Virginia: Patient Fall – a Lawyer’s Analysis

Virginia: Patient Fall – a Lawyer’s Analysis

On January 23, 2013, the Motion to Quash of Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, d/b/a Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, the Patient’s Motion to Enforce Va. Code Ann. §8.01-413(C) Subpoena, and the Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel were heard in the $4,550,000.00 wrongful death 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, et al., No. CL12-4966 in Circuit Court for York County, Virginia. The Court recessed during hearing for in camera review of the 2-page Root Cause Analysis for Fall and the 2-page Determination of Unavoidable Accident that Defendant healthcare provider was continuing to withhold from its deceased patient’s representative.

The Court in Snovell found that the nursing home’s 2-page Root Cause Analysis for Fall is factual in nature, except for its last question-and-answer paragraph on the second page entitled “How The Event Might Be Prevented In The Future,” which is deliberative analysis; that all such factual information is discoverable; and that the deliberative analysis is privileged. The Court found further that the 2-page Determination of Unavoidable Accident is entirely deliberative analysis, contains no factual information, and is privileged.

Hence the Court in the Snovell patient fall lawsuit ordered Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, d/b/a Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg to provide forthwith to its deceased patient’s representative its 2-page Root Cause Analysis for Fall, except for redaction of its last question-and-answer paragraph on the second page. The Court did not require it to provide the 2-page Determination of Unavoidable Accident.

In the Snovell medical malpractice proceeding, the Court also ordered that Defendant, Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC, d/b/a Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, provide discovery responses to Plaintiff in-hand by Monday, February 4, 2013. Such required information and materials includes the identity and addresses of current and former personnel; details underlying its discoverable 2-page Root Cause Analysis for Fall; the actual bed and chair alarms for inspection and photographing; and a corporate verification.