Kennedy Terminal Ulcer & Bed Sore Lawsuits

Our Michigan medical negligence lawyers have significant experience in filing lawsuits against hospital, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes for patients who have suffered a Kennedy Terminal Ulcer.  This classification of a pressure sore is really just a myth and was created by nursing homes and the attorneys representing medical facilities.  This is their attempt to avoid liability for their negligent care of a patient or resident.

There is really no such thing as an unavoidable pressure ulcer if proper observation, care, and treatment are provided.  However, medical facilities often fail to provide this required care and the result is a serious and infected bed sore.  As an attempt to avoid responsibility, the term “Kennedy Terminal Ulcer” was created to describe a sore that develops while a person is dying as somehow this is a natural development of sores during the dying process.

The Kennedy Terminal Ulcer develops on the coccyx, sacrum, and heels.  These places are of course, the same spots where most other pressure ulcers occur.  Not surprisingly, they are most often the result of medical neglect in a hospital or nursing care facility.

In fact, many patients with pressure ulcers who are nearing death have sepsis, osteomyelitis, and other serious conditions due to an infected ulcer or sore.  By attempting to classify a bed sore as a Kennedy Terminal Ulcer, the medical provider is trying to change the real focus of neglect to a natural and unavoidable condition.  Wound care doctors and skin specialists fully realize that this attempt is baseless and the medical community in general does not subscribe to this theory.

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a Kennedy Terminal Ulcer, you should contact our experienced medical negligence lawyers immediately!   We will review the medical records and photographs to prove the condition was due to neglect and was not an unavoidable occurrence.  Call our office today at (800) 606-1717 to learn your legal rights.

$ 5,000,080 Assisted Living Wrongful Death Verdict

An Oakland County, Michigan jury recently returned a $ 5,000,080.00 verdict in favor of the estate of a 90 year-old woman against a assisted living facility.  The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the son of a resdient who died after ingesting a caustic detergent in the memory care unit at the Fountains Of Franklin in Southfield, Michigan.   The estate was represented by Lawrence J. Buckfire and Randall Blau of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.   The Honorable Dennis C. Drury presided over the seven day trial.

The resident was transferred into the facility’s memory care unit five weeks before the incident due to condition of dementia and her need for supervision. The unit had locked doors to prevent residents from wandering away from the facility.  It also had two caregivers in the unit to supervise seventeen residents.  The unit also had a barrier free kitchen accessible to residents, but meals were prepared outside the unit and served to the residents in the unit’s dining room by an outside contractor.

Although meals were prepared outside the unit, the contractor washed the dishes in the unit’s kitchen sink and loaded them into a dishwasher near the sink. The facility stored a caustic dishwashing detergent beneath the sink with a spigot connected to the dishwasher.  The detergent was stored behind two cabinet doors, one which had a plastic child magnetic lock and the other door had a wood lever closing mechanism designed by the maintenance staff.

On December 1, 2012, the resident gained access into the cabinet and ingested the detergent. She was not supervised at the time because one of the caregiver’s was on a meal break, leaving the other caregiver to supervise and dispense medication to seventeen residents by herself.  The caregiver who left for dinner was gone from the unit for fifty-six minutes, exceeding his thirty minute allotted break time.  During his absence, the facility did not bring in a substitute to supervise the residents.

When the caregiver returned from his break, he saw the decedent sitting alone in the dining room with her head leaned back and her lips swollen. He and the other caregiver called EMS and then discovered the kitchen cabinets open and the bottle of detergent on its side.  The resident was rushed to Providence Hospital with serious damage to her mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.  The injuries were so severe that surgery was not an option and she was unable eat or drink.  She died thirteen days later in the hospice unit of the hospital.

The lawsuit was filed on May 2, 2013 seeking damages under the Michigan Wrongful Death Statute. During the trial, jurors heard testimony from facility employees, expert witnesses, and family members.  Plaintiff’s contended that the doors were not secure enough to keep a dementia resident from accessing the deadly chemical and that supervision was sub-standard.  The Defendant argued that either the decedent or some unknown person forcibly tore a hinge out the cabinet to get access to the chemical.

“The Defendant chose not to provide the necessary supervision and used wholly inadequate locking mechanisms to prevent residents from gaining access inside the cabinets. The detergent did not even have a secure lid on it just in case someone forgot to lock and secure the door.  It was a tragedy just waiting to happen,” said Buckfire.  “She suffered a horrible and agonizing death which was completely preventable if proper basic safety measures had been taken by the facility.”

The jury award included compensation for her pain and suffering from the time of incident until her death, the loss of society and companionship suffered by her surviving family members, and both medical and funeral expenses. The jurors deliberated for approximately two hours.

Flint Adult Foster Care Home Wrongful Death Settlement

We recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit against a Flint area Adult Foster Care Home.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the resident’s surviving family members in the Genesee County Circuit Court in Flint, Michigan.

Our client was a 69 year old gentleman who had resided at the home for many years.  He was mentally impaired and had physical disabilities, including the inability to use his legs due to polio as a child.  As a result, we relied on a motorized wheelchair to get around.

The incident that led to his death involved the failure of the AFC home staff to safely assist him from getting off of the transportation van.  At the time of the incident, he was on the ramp of the handicapped van and drove off of the van.  He fell several feet and was struck in the head by his wheelchair.

The lawsuit alleged that the AFC Home staff was negligent because they did not turn off his wheelchair and manual assist him onto the ramp.   He had several prior instances in which he was unable to control the wheelchair, including at least one when he almost drove off the ramp.  The suit also alleged that the staff failed to use a safety strap which would have prevented the incident from occurring.

After the fall, the resident was taking to a local hospital and was diagnosed with a brain bleed.  He was never able to recover from the injury and passed away shortly thereafter at that hospital.  His entire family was at his side.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed and the depositions of numerous witnesses and family members were taken.  Prior to trial, the parties agreed to attend a private mediation to see if the case could be settled before trial.  After lengthy negotiations, the sides agreed to a confidential settlement.

Contact Our Michigan Nursing Home Lawyers

Want to know the settlement value of your case?    Tell us your story and we will evaluate your case.

  • Toll-Free Phone                               (800) 606-1717
  • Contact By Fax                                (248) 569-6737
  • Contact By E-mail                           Larry@Buckfirelaw.com

You can also contact us initially through our website Free Case Review Box. If you prefer that type of contact initially, we will review your case and get back to you quickly with our initial opinions. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about your case and then provide you with your best legal options.

Stage 4 Bedsore Settlement Against Detroit Nursing Home

Our nursing home neglect lawyers recently agreed to a confidential settlement with a Detroit nursing home in a case involving a Stage 4 bedsore.  The resident was a high risk for developing bedsores due to her immobility and other medical conditions.  She was assessed as a high risk by the nursing home but the treatment care plan was not properly followed.   As a result, she developed a major decubitus ulcer that became infected and required medical treatment.

On her behalf, we served a written Notice of Intent To Sue on the nursing home administrator.  This is the first step in the legal process to pursue a claim or lawsuit against a skilled nursing care facility in Michigan.   The insurance adjuster  for the nursing home contacted us to discuss a pre-lawsuit settlement.  This was in the best interest of all parties because it would save significant litigation expenses and would resolve the case immediately, rather than waiting up to two years if the case went to court.

After lengthy negotiations, the parties agreed to a confidential settlement.  This is a common practice in medical malpractice and nursing home neglect lawsuits and is often demanded by the medical provider as a term of the settlement.  The medical providers do not want information regarding their lawsuits or settlements to be made public.

Bedsores and decubitus ulcers are a serious problem in nursing homes and other medical facilities.   The medical provider is required to assess the patient’s risk of developing a bedsore and then implement a care plan.  Once the plan is created, the nursing staff must follow the plan and monitor the resident to make sure it is effective.  If it is not effective, the plan must be changed to add other necessary measures.

The failure to do these things can lead to a nursing home lawsuit if the resident is harmed or dies due to this negligence.   If someone you care about was harmed by neglect or abuse in a Michigan nursing home, you should contact our experienced Michigan nursing home lawyers to investigate your the case.  We charge absolutely no legal fees or costs unless there is a settlement.  We also pay all expenses and if your case is not successful for any reason,  you owe us nothing. We put it in writing for you.

Contact Our Michigan Nursing Home Lawyers

Want to know the settlement value of your nursing home bedsore case?    Tell us your story and we will evaluate your case.

  • Toll-Free Phone                               (800) 606-1717
  • Contact By Fax                                (248) 569-6737
  • Contact By E-mail                           Larry@Buckfirelaw.com

You can also contact us initially through our website Free Case Review Box. If you prefer that type of contact initially, we will review your case and get back to you quickly with our initial opinions. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about your case and then provide you with your best legal options.

Bowel Impaction Settlement Against Detroit Nursing Home

We recently reached a confidential settlement with a Detroit nursing home for the family of a resident who died from a bowel impaction.  The resident died shortly after she was taken to a local hospital emergency room for her impacted bowel.  The delay in diagnosis and treatment caused severe sepsis which led to her death.

On behalf of her surviving family members, we served a written Notice of Intent To Sue on the nursing home administrator.  This is the first step in the legal process to pursue a claim or lawsuit against a medical facility in Michigan.   The attorney for the nursing home contacted us to see if the parties would agree to attend a pre-lawsuit mediation to see if we could settle the case before filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan.   We agreed to the mediation.

At the mediation, both sides presented written briefs and orally discussed their respective claims with the mediator.  Each side also had information and reports from both nursing and medical experts to support their positions in the case.  Under Michigan law, each side must file an Affidavit from a qualified medical expert to support their positions on negligence in the case.

After lengthy negotiations, the parties agreed to a settlement.  The nursing home required that all terms of the settlement be kept confidential for all purposes except for obtaining permission from the probate court to settle the case.  This is a common practice in medical malpractice and nursing home neglect lawsuits and is often demanded by the medical provider as a term of the settlement.

Bowel impactions are a very serious condition in the elderly and will lead to death if not properly diagnosed or treated.  Nursing homes must closely monitor a residents bowel movements and look for signs and symptoms of an impacted bowel.  The failure to do these things can lead to a nursing home lawsuit if the resident is harmed or dies due to this negligence.   If someone you care about was harmed by neglect or abuse in a Michigan nursing home, you should contact our experienced Michigan nursing home lawyers to investigate your the case.  We charge absolutely no legal fees or costs unless there is a settlement.

Contact Our Michigan Nursing Home Lawyers

Want to know the settlement value of your nursing home case?    Tell us your story and we will evaluate your case.

  • Toll-Free Phone                               (800) 606-1717
  • Contact By Fax                                (248) 569-6737
  • Contact By E-mail                           Larry@Buckfirelaw.com

You can also contact us initially through our website Free Case Review Box. If you prefer that type of contact initially, we will review your case and get back to you quickly with our initial opinions. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about your case and then provide you with your best legal options.

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