Ryan Ryan Deluca Wins Defense Verdict for Skilled Nursing Facility in CT

On March 5, 2014, a Hartford
jury returned a defense verdict in favor of RRD’s client, a skilled nursing
facility. RRD’s trial team of partner John F. Costa, associate attorney Nicole
D. Wright and nurse consultant, Maureen Kaps, RN successfully convinced the
jury that the nursing facility was not responsible for the plaintiff’s
injuries. The plaintiff’s attorney had asked for approximately $2 million in
damages during summations.

The 73 year-old patient had
been admitted for rehabilitation following total hip arthroplasty. While on
anti-coagulation therapy to prevent clots during her stay at the facility, her
blood became dangerously anti-coagulated as evidence by an INR level of 13.7 –
the normal range being between 2.0 and 3.0 for anti-coagulation therapy. The
patient’s orthopedic surgeon, testifying as plaintiff’s causation expert,
maintained that  the high INR level resulted in a hematoma which became
infected leading to a removal of the infected implant. The plaintiff claimed
 that she bled profusely from her wound on three consecutive days due to
excess anti-coagulation. The facility’s nurses maintained that there was never
any bleeding from the wound. Rather, it was serosanguinous drainage.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic
surgeon testified that if he had been notified by the nursing staff earlier, he
would have stopped her Coumadin and the hematoma would have been prevented,
thus preventing the infection and the need to remove the implant. The plaintiff
subsequently underwent a second surgery to remove the implant and insert an
antibiotic-laden implant, three months of rehabilitation, a third surgery to
put in a new implant, and three more months of rehabilitation. Through the
testimony of a medical director expert and experts in orthopedics, wound care
nursing and nursing home administration, the defense showed that the hematoma
started on the day of the first surgery and there were no signs or symptoms of
infection at any time during the resident’s stay at the facility.

 

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