Virginia: Nursing Home – a Lawyer’s Reconsideration

Virginia: Nursing Home – a Lawyer’s Reconsideration

On March 18, 2015, Mr. Waterman’s Amended Motion for Reconsideration for Plaintiff was heard in the medical malpractice case of William M. Snovell, Executor of the Estate of Bernadette Teresa Connelly Snovell, Deceased v. Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, D/B/A Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, No. CL12-4966 in Circuit Court for York County, in Yorktown, Virginia. In Snovell, the nursing home patient suffered wrongful death from injuries sustained in her on-premises fall due to lack of bedroom chair alarm.

The Court in Snovell ordered that nursing home Defendant, Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, D/B/A Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, produce to Plaintiff in unredacted form its 2-page Root Cause Analysis of Fall and in unredacted form its 2-page Determination of Unavoidable Accident within 2 days of hearing, or by March 20, 2015. It found that the nursing facility documents are not privileged under Va. Code §8.01-581.17 because Defendant, Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, D/B/A Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, offered only representations of counsel, and thereby failed to bear its evidentiary burden of proving, that its Root Cause Analysis of Fall and its Determination of Unavoidable Accident were the materials of a protected medical staff committee, utilization review committee, or other committee, board, group, commission or other entity under Va. Code §8.01-581.16.

The Court in Snovell also ordered that Defendant, Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, D/B/A Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, produce to Plaintiff all documents, electronic data, other things, and information relating in any way to its handling and disposition of the patient’s chair alarm in question and of all other like chair alarms in the Williamsburg nursing facility in question and in all other Consulate facilities in Virginia after the patient fall in question, within 45 days of hearing, or by May 4, 2015. It is troubled that Defendant, Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, D/B/A Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, disposed of the deceased fall victim’s chair alarm in question and all like ones at her nursing facility; and is considering an evidence spoliation instruction to the jury at trial.

THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR REQUIRES ALL LAWYERS TO POST THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMERS ON ALL CASE-RELATED POSTS. MR. WATERMAN’S CASE RESULTS AND CLIENT TESTIMONIALS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE BY HIM.