A nursing home resident who was transferred to the nursing home after a hospital stay suffered a series of falls. Although the nursing home provided the resident with good care, she was found dead in her bathroom a year after admission. During her stay, the resident’s strength and condition had improved to the point where she had zero (0) falls in the three (3) months before her death. Despite this improvement, the resident’s children alleged the nursing home was negligent in the care and supervision of their mother while she was a resident. They claimed the nursing home violated statutory provisions which led to her death.
This hotly contested case went to trial and the plaintiffs elicited three potentially damaging areas of testimony from the nursing home’s director of nursing and its corporate officer. First, the director of nursing and the corporate officer conceded that the resident “deserved better” regarding certain elements of care. Second, both the director of nursing and the corporate officer generally agreed that the resident deserved the treatment the nursing home “promised the State it would give.” Third, the director of nursing and the corporate officer both admitted that certain actions of the nursing home “fell below the standard of care.”
The jury returned a defense verdict, primarily based on GAB trial counsel’s repeated emphasis on the good care received by the resident during her stay and the evidence showing that her condition improved during her stay at the nursing home. Moreover, GAB trial counsel gave the jury the tools it needed to side with the nursing home by presenting expert testimony showing that the nursing home did not violate the standard of care in the resident’s care and treatment regarding the subject injuries and death. The jury was able to reach this decision only after GAB’s trial team defeated the plaintiffs’ attempt to obtain a directed verdict based on the admissions of the nursing home’s director of nursing and corporate officer. Although plaintiffs appealed the refusal to grant a directed verdict, GAB successfully upheld the trial court’s decision to let the jury decide this case.