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We have a case that involves a resident’s fall at a (physical) rehabilitation center and, unfortunately, the resident’s ultimate below knee amputation. The basis of the claim is that the resident pressed her call button for assistance to the restroom. Assistance never came and, after approximately half an hour, she attempted to transport herself to the restroom using her walker. She fell when she reached the threshold between her room and the restroom.

The rehabilitation center claims that the call button was never pressed and they didn’t know that she needed assistance.

In cases like these do facilities (whether rehabilitation centers or nursing homes) have a duty to ensure that call button systems work consistently and without interruption or, does the rehabilitation center and nursing home have to have actual or constructive notice that the system was not working in order for it to be found liable in situations like this? What do you think is fair to both the facility and the resident? If you had a family member in a facility and this happened, what do you think would be a fair resolution?

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