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December 2019 - Summary Judgment Motion: Home Care Services Failure to Prevent and Properly Treat Pressure Ulcers- Nassau County

December 15, 2019

Senior Partner Rosaleen McCrory, Of Counsel Maureen P. Blazowski obtained dismissal of a general negligence, medical malpractice and wrongful death case involving a then 84 year-old woman. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to perform proper risk assessments with regard to skin breakdown and the development of pressure ulcers; failed to prevent further breakdown of the decedent’s pressure ulcers; failed to turn at position the decedent every two hours or as needed; failed to provide adequate nutrition, hydration and pressure relieving devices; failed to maintain adequate records; failed to implement and adhere to an effective treatment plan and modify same as warranted; failed to notify the decedent’s attending physicians of changes in her status; and failed to transfer the decedent to the hospital on a timely basis. The plaintiff further alleged the care in question was rendered during a continuous course of treatment and that the 3-year statute of limitations for general negligence, not medical malpractice, applied. The plaintiff further alleged negligent hiring and supervision.

 

In our summary judgment motion, MCB established that the skilled nursing visits occurred seven separate and distinct episodes of skilled nursing care for discrete and unrelated conditions between January 21, 2014 and February 1, 2015, therefore, there was no continuous treatment. MCB also established that the skilled nursing visits bore a substantial relationship to the rendition of medical treatment such that the 2 1/2 year statute for medical malpractice was applicable and any claims which accrued prior to December 25, 2014 were untimely warranting dismissal pursuant to CPLR §214-a.

 

The plaintiff opposed our motion. The Court agreed with our analysis that the nursing visits did not represent a continuous course of treatment,  bore a substantial relationship to medical care such that the 2 1/2 year statute of limitations applied; and that all claims prior to December 25, 2015 were time-barred pursuant to CPLR §214-a. The Court further opined that the defendant had nevertheless established its entitlement to summary judgment based upon our expert’s opinions, thereby dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims.

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