Jon Campisi Oct. 27, 2012, 8:01am

A Philadelphia woman who claims she suffered multiple injuries after falling at a city

nursing home on two separate occasions due to alleged company negligence has filed suit against the facility in state court.

Philadelphia attorney Derek R. Layser, of the firm Layser & Freiwald P.C., filed the professional negligence claim Oct. 25 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Phyllis B. Montalvo.

The defendant named in the civil action is RC Healthcare, doing business as Willow Terrace Nursing Home.

The lawsuit states that after suffering a fall at home back on June 12, 2011, the plaintiff was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center where it was determined that she had sustained cervical spine and left wrist fractures.

Following her discharge from the hospital about two weeks later, Montalvo was transferred to Willow Terrace, where she was identified as a fall risk.

The woman was given identification bands for her wrist and ankle to alert the staff of her risk of falling if she tried to move on her own, the lawsuit shows.

On July 9 of that year, Montalvo attempted to use the call bell to inform staff she needed assistance getting to the bathroom, but the button failed, leading the plaintiff to attempt to get to the bathroom on her own, the complaint states.

It was at this point that Montalvo fell on the bathroom floor, the suit states.

The patient initially complained of right hip pain and was given pain medication.

About three days later, after complaining of continuing pain, Montalvo was taken for X-rays, which revealed that she had sustained no hip fracture, although she continued to complain of pain for the balance of the month, the suit claims.

Toward the end of the month, after even more complaints, the plaintiff was re-admitted to Albert Einstein Medical Center where testing revealed she had an impacted fracture through the cervical neck of the right femur with varied angulation, the suit states.

Montalvo underwent additional surgery on July 29, which was followed by physical rehabilitation.

On Aug. 11, the woman was sent back to Willow Terrace.

On Aug. 18, Montalvo again fell while in her room at the nursing facility.

She was discharged to home care on Sept. 23 of last year.

The lawsuit accuses Willow Terrace of negligence for allowing Montalvo to fall not once, but twice while in the defendant’s care.

As a result of her ordeals, Montalvo sustained physical pain, bone fractures, scarring, limited mobility, decreased range of motion, ambulatory dysfunction, need for additional pain medication and assistive devices, delay in recovery, mental anguish and physical pain and suffering, the complaint alleges.

The lawsuit accuses the defendant of negligence and carelessness for failing to place Montalvo in a fall prevention program upon admission to Willow Terrace, failing to appreciate the plaintiff’s high risk of falling, failing to maintain a functioning call bell in the woman’s room, failing to properly assess the plaintiff’s complaints of hip pain and promptly provide medical treatment, and failing to follow the facility’s Fall Risk Policy and Fall Prevention Program.

“The negligence of Defendant increased the risk of harm to Plaintiff and was a substantial contributing factor to the injuries sustained,” the suit reads.

Montalvo seeks judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs, interest, attorney’s fees and other court relief.


The case ID number is 121003642. 

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