Testimony begins in Rosewood Care Center trial

Amelia Flood Apr. 22, 2009, 2:26am

For the second time, a trial against Rosewood Care Center is under way in a case that ended in mistrial in Madison County in 2007.

Paul Graves of Edwardsville sued the Edwardsville nursing home on behalf of his father, Alfred Graves, in 2003. But when the case went to jurors for deliberation, a verdict could not be reached.

Paul Graves contends that his 80 year-old father, whom he had placed at Rosewood for the duration of his vacation to Mexico, fell on his way to the bathroom at the facility in January 2003. He argues that the nursing home violated its own policies and procedures of care set out by the state Nursing Home Care Act.

Rosewood argues that, while Alfred Graves did fall at the nursing home, it is not responsible for his accident.

In his opening statement, plaintiff attorney Robert Gregory stressed that Paul Graves had made the nursing home aware of his father's previous falls and balance problems. He went on to outline the plaintiff's case, arguing that nursing home's staff did not check the elder Graves' history and that the staff did not provide him with care from the time he walked into Rosewood.

Paul Graves testified that he had been greatly concerned about his father falling, even though he acknowledged Alfred Graves could move around with a cane.

"He certainly wasn't 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Paul Graves testified.

Attorney Dennis McCubbin, representing Rosewood, acknowledged that the elder Graves did need a cane and suffered from some dementia, as outlined by the plaintiff. However, he said, just because someone needed a cane, does not mean that Rosewood was at fault for his fall.

"Sometimes people just fall and that's what happened in this case," McCubbin said.

McCubbin said the nursing home followed its procedures and those set out by the state. He listed all the witnesses that would be called for and against his side on a dry erase board, ending up with a total of eight for his side and one for the plaintiff.

Testimony continued through Tuesday afternoon and will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Attorney Kevin Hoerner originally defended Rosewood.

The case is Madison case 03-L-1166.

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