The U.S. government on Friday was slapped with a medical malpractice and
negligence lawsuit by the survivor of an elderly Vietnam War veteran who
allegedly suffered serious injuries and died after falling twice at a
government-run nursing home in the Bronx, New York, in 2014.
In a complaint filed in New York’s Southern District federal court,
Claudia Thaxton claimed that the government, as owner and operator of
James J. Peters Medical Center, acted negligently, violated New York’s
public health law and committed malpractice by failing to help Aaron Thompson
get out of bed during his stay at the residential nursing home, leading
him to fall twice on the same day in April 2014 and die from his injuries
a month later.
Thompson had been living at the medical center “for multiple reasons”
related in part to his service in Vietnam, according to the complaint.
As the owner, operator and supervisor of the facility in April 2014, the
government had a duty to treat, supervise and care for Thompson, and would
be directly liable for violations or infringements of that duty by anyone
at the facility.
But the government “breached its duty of care towards Thompson by
negligently failing to provide assistance to him when getting out of bed,
and of failing to render appropriate medical treatment after he fell twice,”
Thaxton’s complaint read.
The government likewise recklessly and negligently hired incompetent personnel
and failed to properly train them, and the staff in turn allowed Thompson
to be and remain unattended, failed to take appropriate preventative measures,
failed to provide appropriate nursing care and failed to react promptly
after Thompson fell, all of which caused him to suffer serious injuries
and die on May 5, 2014, Thaxton wrote.
While that negligence violated New York’s health code, it also constituted
medical malpractice, as the nursing home staff “departed from accepted
standards of nursing and medical treatment and care to prevent the injuries
sustained” by Thompson, the complaint contended.
“As a result of the foregoing, the United States of America caused
Thompson to endure pain, suffering and death,” Thaxton wrote.
Though the complaint gave no indication of the amount of damages Thaxton
sought on behalf of Thompson, “the amount of damages exceeds the
jurisdictional limits of all lower courts that would otherwise have jurisdiction,”
Representatives for the government or James J. Peters Medical Center could
not immediately be reached for comment, and counsel information was not
The case is Claudia Thaxton, on behalf of Aaron Thompson v. The United
States of America, case number
1:17-cv-00661, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
–Editing by Orlando Lorenzo.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to provide proper care to
a patient, often resulting in serious injury or even death. If you or
a loved one has been hurt by medical errors and/or medical malpractice,
contact the experienced attorneys at The Lancione Law Firm or call us
This article is brought to you by The Lancione Law Firm.
The article is written by: Steven Trader, as seen on Law360.com