Virginia: Patient Falls – a Lawyer’s Subpoenas

Virginia: Patient Falls – a Lawyer’s Subpoenas

In person on October 18, 2012, and by telephone on November 6, 2012, the Court heard Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Subpoenas Duces Tecum, VCU Health System’s Objections and Response to Subpoena Duces Tecum, and Defendants’ Motion to Quash Subpoenae Duces Tecum in the patient fall lawsuit of Shirley Frazier Burrell v. Riverside Hospital, Inc., et al., CL1601633F-15 in Circuit Court for the City of Newport News, Virginia. It made two rulings favorable to Mr. Waterman’s client.

First, the Burrell Court ordered, pursuant to Va. Sup. Ct. R. 4:5(b)(4)(A)(iii), that medical malpractice Defendants’ expert, Nurse Janet Willersdorf (who claimed that MCV/VCU’s Orthopaedic Unit did not have any “bed alarms” until 2009), had to respond to Sections I (B) and II (D) of her Subpoena Duces Tecum as modified to “bed alarms/alerts”. Second, the Court ordered pursuant to Va. Sup. Ct. R. 4:9(A) that non-party, VCU Health System, had to respond to Section D of its Subpoena Duces Tecum as modified to “bed alarms/alerts,” but only with responsive materials applicable to its Orthopaedic units on an individual and/or hospital-wide basis, i.e., MCV/VCU’s 10-page hospital-wide Fall Prevention Policy/Falling Star Protocol and its 6 pages of orientation training text booklets from its Orthopaedic Unit employee files.

MCV/VCU’s hospital-wide Fall Prevention Policy/Falling Star Protocol was effective in 2003 into at least 2006. Notably, it references use of “bed alarms” for high risk individuals to avoid having patient fall victims.