Failure to post warning signs yields $575,000 for nursing home employee

In a recent settlement, MALIS|LAW obtained $575,000 for a client who had seriously injured her low back after falling on a wet floor in a nursing home, after receiving a $262,500 settlement from the home for workers’ compensation benefits.

Our client, a 41 year old nurse’s aid, was in the process of helping a patient when she entered a bathroom which connected the patient’s room with another nursing home patient. The floor had been left wet by a cleaner working for a contractor hired by the home to do its housekeeping. She slipped and fell, badly injuring her lumbar spine.

MALIS|LAW was able to demonstrate that the client was permanently totally disabled from her injury, and that the accident happened because a cleaner failed to follow the cleaning company’s protocols and post warning signs in every room where wet-mopping was conducted. In discovery, we obtained contradictory testimony from the cleaning company’s manager (who insisted that the signs were required, and contradicted his own testimony early in the deposition and admitted that they hadn’t been posted); the cleaning company supervisor (who stated the signs weren’t present in the bathroom, but contended that they were placed in front of the hallway doors, which was sufficient under the company’s policy); and the actual cleaner (who stated that signs were necessary, and that a warning sign had been placed in the bathroom prior to our client’s fall). These contradictions were sufficient to outweigh a comment by our client in deposition that she “didn’t notice” whether there were signs in the hallway adjoining the rooms, but not the bathroom, prior to the accident.