Gibson and Thomas Obtain Summary Judgment in Nursing Home Case

Robert Gibson and Gillian Thomas successfully moved for summary judgment dismissal of a wrongful death case alleging negligent care at a long term care facility.

The elderly decedent was admitted to our client’s long term care facility with many medical complications, including advanced dementia, chronic renal failure, and peripheral vascular disease with absent pulses in the lower extremities resulting in decreased blood flow to her lower limbs. Due to this latter complication she developed non-healing vascular ulcers requiring a left leg amputation. She failed to respond to treatment and passed away.

Plaintiff alleged that the client failed to have the decedent moved and turned with enough frequency to avoid the development of bed sores, failed to properly clean decedent’s bed sores and to change her dressings with enough frequency leading to the development of osteomyelitis, amputation and eventually death. We moved for summary judgment on behalf of the client by submitting an expert affirmation demonstrating that the client did not depart from good and accepted practice and that decedent’s condition was caused by her advanced age and medical complications.

Plaintiff opposed summary judgment by raising new theories of liability that were not alleged in their Bill of Particulars. Plaintiff’s expert also did not specifically find that the client committed medical malpractice or was negligent.

Summary judgment was awarded on the ground that plaintiff’s expert’s generalized claims of negligence and medical malpractice are insufficient to defeat the client’s showing of entitlement to judgment.