Newport News attorney Avery Waterman is certainly one of the leading attorneys in Virginia on the subject of patient falls that take place in hospitals and nursing home. He is headed to trial on November 26 against Riverside Hospital in a very interesting case.
In Shirley Frazier Burrell v. Riverside Hospital, Inc., et al., No. CL1101633F-15 in Circuit Court for the City of Newport News, Virginia, the patient suffered a broken leg, head injury, and a terribly disabling stroke due to allegedly substandard fall risk assessment and intervention by her nurses at Riverside Regional Medical Center.
While a big argument in the lawsuit in involves Riverside’s alleged failure to use a “bed alarm” for the high fall risk patient, it is also known that following the incident the hospital wrote off a portion of its bill. Waterman was not able to overcome defense motions to keep that fact from the jury when the trial starts. Waterman has overcome a defense motion to keep the patient's own treating orthopedic surgeon from testifying about her worsening neurologic problems after the fall and subsequent surgery to repair damage from the fall.
Courtroom observers have also reported that the attorneys for the defendant have asked the court to force Waterman to not report on the public proceedings of the case on his blog. The Court has denied these requests by the defendant.
Waterman has had several very successful cases involving patient falls against hospitals and nursinig homes. He is widely known for his work in the case of Johnson v. Riverside Hospital, where he won a $1 million verdict in a similar case. The hospital appealed that case, arguing that a number of exhibits should not have been admitted into evidence. The Supreme Court of Virginia upheld the verdict in favor of the patient.