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  • Wrongful Death – Negligent Operation and Maintenance of Hoyer Sling Lift: Hunt v. Regency at Waterford et al.

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew L. Turner and Lenore Zakhem recently filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Brenda Hunt, the personal representative for the estate of Gary Wayne Sommers. The personal injury action was filed against Northern Oak Management Company, LLC, doing business as Regency at Waterford, where the patient had been living for quite some time.

Due to his inability to ambulate independently, the patient had to be transferred using a Hoyer Lift Sling. Two staff members were required to accomplish the process. However, on the day in question, the staff member present could not find another staff member to assist and decided to do it by herself. Before the transfer, the staff member doing the transfer noticed that the strap on the lift was torn. Despite having no help and knowing that the strap was torn, the staff member went ahead with the transfer. During the transfer, the strap broke, causing the patient to fall to the floor.

The patient suffered numerous serious injuries in the fall, including a subtrochanteric femur fracture and a right femoral neck fracture. Immediately after the fall, the patient was taken to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated. The patient died on the tenth day of hospitalization. The cause of death was bilateral femoral fractures with complications.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in that only one staff member was conducting the transfer when there should have been two, and that the Hoyer Lift in question should not have been used because it was damaged or defective.

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