Super Lawyers
Justia Lawyer Rating for Ronald V. Miller Jr.
Best Law Firms
Avvo Rating - 10
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Litigator Awards

Hagerstown Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

Johnson v. Reeders Memorial Home

bed sore settlementsThis bed sore nursing home negligence lawsuit from a family after a woman in Hagerstown develops undiagnosed and untreated sores on her foot, which lead to sepsis and her death. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 3rd and is the 108th medical malpractice case filed in 2017 in Maryland.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

An 80-year-old woman resides at Reeders Memorial Home, defendant facility, in Washington County. Upon admission, weekly skin checks are ordered. Over the course of six to ten months, the woman has various skin issues and problems with her left leg and lower extremity, including wounds and skin tears.

Eight months after admission, she begins to have weight loss and high white blood cell counts. These symptoms are important in identifying infections. She beings to develop a skin concern on her right heel, and despite a skin assessment identifying her as being at risk for skin breakdown, frequent skin checks are not performed.

One of the nurses documents a scab over her left great toe and a worsening of her condition. However, no effort is put forth to determine the cause of the skin breakdowns or the woman's fever.

Almost a week later, defendant doctor evaluates her. He finds an ulcer on her left big toe, but orders treatment to her right toe. This was changed to the left toe later one, however the woman's family's nursing home lawyers allege multiple negligent and incorrect references to her wrong toe/extremity. Presumably, this leads to treatment being provided to the wrong area of her body although it is possible the nurses and staff ignored the records and treated the injury. One thing is for sure. The errors in the records help make the case that the whole system at Reeders Memorial Home was failing.

She develops increasing medical concerns in regards to her left toe, and skin integrity checks are scarce. She becomes disoriented, is unable to ambulate, is confused and she is weak. A week later, a lab report reveals a very high white blood cell count. This is indicative of an infection, but she is left without any additional treatment except Oxycodone for her pain.

Over the next month, the woman becomes increasingly more confusion. Additionally, a culture reveals a high bacteria count. One day, she has a low temperature and excessive pain, and she is left to remain confused with sores in her mouth for several days. Defendant doctor's note is negative for possible deep vein thrombosis, but no exam of the woman's left toe is done. She has bacteria in her urine. A request for a wound clinic appointment is made, but this is not provided for more than a week.

The woman is sent to Meritus Medical Center for possible sepsis. She has a high white blood cell county, fever, mental status changes, and in infection in her left toe with ulcers on her right calf. After an exam, it is determined that someone at defendant facility stepped on the woman's foot 2-3 months prior, and that since, she has developed worsening wounds, erythema, and pain in her left foot. Her left big toe and second toe are amputated due to gangrene and necrosis extending into the tissue of her foot.

She is in the hospital for the next week and her condition worsens. She is transferred to another nursing facility but dies less within two months due to the extended period of time that her foot was left untreated and the development of sepsis and gangrene.

Additional Comments
  • This case is filed on the eve of the statute of limitations without plaintiff's nursing home lawyer knowing the names of the at-fault defendants to put on a certificate of merit. This is a trick issue. The law is clear that we do not allow Jane Doe defendants but our appellate courts have not made an issue of it in John/Jane Doe cases. What we do is file - hopefully long before the statute of limitations is an issue - in Health Claims and do discovery in Health Claims to get the identity of the defendants correct. But if you do not have named defendants on the expert's report, you are running a real risk of having your case dismissed after the statute.
  • When it comes to negligence, this seems, albeit with little information, like a tough case for the nursing home. This just should not happen. But Reeders will argue if the patient had anything on this laundry list that she was especially predisposed to bedsores: diabetes, end-stage renal disease, thyroid disease, urinary or fecal incontinence, a history of prior ulcers, atherosclerosis, lower-extremity arterial insufficiency, impaired or decreased mobility or cognitive ability. Not many folks in nursing home can stay clear of this entire list.
  • Assuming plaintiffs get their Certificate of Qualified Expert square with these unknown defendants, this is a case that has a high probability of reaching a settlement.
  • Washington County
  • Reeders Facility Operations, LLC
  • Consulate Management/Facility Company; Consulate Health Care
  • A Boonsboro, Maryland family doctor
  • Malik & Qadir, P.A.
  • Reeders Memorial Home
  • Multiple Jane/John Doe RN/LPN's from Reeders Memorial Home - unidentified nurses
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Meritus Medical Center
  • Failure to consistently and accurately document and assess the condition of the patient's lower extremities
  • Consistently mistakenly labeling the problem as in the wrong area of the body
  • Failure to assess and follow the standard of care for peripheral vascular disease
  • Failure to observe, treat, diagnose, report, assess, document, and correctly identify anatomy and respond to obvious trauma, cellulitis, skin changes, breakdowns, infection, sepsis and gangrene
  • Failure to make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional
Specific Counts Pled
  • Medical Negligence
  • Medical Negligence/Wrongful Death
  • Informed Consent
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • None at this time
Getting a Lawyer for Your Nursing Home Negligence Claim

If you have suffered as a result of the negligence of a doctor and nursing home staff, our law firm can help you. Miller & Zois has a long history of results in nursing home cases in Maryland, earning large verdicts and settlements. Call our attorneys at (800) 553-8082 or get a free online case review.

More Malpractice Claim Information
  • Take a look at the average settlement and verdict value in nursing home malpractice cases
  • Other nursing home negligence cases filed in Maryland in 2017:
    • A case against an Anne Arundel County facility alleging multiple bed sores resulting in infections
    • A Montgomery County wrongful death case filed against Genesis Healthcare
    • A case filed against a FutureCare facility in P.G. County alleging insufficient care
    • This case was filed after a woman fell while getting out of bed, and subsequently suffers sepsis
    • Another cases against a FutureCare facility, this one in Anne Arundel County, where a woman alleges fifteen falls during her stay
Client Reviews
When my sister was killed, we turned to Miller & Zois to fight for us. They stood by us every step of the way and we ended up getting more money than we asked for. C.B. (Baltimore City)
My prior lawyer was not able to get the insurance companies to offer a single penny in my case. Then my lawyer referred me to Ron and Laura. It was a long fight and they fought for me every step of the way. My case settled for $1.31 million. A.A. (Baltimore City)
I did not get an offer for my case because the insurance company said they were denying coverage. My lawyer then referred me to Miller & Zois. After Miller & Zois got involved, the offer was raised to $150,000. We thought that was not fair so Miller & Zois took my case to arbitration. Our case was well prepared and perfectly executed. The arbitrator awarded me $405,000. R.V. (Anne Arundel County)
I refer all of my serious injury cases in Maryland to Miller & Zois because they turn over every last stone to maximize the value of their case. The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger (New York personal injury lawyer)
As former insurance defense lawyers, Miller & Zois 'know the other side's playbook'. Lawyers Weekly USA