Daughter files wrongful death suit against hospital

Kelly Holleran Nov. 2, 2009, 1:25am

The daughter of a recently deceased woman has filed suit against St. Joseph's Hospital of Highland, alleging her mother died from injuries she sustained after she fell while attempting to climb out of her hospital bed.

Roberta Cruthis claims her mother, Alice Davis, was a patient at St. Joseph's on June 18, 2008.

At the time of Davis' admittance to the hospital, employees knew she was a fall risk, so they attached a close call device to her gown, which was supposed to alert them any time Davis attempted to leave her bed, according to the complaint filed Oct. 22 in Madison County Circuit Court.

On June 18, 2008, Davis was attempting to get out of her hospital bed, but instead fell to the floor, the suit states. However, the nurses' station was never alerted of Davis' attempt to climb from bed.

As a result, Davis suffered injuries that led to her death on June 25, 2008, the complaint says.

Before her death, Davis suffered severe and permanent injuries, resulting in pain, the plaintiffs claim.

Cruthis is blaming the nursing staff for failing to properly inspect the close call alarm, for using a close call clip that they knew was not properly working and for failing to properly monitor Davis when they knew she was a fall risk.

Because of Davis' death, her two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren have suffered the loss of her support, society, companionship, felicity, guidance and instruction.

In the two-count suit, Cruthis is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Bob L. Perica of The Perica Law Firm in Wood River will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1126.

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