Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Hospital Patient Suffers a Fall—$875,000 Settlement

An elderly medical patient was left unattended and caused to fall at a hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The patient hired Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis to file a personal injury lawsuit against the hospital. Attorney Samuel L. Davis proved that the hospital failed to provide proper care and supervision, and obtained our client a $875,000 settlement.

Our client was experiencing increased weakness, pain in her right leg, and loss of ambulation. She was diagnosed with an Altered Mental Status (AMS) and Renal Insufficiency. Her nurse knew that she was high risk for falling and implemented safety measures, including a call bell and a bed alarm. However, the hospital staff did not check the operability or audibility of either device, which is how our client was able to leave her bed and enter the hallway undetected. After entering the hallway, the hospital patient collapsed and was found lying on the floor.

The woman suffered a right hip fracture that was operated on the next day. She underwent an open reduction with internal fixation, which later required revision surgery to remove and substitute the hardware with a prosthetic hip. She underwent a third surgery that removed damaged tissue and implanted antibiotic beads into her hip. The woman continued to suffer infections. Approximately six months after the fall, she underwent a final surgery that removed all hardware and the entire joint structure, leaving her hip nonfunctional.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis retained both a nursing expert and a medical expert to assess the standard of care administered by our client’s nurse and doctor. The nursing expert witness determined that the nurse had deviated from the standard of care on three counts: her failure to test and check the call bell and bed alarm, her failure to notify a doctor when our client’s bedside blood glucose level was unexpectedly high, and her failure to recommend that our client be examined by a neurologist or psychiatrist. The medical expert stated that the doctor was at fault for failing to obtain a neurology or psychiatry consult. According to the experts, a consult would have shown that their patient needed more supervision, which may have prevented the fall. The experts determined that the hospital should be held liable for the woman’s fall and subsequent injury.

Partner Samuel L. Davis sued the hospital in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County. He ensured that the firm’s client received proper compensation for her pain, suffering, and financial loss, by winning a settlement of $875,000.

Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering was caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances and available insurance coverage.

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Medical Glossary

Altered Mental Status: A medical condition in which a change in neurological functioning causes a change in behavior.

Renal Insufficiency: A medical condition in which one’s kidneys fail to properly remove waste and fluids.

Open Reduction With Internal Fixation: A surgery in which a surgeon creates an incision and implants hardware to stabilize the bones.