77 Year Old Woman Suffers Fractured Wrist During Physical Therapy

Most of our clients undergo physical therapy as part of their recovery process, however, it is unusual when we get a case as a result of a client's injury during physical therapy. Such was the case here. WRSH was retained when a 77 year old woman who was undergoing physical therapy for shoulder problems unrelated to an accident, was injured during the course of her therapy. In particular, the rubber band that she was given to perform certain exercises snapped, causing her to fall to the ground and fracture her wrist.

The wrist injury was on the same arm as the shoulder problem, which was her non-dominant arm. Plaintiff had sustained numerous injuries in her life, but none related to her wrist. As a result of the fall, she was forced to undergo surgery, which included the insertion of a plate and screws.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff was doing her exercises incorrectly, which caused the band to break. WRSH partner, Bill Hepner, who settled the case at a mediation, argued that even if she was doing it wrong, which plaintiff denied, given her age and the fact that she was already using a cane, a physical therapist should have been in close proximity to her so that this foreseeable fall could have been prevented. Bill further argued that defendant's own records indicated that one of the things they were working on for this patient was preventing falls. Moreover, the testimony of the therapist was that plaintiff had done the exercise wrong in the past and that she had seen her do it wrong that day. Although the therapist thought this was helpful to the defense, in reality, it simply added fuel to Mr. Hepner's argument that since they knew plaintiff didn't know the correct method, that the therapist should have been with her, instead of across the room working with three other patients.

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