A Westborough, Massachusetts, nursing home has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the daughter of an elderly woman who died from injuries sustained after falling at the facility.
Candilou C. Hitchcock filed the lawsuit in Worcester Superior Court in 2017. Her mother, Betty “Betsy” Ford Crane, 89, was living at Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center when, on July 29, 2015, she fell, suffering blunt force head trauma. She died a week later on Aug. 7, 2015.
Crane suffered from dementia and had fallen at least 21 other times while at the facility. But the day Crane suffered her fatal fall, the nursing home employee caring for her forgot to turn on the alarm that was on her wheelchair, which would have alerted staff that she was getting up.
According to the lawsuit, after she fell, the nursing home didn’t contact a doctor or nurse practitioner to check on her injuries, which delayed her getting medical treatment. The facility also didn’t report the incident to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as is required by law.
Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center is also close to settling a second wrongful death lawsuit involving another patient who died a month after Crane at the nursing home.
Vincent M. Walsh, 85, had dementia with psychosis and wore a WanderGuard bracelet monitor that prevented him from passing through sensor doors. According to a lawsuit filed by his family, Walsh wasn’t wearing the device when a housekeeper found him lying on the floor at the bottom of the service stairs outside the doors that had WanderGuard sensors. Two weeks before his fall, a nurse said she had cut the WanderGuard band off Walsh’s leg because it looked too tight.
Source: MetroWest Daily News