Wrongful death lawsuit filed against nursing home claims furniture fell on patient

By Michelle Keahey | Jan 14, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - The family of a deceased nursing home resident has filed a lawsuit claiming that the facility was negligent for not securing a dresser to the wall, which allowed it to fall onto their bedridden mother and cause fatal injuries.

Weldon R. Humphries and Carl D. Humphries, on behalf of their deceased mother, Beatrice Ballard Humphries, filed suit against Emeritus Corp. of Washington and ABC Insurance Co. on Nov. 2, 2012 in St. Tammany Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Dec. 17.

The alleged incident occurred on Sept. 2, 2012 as Beatrice Humphries was a resident of Emeritus of Mandeville, an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility in St. Tammany Parish. Humphries was bedridden and her bed was situated in front of a dresser/armoire because there were three residents in one room. The dresser/armoire was not attached to the wall and fell onto Humphries, causing fatal injuries.

The plaintiffs argue that the accident was caused by the failure to properly secure the dresser/armoire to the wall in a prudent and safe manner.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to maintain or secure the furniture in a proper manner and for failing to use due care and caution under the circumstances.

The lawsuit is seeking more than $50,000 for wrongful death damages, survival damages, and damages for medical and burial expenses, mental anguish, emotional distress, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jack E. Truitt and Jennifer Cortes Poirier of The Truitt Law Firm in Covington. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02975

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