Failure to Use Hoyer Lift in Nursing Home Leads to Fall and Serious Injury

An Illinois jury recently awarded the Estate of a 68 year old woman who died following a fall in a nursing home over $1 million.  The decedent had been recently admitted to a rehabilitation center under a care plan that required aides to utilize a Hoyer lift whenever they were transferring her from one place to another.  A Hoyer lift is a mechanical device that can be operated either manually or under power to effortlessly transfer a patient.  Notwithstanding the physician orders requiring the Hoyer lift use, aides attempted to transfer the decedent in a shower facility without use of the device.  As a result, and not surprisingly, the woman fell fracturing her hip.  Following the fall, the decedent required a hip replacement surgery.  The surgical site, however, became infected, which in turn required several additional surgeries in an attempt to clean out the infection.  Those surgeries were unsuccessful.  Unfortunately, the infection spread to the tissue surrounding the hip prosthesis and the implant was forced to be removed.  The prosthesis was never able to be replaced and as a result, the decedent was never able to walk again, up to the point of her death.  At trial, the estate argued that the nursing home operator was negligent in failing to properly monitor/supervise the woman and/or follow the clear instructions on the use of the Hoyer lift. 

At STSW, our lawyers routinely investigate and/or litigate cases involving nursing home neglect.  The majority of these cases typically involve some sort of fall that could have been prevented.  Whether it is a fall during a transfer, a fall occurring during a trip to the restroom, a fall during a procedure, or a fall from a wheelchair, these types of injuries are preventable and you may be entitled to compensation.  If you or a loved on has been injured as the result of nursing home or rehabilitation center negligence, call our medical malpractice / wrongful death team for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.