Estate of Oregon man seeks $2.3 million in negligence suit against home where he lived for 2 days

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A 99-year-old man lived just two days at an Oregon nursing home before a fall that precipitated his death. Now his estate is seeking $2.3 million in a negligence lawsuit.

An estate representative claims says Esbert James Pickering fell out of bed and broke his hip two days after moving into Avamere Rehabilitation of Junction City. He died 16 days later.

Lawsuit filings say nursing home employees knew Pickering was prone to falls but they failed to take appropriate precautions, The Register-Guard reported. In a handwritten incident report filed after the March 2016 incident, facility staff documented that one side of Pickering's bed did not have an alarm-equipped mat to detect movement, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit states that Pickering, who had problems with balance and gait, was found on the floor of another resident's room around 1:45 a.m. on March 18. He complained of pain on the left side of his head and had an 8-centimeter skin tear on his left elbow, according to the lawsuit.

Only after nursing home employees returned Pickering to his room via wheelchair did they notice his hip seemed to be displaced, the lawsuit states. He was diagnosed at the hospital with having a fractured hip, and died from related complications on April 3.

Lawrence Lopardo, general counsel for Avamere, told The Register-Guard that privacy laws prevent him from commenting on anything involving a patient. The company has not yet filed a response in court.

The lawsuit demands $1.5 million for Pickering's “conscious pain and suffering” in the days leading up to his death; $80,000 in medical and funeral expenses; and $750,000 worth of “noneconomic damages” for Pickering's wife.

Lopardo told the newspaper the amount was selected by plaintiff's counsel “to attract media attention to the lawsuit.”