Nursing Home Bed Sores / Pressure Sores / Decubitus Ulcers Resulting In Death -- Sample Corporate Designee Deposition Notice

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Elderly nursing home patients are at risk for developing bedsores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers).  Decubitus ulcers are bed sores caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin from lying or sitting in the same position too long and are associated with pain.   

Once a bed sore becomes infected and progresses to stage 3 and stage 4, it is difficult to achieve healing and avoid painful and life-threatening complications.  These individuals may develop sepsis (blood infection) and/or osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) requiring surgical wound debridement, and ultimately resulting in death.     

Fortunately, decubitus ulcers are entirely avoidable as long as proper care and preventative measures are instituted and carried out by the nursing home staff.  Under new Medicare guidelines, hospitals are no longer even reimbursed for additional care resulting from bed sores as the government has determined that development of bed sores at a hospital is a so-called "never event." 

Under Maryland law, when a nursing home resident dies as a result of nursing home negligence, two causes of action arise: (1) a wrongful death claim; and (2) a survivorship claim. 

In our nursing home bedsore cases, we routinely serve Corporate Designee Deposition Notices upon the Defendants along with the Complaint and other discovery requests at the outset of the case.  In this regard, Maryland Rule 2-412(c) and (d) requires nursing homes to produce documents (including medical records and policies and procedures) and to designate individuals to testify as to matters set forth in the deposition notice.  The testimony given will bind the nursing home on the subjects described. 

Our Corporate Designee Deposition Notices are targeted to obtain records and information concerning important issues including: (1) ensuring that the proper corporate entities have been named as Defendants; (2) ensuring that the healthcare providers at issue are employees or agents of the Defendants; (3) ensuring that information contained in medical records or other documents is accurate; (4) potential defense motions to transfer venue; (5) the treatment provided to the plaintiff; (6) the nursing home's policies and procedures concerning a variety of areas including wound prevention and wound care; and (7) potential nursing home staffing shortages.  These Corporate Designee Depositions also force the nursing homes and their lawyers to focus on and evaluate the circumstances of the case at an early stage as they have to identify and produce witnesses for deposition, and may help to facilitate early mediation or settlement.
 
A sample Corporate Designee Deposition Notice in a wrongful death/survivorship lawsuit involving claims of negligence relating to nursing home bed sores/pressure sores/decubitus ulcers follows:

NOTICE TO TAKE DEPOSITION

Pursuant to Maryland Rule 2 412(c) and (d), you are requested to do the following:
(a) designate one or more officers, directors, managing agents, or other persons who will testify on your behalf regarding the following matters known or reasonably available to the organization, and
(b) produce for inspection and copying at the deposition all documents or tangible things within your possession, custody or control regarding the following matters:

1. The corporate structure of [INSERT NAMES OF DEFENDANTS], and their parent corporations, subsidiaries, and affiliated entities from 2005 to the present.
2. The nature and scope of all operations and business activities of [INSERT NAMES OF DEFENDANTS] from 2005 to the present.
3. The corporate structure and scope of operations of all facilities owned, operated, managed, or supervised by [INSERT NAMES OF DEFENDANTS] from 2005 to the present.
4. The nature and scope of all advertising activities of [INSERT NAMES OF DEFENDANTS] within the City of Baltimore from 2005 to the present.
5. The nature and scope of all services, including but not limited to, nursing home, assisted living, in-patient and outpatient rehabilitation, hospice, and home health care services provided by [INSERT NAMES OF DEFENDANTS] and their parent corporations, subsidiaries, and affiliated entities, within the City of Baltimore from 2005 to the present.      
6. The care provided to [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF] during his stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] during the time period of [INSERT DATES OF ADMISSION], including but not limited to efforts to turn and reposition the patient, and monitor, prevent and treat decubitus ulcers.
7. The skin care and wound care, prevention and treatment provided to [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF] at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] from [INSERT DATES].
8. All skin evaluation practices and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].
9. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] pertaining to the prevention of decubitus ulcers/ pressure wounds.
10. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] pertaining to the prevention of decubitus ulcers/ pressure wounds via the use of specialty mattresses or beds.
11. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] pertaining to the care, treatment, and monitoring of decubitus ulcers/ pressure wounds.
12. All information and documents that discuss or pertain to any specialty mattresses or beds that were used in the care and treatment of [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s decubitus ulcers/ pressure wounds throughout her stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].
14. All written manuals, guidelines, policies, or procedures in effect at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] from 2005 through the present that discuss or in any way relate to the diagnosing, monitoring and/or treatment of pressure wounds and/or decubitus ulcers.
15. All information and documents that discuss or pertain to [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY]'s  procedures, guidelines or policies in effect from 2005 through the present concerning the circumstances under which nurses and nursing assistants should consult with the patient's treating physician or other doctor regarding the patient's skin integrity or condition, including the development and progression of decubitus ulcers/ pressure wounds.
16. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] pertaining to the circumstances under which nurses and nurse practitioners should consult with the resident's treating physician or other physician regarding the patient's status and/or ongoing care needs at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].
17. The identity of all individuals who provided care to [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s during his stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] during the time period of [INSERT DATES OF ADMISSION] including but not limited to efforts to monitor, prevent and treat decubitus ulcers.
18. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] pertaining to incident reporting.
19. Information concerning and copies of all incident reports generated by Defendants and their agents or employees pertaining to the care provided to [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF] during his stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].
20. All policies, practices, and procedures in effect during [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF]'s stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY pertaining to or relating to documenting a resident's medical records.
21. Information concerning and copies of all inspection reports or evaluations pertaining to the care provided to [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF] during his stay at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] generated by any federal or state government agencies (including but not limited to Adult Protective Services) that regulated or monitored [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].
22. Information regarding staffing levels, staffing sheets and staffing shortages at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY] during the time period during which [INSERT NAME OF PLAINTIFF] resided at [INSERT NAME OF NURSING HOME FACILITY].

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Please feel free to contact the nursing home neglect lawyers at Dever & Feldstein, LLC at (888) 825-9119 for a free consultation if you believe that a family member or loved one has sustained serious injury or wrongful death as a result of bed sores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), nursing home falls, dehydration/malnutrition, medication error/prescription mistake, elder abuse or elder neglect.

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This page contains a single entry by David Feldstein published on October 9, 2009 12:57 PM.

Coumadin Administration and Monitoring Errors in the Nursing Home Setting was the previous entry in this blog.

Complaints to Adult Protective Services Concerning Suspected Maryland Nursing Home Abuse / Neglect is the next entry in this blog.

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