cause of decedent's fall from the bed, said plaintiff's expert, as those bedrails served many purposes, e.g. acting as a fall prevention device, reminding the decedent not to get out of bed without help, and giving the decedent "emotional comfort and feelings of security."
Defendant moved for SJ below, arguing that it didn't deviate from decedent's care plan "since the fall prevention inter- ventions called for in decedent's plan were in place when the accident occurred," "physical restraints were unwarranted", and "the nursing staff timely responded to decedent's bed alarm." Supreme Court granted SJ to defendant.
That was error, says AD2, since the evidence was that the bedrails were down at the time of decedent's accident and the failure to raise them was, in the opinion of plaintiff's expert, a proximate cause of decedent's fall (which resulted in a femur fracture and ORIF surgery.) Moreover, in the eight months decedent had been resident in defendant's home, he had fallen no less than eight times before. A question of fact seemed to prevent summary relief under these cir- cumstances, the court said.
"A facility may be held liable for the failure to follow a physician's order to use bed rails, or if the facility's protocols establish that bed rails are to be used. Since the plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact as to whether an alleged failure to have the bed rails raised was a proximate cause of the accident, the defendant's motion for summary judgment should have been denied."
Easy, huh? Then why didn't Supreme Court get it right in the first place? Good question. No answers.