Resident Falls from Wheelchair While Unattended Outside; Default Judgment Reinstated

June 1, 2020 | Aging Services Risk Management


In a case in which a resident fell from her wheelchair after allegedly being left unattended outside, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma reversed a trial court order vacating a default judgment against the defendant nursing home, effectively reinstating the default judgment regarding liability. However, the court remanded for a trial on damages.

The resident used a wheelchair and was blind. Early in November, a staff member wheeled the resident outside the nursing home for some fresh air, then left her unattended. The resident got cold and tried to wheel herself back into the nursing home. While doing so, she fell from her wheelchair onto the concrete. Someone driving by saw the resident lying on the ground and helped her back into her chair and back to the facility, and she was taken to the hospital. She suffered a leg injury as a result of the fall. The leg injury ultimately led to infection and sepsis,...

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