ROBERT BROWN, An Incompetent, by and through next friend ANGELA ANDERSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE (Tenn. Ct. App. December 15, 2010)
Appellant, who was not placed on fall observations until after his fall, suffered a fall while under the care of the Western Mental Health Institute. A CAT scan performed three days after the fall revealed no hemorrhaging, however, a repeat scan performed approximately one month later revealed a subdural hematoma for which Appellant subsequently underwent two surgeries.
Appellant, by and through his next friend, filed suit against the State in the Claims Commission alleging medical negligence. Following a trial, the Claims Commission found that a Western nurse breached the standard of care in completing the initial fall risk assessment, but that Appellant had failed to prove that such breach was a proximate cause of his fall. Additionally, the Commission found that Appellant had failed to prove that Western's failure to later place Appellant on fall observations was a proximate cause of his fall. Finally, the Commission found that Appellant had failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Western's failure to order repeat brain imaging prior to January 26, 2006, was a breach of the standard of care. We affirm the judgment of the Commission.
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