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Providence County, Rhode Island

The 63-year-old male plaintiff suffered a mild stroke in September, ________. He fell and found that he had suffered left side weakness. He was dropped off at the defendant hospital and entered the hospital of his own accord. At the time of admission he was identified as a high fall risk because of the stroke, the left sided weakness and a prior history of falling. He was admitted to the intensive care unit at the defendant hospital. All of the hospital beds in this unit are equipped with bed exit alarms. The alarms send an audible alert to the staff if a patient attempts to exit his or her bed. The nurses in the intensive care unit failed to activate the bed alarm despite the fact that the plaintiff was admitted as a high fall risk patient.

The plaintiff woke in the middle of the night on his second night in the hospital and had to use the restroom. As he got out of bed, thinking he was home, he fell. He fractured his left hip. He had to undergo surgery for the fracture.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant hospital, alleging negligence. The plaintiff alleged that the hospital was negligent in failing to properly monitor the plaintiff who was categorized as a high fall risk and in failing to activate the bed exit alarm. The plaintiff’s wife brought a claim for loss of consortium.

The defendant denied the allegations of negligence. The defendant argued that there was no deviation from acceptable standards of care since the decision as to the fall risk of patients was left to the nurses’ discretion.

The matter was tried for approximately three weeks. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for approximately two days and returned its verdict. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The jury awarded the plaintiff the sum of $________, consisting of $________ for pain and suffering, $________ for future medical care and $________ to the plaintiff’s wife for her loss of consortium claim.

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