Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s LTACH

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On June 12, 2017, Mr. Waterman filed suit for an impatient fall victim in the medical malpractice case of Meyer v. LTACH @ Riverside, LLC, et. al., No. CL1702484M-03 in Circuit Court for the City of Newport News, Virginia. LTACH @ Riverside is a roughly 25-bed long-term acute care hospital of the Riverside Health System that operates under the fictitious name Hampton Roads Specialty Hospital (“HRSH”) at 245 Chesapeake Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.

The plaintiff victim patient in Meyer was known to be at high risk for falling while in the care of LTACH @ Riverside, but its nursing staff chose not to activate the patient’s built-in bed check alarm. Hence LTACH @ Riverside’s nurses were unaware when their patient was out of bed going to the bathroom unassisted until the patient fell and was injured returning from the bathroom and shouted for help; whereas an activated audible bed check alarm would have alerted LTACH @ Riverside’s nurses as soon as the patient got out of bed, so they could assist her and avoid the injurious fall.

Due to the medical malpractice of LTACH @ Riverside in Meyer, its victim patient suffered a broken hip that required hospitalization and surgery at Riverside Regional Medical Center, re-hospitalization at LTACH @ Riverside, convalescence at York and Consulate, and physical therapy for months. Dubiously, none of LTACH @ Riverside’s sketchy nurses’ notes even acknowledge that its victim patient fell (let alone was injured), though thankfully the Discharge Summary of the admitting/attending physician is more candid about what befell the patient.

Although unsuspecting patients and the general public are unaware that in-patient falls are the most common unintended incident at hospitals, hospitals like LTACH @ Riverside are well aware of their frequency and are duty-bound to provide patients various safety protections to avoid falls – most notably, audible bed check alarm activation – but sometimes simply do not do so. For two decades, Mr. Waterman has championed in-patient fall victims against all of the Hampton Roads health systems, including Riverside, Sentara, and Bon Secours.