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Physical Therapist Accused of Not Supporting Standing Patient During Treatment 

F​ailure to Provide Proper Support to Woman During Physical Therapy Blamed for Fall and Death - Physical Therapists Claim She Slid From Bed and Was Lowered to Floor - $1,158,392 Verdict 

The plaintiff’s decedent, age seventy-eight at the time, had a complex medical history. In early 2005 she underwent a colectomy for a strangulated bowel. Following a repair surgery she suffered respiratory failure and was placed on a ventilator. She later suffered renal failure and heart failure. She did improve, however, and she was sent to a nursing home. Several weeks later the decedent returned to the hospital for physical therapy. 

The physical therapy was intended to strengthen the decedent in order to allow her to ambulate at home. During physical therapy one day she was allowed to stand by herself despite two physical therapists being present. The woman fell and suffered a complex femur fracture. Her condition deteriorated quickly and she died four days later. 

The plaintiff alleged negligence by the physical therapists in failing to support her during the physical therapy. 

The defendant claimed that the decedent had simply slipped off the edge of a hospital bed and had been lowered gently to the floor by the physical therapists. 

According to Jury Verdict Reporter a $1,158,392 verdict was returned. This included medical expenses of $58,492, $100,000 for physical and mental suffering, $600,000 to her husband for loss of consortium and $60,000 to her five surviving children.

With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288. ​​



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