Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

HCR ManorCare seeks arbitration of Lancaster Co. lawsuit over fall

By Chandra Lye | Sep 5, 2017

LANCASTER – Nursing home chain HCR ManorCare is arguing that a lawsuit filed against it by a former resident of its Lancaster location should be sent to arbitration.

On Aug. 10, ManorCare filed its objections to a lawsuit from Bonnie Stephany of Pennsylvania, who had sued the company through her husband and attorney-in-fact, Raymond Stephany. In their complaint, the Stephanys accuse the company of putting money before patient care.

“In their efforts to maximize profit, defendants negligently, intentionally and/or recklessly mismanaged and/or reduced staffing levels below the level necessary to provide adequate care to the residents,” according to the complaint filed July 20 in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.

They claim the nursing care company increased the number of sick residents “with greater health problems requiring more complex medical care.”

The basis of their complaint is the alleged harm done to Bonnie Stephany while she was a resident of ManorCare Health Services between Nov. 15, 2016, and Dec. 5, 2016.

“Defendants deprived Bonnie Stephany of adequate care, treatment, food, water and medicine and cause her to suffer numerous illnesses and injuries,” the couple’s complaint stated. 

They claim Stephany’s Type 2 diabetes was not properly monitored, resulting in multiple episodes of hyperglycemia. They also point to injuries she allegedly suffered following a fall during a staff-assisted transfer. 

The incident occurred on Nov. 17 while two staff members attempted to transfer Bonnie Stephany from a sliding board to shower chair and back to bed. The plaintiffs claim the staff dropped her on the floor and that a mechanical lift was needed to get her back into bed. 

The suit states that doctors at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health noted she had a right distal non-displaced femur fracture that same day.

Prior to her admission into the nursing home, Stephany had previously fallen at her home on Nov. 8, which left her with a left tibial plateau fracture, the complaint stated. 

However, the defendants filed an objection to the lawsuit on Aug. 10 stating that the parties had agreed to arbitration and have asked the court dismiss the plaintiff's complaint and transfer it to arbitration. 

Also, the defendants have asked the court to dismiss all claims for punitive damages, as well as other counts in the complaint

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Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas