May 26, 2015, PNLR E-Newsletter
Nursing aide’s negligence leads to refractured hip
The plaintiff alleged that a rehabilitation facility was liable for its nursing aide’s negligence in forcefully moving the patient’s leg, among other claims. The jury awarded about $1.52 million. Huuskonen v. Pinnacle Healthcare, Inc.
Karol Huuskonen, 76, fractured her left hip after falling at home. Two days later, she underwent a partial hip replacement and was later discharged to a rehabilitation facility. While there, she reported to staff that she was experiencing increased pain after a nursing aide moved her leg forcefully while putting her to bed. This was reported to a supervisor, who allegedly did not act on the information.
Three weeks later, Huuskonen was diagnosed as having a refractured left hip. Revision surgery was unsuccessful. Huuskonen, who was unable to undergo a total hip replacement, now functions without a working hip joint. She must now use a walker and wear a large platform shoe.
Huuskonen sued the facility, alleging liability for the nursing aide’s negligence in forcefully moving her leg, for failing to timely notify her orthopedic surgeon of the incident, and for continuing with physical therapy without first consulting the surgeon. Suit also alleged improper staff training.
The jury awarded about $1.52 million.
Citation: Huuskonen v. Pinnacle Healthcare, Inc., No. 13CV1147 (Or. Cir. Ct. Josephine Cnty. Mar. 13, 2015).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Douglas Schaller and Jennifer Middleton, both of Eugene, Ore.