John F. Costa Wins Defense Verdict for Skilled Nursing Facility

March 10, 2014

On March 5, 2014, a Hartford jury returned a defense verdict in favor of RRD’s client, a skilled nursing facility. RRD’s trial team of partner John F. Costa, associate attorney Nicole D. Wright and nurse consultant, Maureen Kaps, RN successfully convinced the jury that the nursing facility was not responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.  The plaintiff’s attorney had asked for approximately $ 2 million in damages during summations. The 73 year-old patient had been admitted for rehabilitation following total hip arthroplasty. While on anti-coagulation therapy to prevent clots during her stay at the facility , her blood became dangerously anti-coagulated as evidence by an INR level of 13.7 – the normal range being between 2.0 and 3.0 for anti-coagulation therapy. The patient’s orthopedic surgeon, testifying as plaintiff’s causation expert, maintained that  the high INR level  resulted in a hematoma which became infected leading to a removal of the infected implant. The plaintiff claimed  that she bled profusely from her wound on three consecutive days due to excess anti-coagulation. The facility’s  nurses maintained that there was never any bleeding from the wound. Rather, it was serosanguinous drainage. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that if he had been notified by the nursing staff earlier, he would have stopped her Coumadin and the hematoma would have been prevented, thus preventing the infection and the need to remove the implant.  The plaintiff subsequently underwent a second surgery to remove the implant and insert an antibiotic-laden implant, three months of rehabilitation, a third surgery to put in a new implant, and three more months of rehabilitation.  Through the testimony of a medical director expert and experts in orthopedics, wound care nursing and nursing home administration, the defense showed that the hematoma started on the day of the first surgery and there were no signs or symptoms of infection at any time during the resident’s stay at the facility.