Wednesday, 22 February, 2012
A nurse, who sustained permanent spine injuries after lifting a patient while working alone on a night shift at a nursing home, has been awarded AU 500,000 dollars by the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne.
Margaret Pozzobon (58) from Nanawading in Melbourne sustained her injuries in February 2006 when the Wantirna Aged Care Facility had left her working alone on a night shift in care of fifty residents. One of the residents was an elderly man with bipolar disorder who, on the night in question, persisted on stripping his bed and lying on the floor.
It was during the sixth time of lifting the man and putting him back to bed that Margaret sustained her injury. Diagnosed with severe cervical spine injuries, Margaret had to undergo surgery to fix the damage to her spine and still requires nerve blockers and spinal injections to enable her to move about normally and cope with the pain.
Being incapable to continue her duties in the Care Facility, and unable to find employment elsewhere because of her disability, Margaret made a claim for manual handling injury compensation against the Wantirna Aged Care Facility, alleging that they had been negligent in requiring her to work alone and with a resident who should have been cared for in a nursing home with a higher level of care.
The Care Facility contested the claim, but after an eight day civil trial at the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne, the jury found in Margaret´s favour – awarding her AU 500,000 dollars in compensation for nursing home negligence to account for the pain and suffering she had experienced due to the nursing home´s negligence, and to cover her lost income – both past and in the future.
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