Mr. Schrik was a mentally disabled resident at the Howe Developmental Center. Mr. Schrik had the cognitive abilities of a 3 or 4 year old, with a history of respiratory illness, improper toileting, maladaptive behavior, and faking injuries. Mr. Schrik was running around and acting out when he fell and hit his head. He sustained a severely fractured, dislocated and hyper-extended neck and spinal cord injury. He died 6 weeks later from gastrointestinal bleeding, sepsis, and respiratory failure all resulting from the fall. The estate contended that the nurse who was called to the scene failed to recognize the extent of the injuries, did not call 911 for two hours, and ordered other staff members to move him without immobilizing him. The Estate asserted that the nurse’s conduct caused aggravation to the patient’s severe injuries and was one of the causes of his death. The defense maintained that the nurse conducted a thorough assessment of Mr. Schrik’s injuries and that nothing she did caused any further injury.
Verdict: $400,000 (Wrongful Death: $50,000 loss of society to brother; Survival Act: $250,000 pain and suffering, $100,000 loss of normal life)
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