Summary Judgment for Home Care Providers Who Did Not Call Family When Client Did Not Answer

January 11, 2021 | Aging Services Risk Management


​​A home care client did not answer her door or her phone for two mornings in a row when a home care aide arrived at the client's apartment to provide services; on the third day, the client's son found the client dead in her apartment. The son and his wife sued, ​alleging that the home care providers should have called the son, who was the client's emergency contact, when the client failed to answer. The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed summary judgment for the defendant home care providers and their employees.

The main home healthcare provider organization contracted with another organization to provide home health aide services to clients. An aide employed by the home health aide organization provided services to the client every weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. One Monday morning, when the aide arrived at the client's apartment and knocked on the door, no one answered. The aide called the client's phone, but nobody answered. The aide called her coordinator, who called a service manager employed by the main home health provider. The service manager emailed the client's nurse care manager, who was also employed by the main home health provider. After a while, the service manager...

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