Lawsuit: Dangerous lift transfers preceded woman's deadly fall at nursing home

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The family of a woman who died after falling while being transferred with a lift is suing her former nursing home for nearly $2.5 million.

An executor for the estate of Fannye Doris Holden Scruggs Rorer is suing Virginia's Williamsburg Landing in a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging negligence.

Court documents cited by the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily say Rorer fell on April 15, 2016, while a staff member was transferring her from her bed into a lift designed for immobile patients.

Rorer, who had lived at the home for five years, died eight days later.

The complaint claims Rorer was injured during at least six other lift transfers in the months leading up to her fall and death.

In the fall that precipitated her death, the estate claims Rorer was dropped around 5:40 a.m. while being transferred by a single nursing assistant. Employees later told Rorer's family the move should have been made by two people, the newspaper reported.

The suit seeks $2.15 million with another $350,000 in damages.

A spokesperson for Williamsburg Landing told the newspaper the nursing home had not yet been formally served with the complaint, and therefore had not had the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The community expressed its sympathy in a statement to the newspaper, which read in part:

“Nothing is more important to Williamsburg Landing than the health and safety of our residents. These remain Williamsburg Landing's top priorities. One of the reasons for our high quality is that we thoroughly review concerns about any resident's medical care. This process will continue with this matter and will ensure that Williamsburg Landing can continue to provide the highest quality care to all of its residents.”

The complaint cites 2015 and 2016 surveys from the Virginia Department of Health showing the home had several safety violations, including not immediately notifying a doctor when a patient fell, according to the newspaper.

The complaint alleges Williamsburg Landing failed to correct the deficiencies before Rorer's April 2015 fall.

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