Wrongful Death lawsuit Against Visiting Angels Settled For Undisclosed Amount After Women Dies Of Injuries Sustained During Transport
A wrongful death lawsuit settlement was recently reached with the family of a 96-year-old woman who died after sustaining injuries during transportation in a Visiting Angels van. A jury trial for the wrongful death lawsuit against Visiting Angels was scheduled to begin on the same day the confidential settlement was reached.
According to the 2014 wrongful death lawsuit, the woman was in a wheelchair and the driver of the Visiting Angels van failed to properly strap her into the van. The driver applied the brakes “suddenly and unexpectedly” and the woman became a “projectile” due to being thrown from her wheelchair, the complaint said.
The wrongful death lawsuit further stated that the caregiver did not call an ambulance but parked the van in a department store parking lot. The caregiver saw a truck driver and asked him to help her lift the woman from the van floor and put her back in the wheelchair. According to the complaint, the caregiver told the truck driver the woman was her mother and although she had fallen and was bleeding, she was “just fine.” The lawsuit maintains the caregiver did not tell the woman’s family about the accident. The woman, who suffered from dementia, had multiple broken bones and internal injuries. She died four months later, according to the lawsuit.
As a result of the lawsuit being filed, Visiting Angels said it is taking steps to improve transportation of senior adults by caregivers. The new measures include:
- Purchasing safety harnesses for transporting the elderly and disabled
- Requiring caregivers who use transportation vans to attend mandatory safety seminars
- Increased supervision over caregivers
- Stricter hiring practices that entail checking driving records of caregivers who could possibly transport clients
The caregiver has a pending criminal charge of first-degree felony injury to an elderly person.
Visiting Angels is a nationwide network of private duty home care agencies. The agency provides companion care and personal care services that allow older adults to stay in their home. Services include medication and fluids reminders, fall prevention, light housekeeping, grooming, bathing assistance and running errands.
This is not the first lawsuit filed against Visiting Angels. In 2015, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 77-year-old client who accused her caregiver of being under the influence of alcohol when she took the woman’s car without permission, crashed the vehicle through the garage door and drove away. The lawsuit alleges that prior to stealing the car and damaging the garage, the woman believed the caregiver took alcohol from her liquor cabinet. The caregiver was arrested for drunk driving 130 miles away. The complaint also contends Visiting Angels did not refund the client’s money nor provide another caregiver for the final two nights of the client’s contract.