Tennessee Mom Captures Nurse Assaulting Wheelchair-Bound Son with Cerebral Palsy

Nursing Medical Malpractice

12/31/2019 Medical Malpractice John Whitfield

Instances of medical malpractice occur nearly every day without many knowing. These occurrences can be incredibly taxing and devastating for the victim and their family members who witness or have knowledge of the malpractice. Recently in Nashville, the mother of a wheelchair-bound young adult found out his in-home nurse assaulted him after capturing the abuse on home surveillance cameras.

Dawn Caldwell, the mother of a 20-year-old son with cerebral palsy, found that his Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was abusing him. Caldwell made the connection after observing the nurse kicking her son as she placed him on a stander. After this instance, Caldwell and her husband purchased in-home cameras to observe the LPN during her visits.

After leaving the home for several hours and reviewing the footage, the mother was shocked at what she saw. The LPN was seen poking, shaking, and even slapping her son. After letting the nurse go, Caldwell alerted authorities, including the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office, Adult Protective Services, and the Director for the Board of Nursing.

Despite the damning evidence, the Board of Nursing still allowed the nurse to renew her license. She was charged with Class B Misdemeanor Assault and entered into a pretrial diversion. Under the diversion, the nurse will pay court costs to avoid any further legal trouble. If she complies, the charges will be removed from her record after just six months.

Nursing Malpractice

When the negligence of a nurse injures a medical patient, that nurse and his or her employer may be liable to pay financial damages. Nursing malpractice can happen in many different locations, such as retirement homes, convalescent homes, personal residences, as well as hospitals and doctors’ offices. In order to prove nursing malpractice has occurred, a complainant must be able to prove the nurse breached their duty of care and that breach caused the patient’s injury.

Common examples of nursing malpractice can include:

  • Failure to take action or make a report when required to do so, such as a nurse failing to notify a doctor when a patient has fallen.
  • Injuring the patient. Nurse-operated medical equipment can injure a patient by piercing them with a sharp tool or accidentally dropping a heavy object on them
  • Improperly administering medicines. Administering the wrong medicine, giving a patient the wrong medication dose, inserting an IV at the wrong time, and more are all examples of prescription medication errors that can constitute nursing malpractice.
  • Abandoning patients. If a nurse abandons their shift resulting in injury to the patient, this can amount to medical malpractice.
  • Verbal or physical abuse. Though sometimes difficult to prove, verbal and physical abuse to a patient in a nurse’s care often occurs in nursing homes.

Nashville Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Whether at the hands of a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or another practitioner, medical malpractice can occur at any time. The Journal of Patient Safety has estimated over 200,000 deaths a year can occur due to preventable medical harm. No one should suffer at the hands of a negligent medical professional. If you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Whitfield Bryson LLP today to discuss your case in a free consultation.