Resident Injured in Nursing Home Drop / Fall
On February 6, 2003, 87 year-old Harold Gould was transferred to the residential care facility known as Cascade Home Care in Bothell, Washington. Mr. Gould had been previously diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer?s disease. He was considered a risk for falling. The residential care plan specifically stated that he was to be assisted with two persons while walking or being transferred.
On the first day Mr. Gould was admitted, the staff left him unattended while sitting on the bed. One staff member attempted to move Mr. Gould and he was dropped onto the floor.
The Washington State Department of Health and Social Services requires a residential care facility to report any injuries to a resident. Despite this requirement, Cascade Home Care failed to report that Mr. Gould was dropped onto the floor.
Over the next several days, Mr. Gould?s personal caretaker noticed that he was acting unusual and that he would wince in pain with certain movements. About five (5) days later the caretaker noticed bruising on Mr. Gould?s right hip and leg. She demanded that he be taken to the hospital.
The ER staff at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue could not determine what was wrong with Mr. Gould, that is, until X-rays were taken of his legs and hips. These showed that Mr. Gould had suffered a fractured to his right hip. He then underwent emergency surgery. Mr. Gould spent 6 weeks in a rehabilitation facility.
After Mr. Gould?s caretakers discovered that he had fractured his hip, they confronted the care facility and its owner. They learned that Mr. Gould had been dropped, although the owner gave differing accounts of what happened. They immediately contacted DSHS to report the incident.
DSHS conducted an investigation and found that the care facility violated its own care plan and failed to promptly notify the agency and the resident?s family members when Mr. Gould was dropped. The care facility was issued a citation.
Mr. Gould incurred medical bills of approximately $65,000, although this was disputed by the defendants. Most of this expense was paid by Medicare. However, Mr. Gould is required to reimburse Medicare for this expense out of his settlement recovery proceeds.
Mr. Gould is now 90 years old. He has made a near full recovery. Unfortunately, his Alzheimer condition has worsened. He has no memory of his prior injury. He now uses a wheelchair and walks occasionally with the assistance of a walker and his personal caretaker.
Mr. Gould was represented by attorney Christopher Michael Davis of Bellevue, WA. The resident care facility was represented by his insurance defense counsel Steven Goldstein in Seattle. The case is Gould v. Cascade Home Care, et al., King Co. Superior Court No. 06*********.
*Some names have been changed to protect our client?s privacy.