surgery resulted in the claimed loss of use of the dominant hand.

: fractured right (dominant) wrist. Pltf. was taken to Our Lady of Mercy Hospital and diagnosed with a possible fractured scaphoid. She was casted for 6 weeks and received physical therapy for 3 months. The Workers’ Compensation Board awarded her $15,860 with a finding of a 16.5% permanent loss of use of her dominant hand. Plf.’s medical expert would have testified that the radial styloid located next to the scaphoid was actually the bone that was fractured and that she had diminished grip strength stemming from the accident. Defts. would have argued that hospital X-rays did not demonstrate a fracture, and that this was merely a sprain which resolved after a few months. Deft. also contended that there was prior bilateral carpel tunnel surgeries, and that the surgery resulted in the claimed loss of use of the dominant hand.

Specials: Workers’ Compensation lien of $15,860. Initial offer: $40,000; initial demand: $220,000. Settlement apportionment: Healthcare paid $175,000; C. G. Ltd. and Kingsbridge paid $5,000. Carrier: Zurich Insurance.

Workers’ Compensation lien of $15,860. Initial offer: $40,000; initial demand: $220,000. : Healthcare paid $175,000; C. G. Ltd. and Kingsbridge paid $5,000. : Zurich Insurance.

Pltf. Experts: Dr. William Marletta, safety expert, West Islip; Dr. Paul Post, orth. surg., Manhattan.

Deft. Expert: Dr. Sheldon Manspeizer, orth. surg., Bronx.