3/19/14 $500,000 verdict against State of RI

$500,000.00 Jury Verdict Awarded Today to LPN Injured at R.I. Veterans Nursing Home

PROVIDENCE: After a week-long trial, a six-person jury sitting in the Providence Superior Court today rendered a $500,000.00 verdict against the State of Rhode Island in favor of Victoria Roach of Newport, who was injured in 2008 at the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol.

The State of Rhode Island owns and operates the 260-bed, nursing care facility. Roach was assigned to work at the home on a per diem basis as a licensed practical nurse; she was employed by Mass Medical Associates, a temporary placement agency for nurses.

The case was heard before Superior Court Justice Patricia Hurst. Roach was represented by Brian Cunha and Karen Alegria of Brian Cunha & Associates. The State of Rhode Island was represented by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Shaw.

While on duty on November 10, 2008, the plaintiff was seriously injured when she slipped and fell on soapy water or cleaning fluid left on the floor of a resident’s bathroom. Roach was dispensing medication at this time to a totally disabled resident. She was attempting to dispose in the bathroom sink a small amount of liquid used in administering medication to her patient. In so doing, she entered and fell in the resident’s bathroom.

Roach’s lawyers, Brian Cunha and Karen Alegria of Brian Cunha & Associates, presented evidence at trial that the cleaning spill was not adequately wiped and cleaned beforehand -even though one or more CNAs had responsibility for doing so immediately preceding the accident. Evidence was also presented at trial that one or more CNAs had failed to adequately inspect the area as required.

Plaintiff’s counsel proved that Roach was severely injured as a result. She suffered a torn ACL and torn meniscus that resulted in surgery to repair her knee, and she was unable to return to work for an extended period of time.

“This case is a wake-up call to all nursing home operators that they have to be vigilant in routinely inspecting and maintaining their premises,” Cunha said.

The R.I. Veterans Home is the 260-bed, nursing care facility in Bristol that is owned and operated by the State of Rhode Island. The facility also maintains six long term care units, including an Alzheimer’s Care Unit and two ambulatory care units with 79 beds. The State of Rhode Island owns and operates the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol.

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Contact:

Attorney Brian Cunha

Offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

508-675-9500

(c) 508-979-6759

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