AGG Attorneys Successfully Defend Nursing Home in Arbitration Action

Jason E. Bring and W. Jerad Rissler, members of AGG’s Long-term Care Defense Team, recently prevailed in a liability action filed against one of the firm’s nursing home clients in South Carolina. The claim was initially filed in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, but AGG’s attorneys were successful in obtaining an order compelling the plaintiff’s claims to arbitration based on a pre-dispute arbitration agreement between the nursing home and the resident.

In the arbitration action, the claimant, who was the survivor of a deceased nursing home resident, alleged that the nursing facility failed to implement swallow precautions (pureed food and thickened liquids). The claimant alleged that the resident’s death from aspiration pneumonia resulted from the facility providing solid food to the resident. The nursing home maintained that it properly implemented the swallow precautions and provided the resident with only pureed food and that there was no evidence that the resident obtained any solid food, aspirated any solid food, or that the resident’s pneumonia was caused by the aspiration of solid food.

Defending the claims, AGG’s attorneys demonstrated that the nursing facility had consistently implemented swallow precautions for almost a week prior to the alleged aspiration event. AGG’s attorneys further demonstrated that the evidence was inconsistent with the claimant’s theory of an acute aspiration event caused by solid food being provided to the resident by the nursing home.

After conducting a hearing and considering all of the evidence, the arbitrator entered a final award in favor of the nursing home.

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