Elmwood Nursing blamed for resident's fall from wheelchair

Kelly Holleran Jul. 12, 2012, 3:00am


A man has filed suit against the nursing home where his relative was staying, alleging his physical condition deteriorated after he fell from a wheelchair while left unattended.

Ralph S. Reynolds claims his relative, Geoffrey Reynolds, was staying at defendant Elmwood Nursing Rehabilitation Center doing business as Elmwood Nursing and Rehab Center when he sustained multiple falls over a period of a few days.

Geoffrey Reynolds's first fall occurred on June 28, 2010, when he tripped forward on his wheelchair and slipped to the floor, injuring his face and nose, according to the complaint filed July 3 in Madison County Circuit Court.

On June 30, 2010, Geoffrey Reynolds again fell forward in his wheelchair, injuring the right side of his face, the suit states.

Finally, on July 6, 2010, he fell from his wheelchair and struck the right side of his face while left unattended, the complaint says. During this fall, Geoffrey Reynolds sustained injuries to his head, brain and face, Ralph Reynolds alleges.

Because of his falls, Geoffrey Reynolds incurred medical costs, suffered great pain and mental anguish and endured emotional distress, according to the complaint.

In addition to Elmwood Nursing and Rehab Center, Ralph Reynolds names Maryville Health Properties and Healthcare Management Associates as defendants. He says they negligently failed to care for Geoffrey Reynolds in a way that enhanced his life, failed to hire significant staff to provide adequate services to Geoffrey Reynolds and failed to properly assess him for the risk of falls, among other negligent acts.

In his six-count complaint, Ralph Reynolds is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus attorney's fees and costs.

He will be represented by Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-944.

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