Rehab facility sued by former patient's son on wrongful death claims

Kyle Barnett Oct. 25, 2012, 2:42am

R. Justin Garon

GRETNA – The son of a woman who was injured in a fall at a rehab health facility and allegedly died due to complications from the fall is suing.

Malcom Matherne, individually and on behalf of the estate of Mitzi Matherene, filed suit against Rehabcare Group Management Services, Inc. and Rehabcare Group East in the 24th Judicial District Court on Sept. 5. Matherne claims his mother was considered a high fall risk when she was in the in the care of Rehabcare at West Jefferson Medical Center when she was left unattended on a commode by two employees. The plaintiff alleges that while being assisted back to her bed by a certified nurse's aide she fell to the floor landing on her right knee. Matherne asserts that complications arising from the injuries his mother received in the fall ultimately led to her death.

The defendant is accused of failing to provide Matherne's mother with the necessary degree of care and attention, failing to remain in the room or nearby to assist the patient from the commode, failing to provide appropriate care, failing to properly train its employees in an appropriate manner, failing to take the necessary precautions and vicarious liability.

Damages are sought in excess of $50,000 for medical costs, premorbid pain, suffering, mental anguish, disability, fright and fear of impending death, loss of love and affection, loss of companionship and society and funeral costs.

Matherne is represented by New Orleans-based attorney R. Justin Garon.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robert A. Pitre.

Case no. 718-736.

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