In the Courts: Plaintiff’s Expert Report Saves Litigation: Connects Breach of Duty to Preventable Suffering

March 10, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In a case brought by the son of a skilled nursing and hospice resident who repeatedly experienced urinary tract infections (UTIs) and dehydration, the Court of Appeals of Texas, second circuit, has found that an amended expert report submitted by the plaintiff adequately addressed the issues it was required to address: the standard of care expected of the defendant and how the defendant facility's breach of the standard of care caused the resident to suffer before her death. As a result, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's denial of the facility's motion to dismiss and request for attorney's fees.

The resident was admitted to the defendant facility for skilled nursing and hospice care. On admission, her many diagnoses included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, muscle weakness and wasting, joint stiffness, and dysphagia. Over the course of her one-year residence, she was hospitalized multiple times: once with UTI and hypotension, once with UTI and dehydration, and finally with "respiratory insufficiency, atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, UTI, dehydration, seizure, and dementia." During the last hospital stay, she received treatment and was discharged the next day. However, she did not completely recover; she...

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