Nursing home facing medical malpractice suit after allegedly dropping woman on floor

By Brandon Caples | Jun 19, 2015

BATON ROUGE – An East Baton Rouge woman is suing a medical center claiming it failed to properly care for her now deceased mother.

Denise Allen James filed suit against Nexion Health at New Iberia South Incorporated in the 19th Judicial District Court on April 14.

According to court records, James’ mother Beatrice Allen was admitted to Nexion Health at New Iberia South Inc., on March 8, 2012. The plaintiff claims her mother had a stroke and heart attack, which left her left side paralyzed. James’ alleges her mother could not walk or reposition herself in the bed or wheelchair. In fact, the plaintiff contends Allen was admitted to the medical facility to receive help with physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

When Allen arrived at the facility, James asserts she was able to use her right hand to feed herself and give herself a drink with limited assistance because she had some right side weakness and that due to the severity of her mother’s illness she needed the assistance of at least two people at all times. Allen allegedly stayed at the rehabilitation center from March 8, 2012 until May 4, 2012.

On March 24, 2012, a nursing home employee purportedly attempted to transfer the plaintiff’s mother from her bed to her wheelchair by using a lift and neglected to wait for a second person to arrive to help. Furthermore, the nursing assistant is alleged to have neglected to secure the strap on the lift correctly, which allegedly caused Allen to be dropped midair out of the lift. The plaintiff claims her mother landed on the foot of the lift and hit her neck on floor.

Following the incident James claims her mother was sent to the emergency room and complained of head and neck pain immediately after the fall.

The plaintiff states that her mother experienced anxiety and was scared of the staff at Nexion Health at New Iberia South Inc. Shortly after, Allen allegedly began refusing meals or only eating very small amounts of food. The plaintiff also claims that Allen complained of abdominal pain, nausea, shortness of breath and lack of appetite and was less responsive and was no longer talkative.

The defendant is accused of failing to detect developing pneumonia, failing to reposition the patient every two hours, and failing to care for the patient according to knowledge of her existing health ailments such as diabetes.

According to the lawsuit, on July 16, 2014, a medical review panel found that Nexion Health at New Iberia South Inc., failed to meet the applicable standard of care as alleged.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for medical expenses and court fees.

The plaintiff is representing herself pro se.

This case has been assigned to Division I Judge R. Michael Caldwell.

Case no. 638,412.

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