Patient falls are the most common incident occurring at healthcare institutions. Because most patient falls are preventable, their occurrence usually constitutes medical malpractice.

Families should not assume that a fall is the fault of the patient due to age, infirmity and/or even inability to follow nursing directions. Indeed, such compromised patient conditions are at the core of nurse and institutional responsibility for falls.

Healthcare institutions and their nurses are obligated to assess the fall risk status of all patients, to intervene with various precautionary measures, to respond to any changes in status, and to document their undertakings. If they fail to do so and significant personal injuries result, then the nurses and institutions face significant legal liability.

Mr. Waterman has litigated numerous patient fall cases against the Riverside, Sentara, Mary Immaculate (Bon Secours) and even Carilion Health Systems. He has filed suits for patient fall victims across Virginia – from Norfolk to Newport News to Williamsburg to Roanoke.

Through litigating for years, Mr. Waterman has amassed and still builds upon a wealth of internal nursing and other institutional materials. He thereby practices at the most sophisticated level for patient fall victims and commands the respect of defendants.

His several most recent settlements for patient falls were published in Virginia Lawyers Weekly and are believed the then-largest ones in Virginia.

His 2012 $3,500,000.00 jury verdict for an 87 year-old in-patient fall victim more than doubles his 2006 $1,600,000.00 jury verdict for an 80 year-old in-patient fall victim. Of course, his historic results do not guarantee future ones.

Riverside Hosp., Inc. v. Johnson, 272 Va. 518 (2006), is Mr. Waterman’s patient fall case that is No. 060392 in the Virginia Supreme Court, and still stands as landmark case on medical malpractice “privilege” claims. His successful brief on behalf of Johnson and the Court’s opinion follow:

1. (11/3/06) Opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court

2. (8/11/06) Brief of Appellee


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