Atlee Hall Resolves Case Involving Nursing Home

Written by Melissa Jabour

Atlee Hall recently resolved a case against a local nursing home for the death of an 81-year-old woman. The woman, who had been a resident of the nursing home for several years, had swallowing difficulties as a result of a prior stroke. She required a diet of soft mechanical food, and an aide had to be present with her at all times while she was eating. One afternoon, as the resident was eating lunch in her room, she began choking. While the nursing home employees attempted to clear her airway, she was deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time and ultimately passed away.

The nursing home claimed that its resident had been provided the appropriate diet and was properly monitored while she was eating. Through discovery, we were able to demonstrate that this could not have been the case. Specifically, while the nursing home contended that its employees immediately responded to its resident’s choking episode, its records and the testimony of witnesses told a different story. Our liability expert was able to opine that the nursing home employees did not respond in a timely fashion given the woman’s noted condition immediately after the episode and when she arrived at the hospital.

The case was able to be resolved out of court to our client’s satisfaction, and it is our belief that because of this case, the nursing home will be more attentive to its residents in the future.