Client Outcomes, Firm News, Health Care, Indiana, Johnson & Bell

Swing, Sarafin Secure Defense Verdict in Hospital Dispute

July 24, 2023

Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Susan K. Swing, and Counsel, Michael A. Sarafin, recently secured a defense verdict in favor of their hospital client in Indiana.  In this medical malpractice dispute, the plaintiff, a patient in a hospital acute rehabilitation unit, claimed that a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) broke plaintiff's left ankle while helping her walk from her bed to the bathroom. The Hospital's defense centered around the CNA’s testimony and supporting medical records that showed that the CNA properly used a gait belt and rolling walker to assist plaintiff; that plaintiff reported left ankle/foot pain when she took her first steps; and that the CNA properly lowered plaintiff to the floor to avoid, not cause, a fall since plaintiff’s pain indicated a broken ankle or foot. Subsequent imaging confirmed a broken left ankle.

Plaintiff claimed that she fell as the CNA assisted her because the CNA did not use a gait belt and that the CNA then somehow fell on top of plaintiff and broke her ankle. Plaintiff’s nursing expert claimed that insufficient charting breached the standard of care and also indicated that the event did not occur as the CNA testified, but failed to properly define the actual standard of care. The Hospital’s nursing expert explained the actual standard of care and how the CNA met it. Plaintiff relied on her treating podiatrist to describe her broken ankle while the Hospital’s orthopedics expert explained that plaintiff likely suffered a spontaneous fracture due to her pre-existing osteopenia (soft bones) and obesity.

Plaintiff asked the jury for $190,000. The jury returned a defense verdict within 40 minutes of adjourning to deliberate.

View All Insights

Stay Connected

Join our e-newsletter for the latest
from Johnson & Bell.

Related Attorney(s)

Related Industry Sector(s)

Johnson & Bell

33 West Monroe Street
Suite 2700
Chicago, Illinois
© 2022 Johnson & Bell, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.