Jury awards $5 million in hospital fall case

Maryland

April 27, 2006|By NICOLE FULLER | NICOLE FULLER,SUN REPORTER

A Baltimore Circuit Court jury has awarded more than $5 million to the family of a 68-year-old woman who died after suffering a fall at Harbor Hospital in 2001.

Anna Mae Bussey of Baltimore fell and broke her hip while she was a patient. The fall precipitated a chain of events that resulted in Bussey's death a month later, said the attorney for her family, Alan J. Belsky.

Bussey, who was taking blood-thinning medication at the time of the fall, had to stop taking the medicine to undergo surgery. She died from a blood clot.

Belsky said the nursing assistant on staff at the time of the fall was not aware that Bussey required assistance walking and testified in court that she allowed Bussey to walk without holding onto her.

"This verdict represents an awareness by the jury that they had an obligation to Ms. Bussey, to not only award her damages, but that this kind of action is avoidable and should have been avoided," Belsky said. The jury made its decision Monday.

Jean Reuter, a spokeswoman for Harbor Hospital said she could not comment on the suit.

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